Better ways to share road with motorcycles

newsroom@islandpacket.comMay 9, 2014 

I hear that May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Activities will include special classes of instruction for motorcycle operators, including beginners.

Almost everybody loves motorcycles, especially if you have ever driven one or owned one. They are convenient and fun, get super gas mileage and take up but little parking space.

We urge drivers to watch out for motorcycles and to avoid accidents.

I have owned four motorcycles along the way, and in my judgment 90 percent of accidents involving motorcycles are probably not the fault of the machine, because they are more maneuverable, more responsive, and have better visibility than automobiles. Accidents occur mostly from inattention or driving too close or too fast.

If people tell you they don't like motorcycles, it is probably not the motorcycles they dislike but the noise they make. But here is the good news: Motorcycles do not have to make noise. All they need is a good muffler and they can be as quiet as a new Mercedes sedan. The increased mileage they get by cutting out or by-passing a muffler is minuscule.

Furthermore, it is against the law for motorcycles to make a lot of noise, and I would like to see our police take appropriate enforcement action when necessary. When was the last time our police stopped a noisy motorcycle?

In short, I urge automobile drivers to give motorcycles "a brake," motorcyclists to drive thoughtfully and attentively, motorcyclists to install and maintain proper mufflers, and police to enforce noise regulations.

Daniel Hoyt Daniels

Beaufort

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