Officials stress safety as ROT Rally begins

The Republic of Texas Rally is underway in Austin. The four day event is one of the largest motorcycle rallies in the country and officials are stressing safety.

Thousands of people come to Central Texas for the event. The city closes off 50 blocks in downtown for the party and parade while the Travis County Expo Center hosts live music.

During the ROT Rally, drivers should expect a lot more people and motorcyclists on the roads. That’s why officials are urging everyone to stay focused while behind the wheel.

In 2014, there were 200 crashes during the event and officials say some of them could have been prevent if people paid attention.

This year motorcyclists are also being advised to avoid I-35 because of the rock throwing incidents along the highway. Organizers posted a message on social media telling people to use Mopac or SH 130.

Here are some tips from TxDOT:

  • Look twice for motorcycles especially at intersections
  • Use your turn signal when changing lanes
  • Check your mirrors before changing lanes
  • Don't follow a motorcycle too closely
  • Always assume motorcycles are closer than they appear

APD is also conducting another "No Refusal" weekend. Anyone suspected of driving drunk who refuses a breathalyzer will be forced by court order to give a blood or breath sample. 

The "No Refusal" period starts tomorrow (6/10) at 9 p.m. and lasts until Sunday (6/12) at 5 a.m.