Saturday, September 18, 2010

Motorcycle Safety Week

CalTrans sign on the 91 eastbound in AnaheimImage via WikipediaYesterday, I was driving to work when I noticed the traffic alert sign promoting Motorcycle Safety Week and to share the road.  As an aside, I really think those traffic alert signs do more to impede traffic flow than to help it.  I can't tell you how many times traffic comes down to a crawl as you approach the sign only to have clear sailing once you get past the sign.  But I digress.

Back to Motorcycle safety week.  I try to be keenly aware of motorcyclists.  Years ago, I had a coworker whose husband was t-boned by an automobile that ran a red light.  Sadly, he was not wearing a helmet (which is an entirely separate issue) and was in a vegetative state on life support for weeks.  He was obeying traffic signals and had it not been for the carelessness of another driver, he would not have had the accident.

The key thing for me with motorcyclists and "sharing the road" is whether or not said motorcyclist is obeying the rules of the road.  Those cyclists that ride with the flow of traffic and show common courtesy receive my respect.  There are many out there who do that.  Unfortunately, there are a lot out there that do not.

There are two particular behaviors of motorcyclists that are prone to make my blood boil.  First, are those who drive at an excessive speed and weave in and out of traffic lanes.  The second, and the one that really gets my goat, is the practice of lane-splitting.  Too many times when stuck in a traffic jam on the beltway all the cars will be at a standstill.  Then up between the traffic comes a motorcycle riding between two lanes.

Not only are these two practices dangerous, they are downright rude.  I am more than happy to share the road with those who are courteous and safe riders.  However, when you drive too fast, reckless, and with discourtesy to the rest of us, then don't be surprised if I signal to you that you are #1 in my book, if you get my drift.       

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