Let’s make the road safe for motorcycles

To the editor:

April has been designated as Motor Awareness Month. May is Motorcycle Awareness Month. These two things go very much hand in hand. Spring is upon us and motorcycles will be out and about. Motorists, having put up with a very cold and snowy winter, are also anxious to be out and about enjoying the nice weather.

Unfortunately, too often this results in distracted driving and someone gets hurt or killed. Not having heard the details, I can only surmise as to why a car rear-ended a motorcycle waiting to make a left turn in Humboldt recently. Too often this is the result of distracted or inattentive driving.

The No. 1 cause of motorcycle versus car accidents is the car making a left turn in front of the bike, resulting in injury or loss of life. The cause? “I didn’t see him.”

Large amounts of time, money and energy have been spent trying to get everyone to drive safer and put more thought into our driving, but the statistics show we are still not doing enough. Are motorcycles blameless in this? No, not by any means. Most of us have seen the bike up on its rear wheel going down the highway or the bike that thinks it’s cool to do 65 in a 35 mph zone. It’s hard to judge the speed of a bike because of its small size. They are usually closer than they look.

By and large, most bikers try to drive safely and to be seen. We know that we are vulnerable and try to act accordingly.

By and large, most motorists try to drive safely, but all it takes is a moment’s distraction, a glance at the radio, your phone, eating or drinking going down the road, talking to a passenger. All of these things are forms of distracted driving and cause us to focus our attention on something other than our driving.

In an effort to promote safe riding and driving, Gold Wing Road Riders Association has made motor awareness a major plank in their program and have designated May 11 to be Motor Awareness Day. They have asked all chapters to do something that day to bring motorists and bikers together to be more understanding and tolerant of each other and promote safe riding and driving.

Chapter W of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association will be holding a bike/trike show on May 11 at the Community Pizza west parking lot. We welcome all bikes/trikes and motorists to come talk, discuss and enjoy a good time. A trophy will be awarded to the best bike/trike by people’s choice. A blessing of the bikes and riders will be held at 10:30 a.m. with the show to follow at 11 a.m. till 2 p.m. Come one, come all.

John Kilmer

Assistant director, Iowa Chapter W Gold Wing Road Riders Association

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