AUSTIN (KXAN) — Bikers from the Republic of Texas Biker Rally are heading home.
Thousands of motorcycles took to Austin’s already crowded roads prompting police to push for safety and step up drunk driving enforcement.
Austin Police held a no refusal weekend to catch and deter drunk drivers. Police also partnered with 21 other agencies.
“Now, I live in Florida, but I lived here 10 years and my kids from here. And it’s just the way it is. But I always look forward to the [ROT Rally] because it’s like coming home,” said Eusevio Lugo Jr., who was at ROT Rally and runs Master Lugo’s Custom Upholstery.
Crews broke down their stands for the rally at the Travis County Expo Center.
“Safety is most important. You have to watch your six because no one is watching it for you,” said Lugo.
Austin-Travis County EMS crews saw a 20 percent increase in motorcycle incidents during ROT Rally with 25 incidents this year in Austin compared to 21 last year, according to EMS personnel.
“The majority of those accidents are cars not seeing the motorcyclists, not the other way around,” said Cathy Gerac with Austin-Travis County EMS.
This year, EMS crews also report no motorcycle deaths over the weekend and fewer critical injuries.
EMS makes sure to have people on stand by during the rally and it sends its own motorcycles to events like this.
This year, the number of people arrested for driving while intoxicated is down. Police arrested 40 drivers this year, down from a high in recent years of 51 in 2012.