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What about the car drivers in motorcycle accidents?

Posted: April 16, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: April 16, 2014 2:00 a.m.

Robert Burton wants to ban motorcycles from public streets because of the many accidents and even fatalities involving motorcycles, and because he saw a rider riding on the back wheel only, and because motorcycle riders cost our state many dollars in hospital bills.

First, how many of those motorcycle accidents were the fault of the rider? All too often we read about someone turning left in front of the oncoming motorcyclist.

Invariably they say “I didn’t see him,” in spite of the fact that almost all motorcycles are built with the headlight to be on when the engine is running.

We never see any follow-up story about the driver who turned in front of the motorcyclist being punished, or even being contrite.

As to the rider showing off by doing a wheelie, he should be jailed. Not just because he could injure or kill himself — or others — but also because he is harming the reputation of all motorcyclists.

But banning motorcyclists from public streets because of the actions of a few would be like banning automobiles because of reckless drivers. Why punish everyone for the actions of a few?

And yes, motorcyclists probably cost the state money for hospital bills. So do reckless drivers, parachutists, sky divers — the list could be endless.

The fact is: riding a motorcycle is a dangerous pastime. But so are many activities.

What is the alternative? Be a “couch potato” and get a heart attack or settle for long walks, instead of embracing life to the fullest and the risks that entails?

A few years back The Signal ran an essay I wrote entitled “What if Everybody Rode Motorcycles?”

It was a tongue-in-cheek piece, not intended to be taken seriously, but it brought out some truths — motorcycles use much less gas, take up far fewer parking spaces, don’t cause traffic jams, and leave their riders far more content than frustrated car drivers.



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