MOTORCYCLE AWARENESS

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I can’t believe it, but I think I have actually lost count. It is almost May, the year 2014 isn’t even half over and already so many of my fellow riders have been lost to impaired and inattentive drivers that I cannot accurately tell you how many have died. There is an official count, and I guess I can check it later, but right now I can tell you that it is too many.
Yes I know riding a motorcycle is dangerous. Many things that we do for fun and pleasure have risks associated with them. In choosing to ride I accept those risks. But what I do not accept is how many motorists behave when they get behind the wheel.
Some motorists present risks that none of us should have to endure. I see it on the road nearly every time I ride.
First there are the distracted drivers. Drivers who are texting or carrying on animated conversations on their cell phones; people putting on makeup, eating, or steering with their knees; parents disciplining their children in the back seat. I have even seen people reading books and magazines while attempting to drive.
Next are the aggressive drivers, constantly changing lanes, tailgating, bullying and driving way too fast.
Finally there are the criminal drivers who think there is nothing wrong with downing a six pack and jumping behind the wheel or self-medicating with pills or pot and attempting to make their way home after a night out on the town.
The first thing you will hear after a distracted, aggressive or drunken driver runs over one of us is “I never saw him,” or “they came out of nowhere.”
You cannot see what you are not looking for and you especially cannot be looking for anything very well if you are not paying attention or worse yet under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
May is Motorcycle Awareness Month. This coming Sunday I will join a large group of fellow riders at the State Capitol Building in Baton Rouge to kick things off in Louisiana. This will be the tenth year we have done so and I am looking forward to being there. Part of the event however that I do not particularly look forward to is the presentation of a wreath memorializing those who have lost their lives while pursuing their passion for riding motorcycles. I know too many of the names on that wreath already and new names are being added way too quickly.
To the drivers out there who do not ride, please pay more attention when you get behind the wheel of your car, truck or SUV. One of my favorite slogans is “look twice and save a life” another is simply, “watch out for motorcycles.” Both are really good advice.

And to my fellow riders, let’s do our part too and ride safely and responsibly. Make yourself visible, wear protective gear and by all means never ride while impaired, distracted or angry. We spend a lot of time asking the motoring public to watch for us so let’s make sure that when they see us we are acting responsibly.

Oh by the way, if you are in the Baton Rouge area, please join us on the steps of the State Capitol Building at noon on Sunday, April 27th.

See you on the road.

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T.W. Robinson

~ by larider on April 22, 2014.

3 Responses to “MOTORCYCLE AWARENESS”

  1. Very well said. We all need to do our part to make the roads safer.

  2. I love the stuff you write about.

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