But as a lawmen, Duckworth also knows what can happen when bikers throw caution to the wind.
There were 60 fatal accidents involving motorcycle riders in North Carolina in 1997, but the numbers of bike fatalities for the state jumped to 152 in 2005 - a 141 percent increase that exceeds the average national increase of 99 percent for the same time period.
In Robeson County, the statistics also are striking. There were four motorcycle fatalities within a span of just over three weeks last month. Last year there were just five bike fatalities all year.
The fatalities include:
n William Scott of Lumberton, who was struck and killed on May 11 while riding a 2002 Yamaha. The accident happened near the Pizza Hut on Fayetteville Road.
n Richard Lynn Thompson, 61, of Sumter, S.C., who was killed May 13 when his 1984 Honda motorcycle was struck by a BMW. The accident happened about 3.6 miles south of Fairmont.
- Eric Andrew Meyers, 37, of Delaware, died on May 20, five days after crashing his motorcycle near Exit 10 of Interstate 95. Lumberton police Officer William Reed was struck by a car while investigating the accident on May 15. Reeds remains in intensive care.
- Marsha Lynn Godwin, 39, of Mineral Springs, was killed May 26, about three miles east of Maxton. Godwin's 2002 Kawasaki motorcycle crossed the center line on U.S. 74 and was struck by a 2000 Kia.
State and local officials are trying to reduce the number of deaths and accidents with a campaign to educate motorists and bike riders about the importance of motorcycle safety. The effort emphasizes safety tips like wearing a helmet and staying alert and reminds drivers to share the road with motorcycle riders.
“More than 400,000 North Carolinians ride motorcycles on our highways and thousands more are traveling throughout state,” DOT Secretary Lyndo Tippett said when he kicked off the campaign last month. “We need to be mindful that motorcycles are out there and we need to share the road.”
Chris Morton, 1st sergeant with the state Highway Patrol in Lumberton, said an increase in gasoline prices along with the allure surrounding motorcycles have increased the popularity of bikes.
But Morton, who drove a motorcycle for eight years with the patrol in Charlotte and Raleigh, said having more people on bikes increases the probability of accidents. North Carolina has more than 187,000 registered motorcycles and 341,594 licensed drivers have a motorcycle endorsement on their license, according to the state Division of Motor Vehicles.
“Those nearing a mid-life crisis ... instead of buying RVs, they're buying motorcycles,” Morton said. “But the problem we are finding is that those groups are not seeking the formal training that is needed.”
Morton stressed the importance of wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle. A motorcycle rider not wearing helmet is five times more likely to suffer a severe head injury than a rider who is wearing a helmet, according to state and national statistics.
Duckworth, a sheriff's detective, survived a motorcycle accident when he was teenager with only cuts and bruises.
“It flipped, threw me in the highway and I got up and shook it off,” Duckworth said.
But most people aren't that lucky.
“It's important to wear a helmet,” he said. “It just isn't worth the risk to ride without a helmet.”
Duckworth adds that bikes aren't for everyone.
“My wife did have one, but we traded hers for a golf cart,” Duckworth said. “She had two or three people pull out in front of her and scare her so she decided she wanted four wheels instead of two.”