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Arlington kicks off motorcycle safety program

It’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt.

Or even killed.

After months of riding his motorcycle in excess of 100 mph, David Slider lived another day to tell others to slow down.

“When you’re going that fast, the police won’t even bother to run after you,” Slider, 22, said. “All I had to do is downshift and I could pick up 30 to 40 mph before he takes off.”

Slider was one of more than 130 motorcyclists who crashed their bikes in Arlington last year. A helmet and a little luck likely saved him from adding to the seven people who were killed on their motorcycles in 2007.

While racing a car one early morning in July 2007, Slider ran into the back of a pickup truck that was hauling windshields. Besides breaking several bones in his body he also ruptured one of his vocal cords.

Slider attended Arlington’s Safety equipment Motorcycle License Awareness Responsible Traffic Laws (SMART) campaign announcement that was held Monday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Under the zero-tolerance campaign, officers will be writing more tickets to reckless motorcycle riders.

“Whenever I see a motorcyclist cut in and out of traffic, it just sends chills down my back,” Slider said. “They aren’t thinking about the consequences.”

“We’re out here to let motorcyclists know that we are serious,” said Chris Holder, a traffic officer with the Arlington Police department. “We can go from writing multiple tickets to confiscating bikes if the situation deems necessary.”

Motorcycle fatalities in Texas have increased 73 percent from 229 in 2000 to 397 fatalities in 2007.

Arlington's seven motorcycle fatalities in 2007 more than doubled the city's total from the previous year.