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Motorcycle fatalities in the Sacramento Area

18630 Views 102 Replies 33 Participants Last post by  eddyline
First post!

Seriously though, I guess I'd have to agree with Sean. Even the new rider on the Harley may have been taking risks that were a little too high in general - I don't know how fast he happened to be going, but I know I routinely see guys going down two-lane rural roads at night as fast as they would during the day. Now maybe some guys have much better night perception than I do, but I'll say that for me I tend to back off some at night, finding my ability to judge exact distances and speeds not as precise in darkness than in the light of day, not to mention making reading the road ahead of you from a long way off that much harder. I believe it's called "out-riding your headlights".
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In not thinking that all of these people might have benefitted from a training class, I think we are overlooking one important thing: that part of the idea of a training class is to teach people how to decide not to do stupid things. Here in Oregon, a motorcycle license is generally obtained by taking the beginning MSF class. (I was originally licensed elsewhere, Sacramento, in fact, but I have taken the MSF intermediate course.) Implicit in the curriculum of these classes is the idea of building your awareness of what you can and cannot safely do. So, any grad is probably less likely to do the type of dumb stunts that get them killed and us frowned upon and over-regulated. Spending time on the class bikes may even result in some of them buying an SV-650 rather than a ZX-10R, who knows.

Case in point: Last week, my sister's step-daughter, an 18-year old in North Carolina, was seriously injured when she accepted a ride with a 25-year old she hardly knew. I don't know what kind of bike he had, but I would assume it was on the extreme end. A police officer attempted to pull him over, and he decided to flee. He was going very fast when an unlicensed 14-year old pulled out in front of him, and he died in the crash. She had multiple fractures and soft tissue injuries, but will probably recover.

I seriously doubt that this guy had taken an MSF class. If he had, he might have had more awareness of his own abilities, and known when he was crossing from reasonable fun into blatant stupidity. (He might have at least learned that cops have radios, for God's sake!) As it stood, his only role models were probably the bikers that defy the laws of physics in Hollywood movies.

So, yes, I think that a safety class would probably have helped all three of the Sacramento statistic riders, as well as the man in North Carolina. None of them had unavoidable things happen to them. MSF classes would not just have given them additional skills to become faster squids; exposure to sane riding attitudes and mature riding role models might have changed their whole mindset. I know, you can't make a stupid person smart. But, these riders might have learned that even testosterone-sodden squids can have fun riding safely.

As far as additional bike regulation goes, if there is a new law, let it be this: MSF completion certificates should be required for the rental or purchase of "Biker Boyz" or "Torque."
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