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Diatribe: Motorcyclists Should Take More Responsibility For Their Own Safety.

06/29/2013

ShareTheRoadAcross the interstates surrounding my city, big lighted signs have been constructed over traffic travelling in both directions.  When there is an accident or road constructions, any event or circumstances, that negatively affects the flow of traffic a warning is displayed on the appropriate signs.  I think one particularly good use of these signs is the distribution of Amber Alerts since there’s usually a vehicle involved in the alert that might be spotted by other drivers.

The signs also display editorial content.  In some cities, the number of statewide highway fatalities is displayed as a sort of tote board that keeps score.  Recently, the signs in my area are promoting motorcycle safety with various signs that say “Share the Road” and “Look Twice Watch For Motorcycles”.  As well-meaning as these campaigns might be, it almost seems as if the responsibility of a motorcyclist’s safety should somehow fall on the shoulders of other motorists.

I think motorcyclists should take more responsibility for their own safety.

WatchForMotorcyclesFor example, a motorcyclist who witnesses say was traveling at least 100 mph was killed yesterday when he crashed into the back of a pickup truck on Interstate 4 in Florida.  Timothy Lea, 44, was pronounced dead at the scene.  The driver of the truck was not injured but a van trying to avoid the crash hit the motorcycle and rolled over.  None of the van’s passengers were injured.

When one chooses to ride a motorcycle, he or she must assume the responsibilities associated with the decision.  In addition to common sense ideas like proper footwear and protective clothing, they must follow helmet laws and any other rules of the road … including speed limits.  To be fair, it can be difficult to see motorcycles in heavy traffic or other circumstances.  Still, motorcyclists should certainly be aware of this and drive accordingly.

What do you think?  Should motorcyclists take more responsibility for their own safety?

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9 Comments
  1. Most of the time they weave in and out of traffic and squeeze in between rows of cars waiting for a red light so they can get to the front – I’m always tempted to open my car door on them.

    As for those traffic signs, I used to like them but now I notice that they cause the traffic to slow down to read them almost causing an accident. It’s almost as bad as texting and driving. AND they always blink too fast.

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  2. Yup. Then again, I think everybody should take responsibility for their actions.

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  3. Lene permalink

    I agree with you. Motorcyclists should be responsible for their own safety as we automobile drivers should be responsible for ours. I always felt the “see motorcycles” signs were a bit odd. I also agree that they are sometimes easy to miss when scanning traffic. All in all, I guess it doesn’t hurt to be reminded.

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  4. Rick permalink

    I think it is always a joint effort. We as motorists must always try to be responsible for obeying rules of the road, & they as cyclists must act responsibly.
    I get angry at the persons on bicycles that do not obey traffic rules, act irresponsibly, & I have to give up part of the local roads so they can have their own lane.

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  5. I’ve seen motorcycalist do some of the dumbest things ever on the road. I would like to see more of them pulled over on the side of the road by police like I see so many other motorists who don’t obey the rules.

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  6. For a state to abolish a helmut law amazes me to this day. If you wreck, you are either dead or severly injured. I have yet another school friend, whose family is fundraising to pay for his significant medical bills and upkeep after his collision in a 45 mph zone. It is hard for a car driver to see a motorcyclist and I personally find those who do not wear helmuts as showing their ignorance and lack of concern for their family, than exhibiting their freedoms. I may be off the mark here, but those are my thoughts. Thanks for publishing. BTG

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  7. I spent most of my life between 15 – 19 on the back of a motorcycle. I was involved in 2 traffic accidents (both my boyfriend’s fault). I think it’s great to remind people to look for motorcycles. When people shoulder check to pass, if they don’t see a big vehicle, they think it’s OK to change lanes. Many motorcyclists are injured or killed because of this. It would be different if everyone who was going to change lanes used their turn signals, then motorcyclists could make room for them. But a lot of people don’t use their signals & cut off motorcyclists causing crashes. Just making people aware to look for a smaller vehicle when they shoulder check might cause a few less deaths.

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    • You make a very good point. Better safe than sorry, I suppose, and I’ll never understand just how lazy a person needs to be in order to NOT use a turn signal.

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