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'Can You See Me Now?’ ride draws 500

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Posted: Monday, April 28, 2014 4:30 am

COPPERAS COVE — After Terri Benezet’s friend died in a motorcycle accident, she decided to take action.

“We’re just trying to save lives,” said Benezet, who brought the “Can You See Me Now?” campaign to Killeen.

The initiative aims to alert drivers to motorcyclists on the road.

On Sunday, a wave of motorcyclists revved up their engines as they left Temple for Copperas Cove. Wearing neon yellow shirts, at least 500 people hoped to make a statement during the third annual motorcycle ride.

“We’re trying to show how many of us are here and we need people to start opening their eyes and do something,” Benezet said.

Last year, 494 people died on Texas roadways while riding motorcycles and scooters, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. Motorcycle deaths increased by 5 percent in 2013 compared to 2012, when there were 470.

Ubaldo Gonzalez, 58, of Killeen, said it’s important to be a defensive driver rather than an offensive one.

Gonzalez, whose been riding motorcycles since he was 12 years old, said drivers should follow the road rules, watch for others and make sure they don’t cut other drivers off.

“We’re just trying to promote awareness about motorcycles in Texas,” he said. “If we can save one life, we’re successful.”

Benezet said one of her friends who died in a motorcycle accident lost his life because another driver didn’t look left before turning.

“They didn’t see him,” Benezet said. “It’s horrible. That’s why I started it.”

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