Sunday, July 4, 2010

Hard week for motorcyclists

This past week was a hard week for area motorcyclists.

Yesterday afternoon a 58-year-old motorcyclist died at Randall and Miller Roads in Lake in the Hills. The motorcyclist was southbound, when a northbound driver turned left across his path. The newspaper article did not mention the position of the traffic lights. The rider, who was not wearing a helmet, tried to stop. There should have been witnesses who described exactly what happened.

Just why did the northbound driver turn left in front of the motorcyclist. Did the light turn yellow and he expected the motorcyclist to stop? Did he try to "beat" him on a green? Did he just not see him?

Early Friday morning a 24-year-old Woodstock Fire/Rescue District trainee died after crashing his motorcycle. He too was not wearing a helmet.

A helmet is no guarantee of survival, but my opinion is that it could substantially change the odds in the operator's favor.

Last week a corrections officer of the McHenry County Sheriff's Department was reportedly involved in a motorcycle crash and was taken to Rockford Memorial Hospital. Details have not emerged as to the location (Rockford area?) or how the crash occurred.

And then I've been told that a McHenry County sheriff's deputy was involved in an off-duty motorcycle crash with a tree near Wonder Lake. The deputy may have been riding a motorcycle borrowed from a dealership.

Motorcycle operators are required to have a special endorsement on their driver's licenses, indicating that they have passed the Illinois State written and operating requirements for driving a motorcycle on public highways.

Did all those motorcyclists have the valid "M" endorsement on their licenses?

The riding test at the DMV is a "doozy." It's a small, short, tight course that is virtually impossible for a rider on a full-size motorcycle rider to pass. Many riders who go to the DMV for the test will borrow a small motorcycle for the test.

The DMV ought to modify the course but doesn't. The course encourages "cheating" by testing on a small bike, and then going right back out of the everyday bike - say, a large Harley or Victory or Honda or (you name it). The rider, if experienced, is proficient but just cannot demonstrate that proficiency on the tight State course behind the DMV.


Another Lawyer said...

Three motorcycle accidents and you think the reason for the accidents is cheating on the motorcycle driving test that one takes to get your license.

Wow, your jumps in logic are becoming legendary.

My problem with your logic here is this:

1. There is no way to prove that if a person had an M on his license it would make him more or less likely to have the accidents you described.

2. The test that the Secretary of State administers is not that tough, I have passed it twice and I don't ride that often. And in my opinion nothing about the test would make it less likely that I would have an accident.

3. AND THE MOST IMPORTANT: You ignore the fact that motorcycling in inherently dangerous (and there is nothing wrong with that), people can turn in front of you, road conditions, and hazards may surprize you, etc. People can participate in dangerous fun, the thrill of the road, etc. (there is nothing wrong with that). Rarely, something bad happens and someone dies, that just happens. They could have been in a car, or plane or boat, we all take risks when we go out the front door.

Why someone like you has to suggest that these people died because they didn't have an M, or cheated some tests (that wouldn't have prevented the death) is because of one thing:



Gus said...

A motorcycle operator can drive safely regardless of the presence or absence of an "M" on his driver's license. But in Illinois he or she is expected to have that "M".

They probably all did have an "M" on their driver's licenses.