I received a shattered femur in June 1999 thanks to an oncoming left-turn idiot cager. He is now in jail for fleeing the scene. If the AMA sticks to this kind of political initiative instead of screwing the membership with huge legal fees (and attempting to screw other roadracing organizations) I might join again.
I remember reading in American Motorcyclist a few months ago in their article about 'road rage' and one fellow reported that a left-turner deliberately stopped his car in front of the biker. After the accident in his broken english the driver said "You go to fast. I teach you slow down".
I get the impression there are way too many drivers attempting just such a move who don't actually stop, but slow way down and take their time turning and force the rider to slow/stop/avoid them because they DO see us coming, have that 'I hate bikers, period' attitude, and think to themselves "Oh yea? I'm bigger than you, go for it!".
I haven't seen that so much, mostly just idiots busy with cell phones or kids, or just idiots. The thing that gets me, is when they realize they're sharing your lane, they act like they could care less. It's no big deal.
When I am driving a car, my biggest fear is moving into a lane with a bike. It's amazing how little it phases most people...
Actually, I am paranoid most of the time. I have had cars, pedestrians, other motorcyclists, and even a bicycle wander out in front of me. The bicyclist was pretty funny- his eyes got big as dinner plates and he just froze in the middle of my lane when he figured out that I was actually bigger than he was and very close to him. I managed to slide past him in a cloud of tire smoke. It would have been less funny if I had hit him.
What this proves to me is that most people would still live in caves if left to figure things out for themselves. Because they are idiots, and idiots need big consequences to notice their actions, I don't think the AMA initiative goes far enough. Two hundred lousy bucks and a thirty day suspension for neglegent homocide? They should be held for criminal and civil punishment in line with the impact (I mean it both ways) of their actions.
Like many of you, I've criticized AMA over the years for a lot of their policies, and their racing rules. But I joined again recently because it looks like new leadership there is taking the organization in new directions. They are also talking about making some racing rules changes that I think will bring a lot of excitement back into their races.
But this campaign is exactly what I want the AMA to concentrate on, so I'm once again saying that EVERY motorcyclist in this country should join this organization NOW! Hell, even if you don't give a damn about politics, you'll get your dues money back in bennies that come with membership. And, they have good parties at all the Superbike events.
As for that KSJO DJ, I think we should organize, and if anyone gets hurt due to his actions, sue the station and the DJ (sending the money to a good advocacy group), and attempt to press criminal charges.
look at me, then left turn in front of me on a perfect trajectory to hit me. I've made eye contact and then watched them try to kill me. It's led me to the conclusion that they have a subconscious desire to kill motorcyclists. Of course I don't believe they consciously thing "I'm going to kill that guy". I think they're vulnerable to their subconscious in the zombie-state that they drive in, and their subconscious wants me dead.
I have had more first posts than you!!! BUt seriously, this AMA things sounds good. I can't believe they get away with that kind of fine. They need to make it a $5000 fine if you ask me. To many people have pulled out right in front of me or made lane changes without even thinking about riders..
AMA is awesome! I think i'm gonna join now. Just a little request for everyone out there. I commute the same route everyday to school and at the prodding of Doc Wong, I now wave to all cagers as I pass them (with all 5 fingers!). By doing that, rather than getting upset they often think highly of that "courteous" biker. I've seen the same people on my one lane commute route and now when they see me (or any other biker), they give me space in the lane to pass. They are trying to kill us, but hey...at least this way some of em won't hate us. So next time you pass a cager, WAVE with all 5 fingers!
I'd like to see some contact info as well, but I've heard from various sources that email campaigns are nice and all, but an old fashioned snail-mail letter or phone call hold more weight with politicians. The thinking seems to be that it's just "too easy" to send an email, and if you really cared, you'd spend the big bucks for the stamp and envelope. Yeah, this is scary thinking, but if they really think that way, and you really want your voice to count, after you send that email, print it out and mail it. Just my 34 cents worth....
My wife has a plate in her wrist from a TOURIST who turned left from the center lane and ran us over, if my now gone Black Bird had not wedged under their front wheels the punk would have driven off. Dragged us 20 feet just to try and get away. No fines, and the little punk flew home with out any charges, the rental car folks did pony up and pay the bills for a while. That was over a year ago. Just to prove I'm a dip , I get the Bird fixed and am still recovering from a stupid assed-phone using- SUV driving who pulled into my lane with her Ford, runs me over on HWY 280 just before the HWY 84 - Woodside RD exit, shatters my collor and drives off leaving me for dead in the middle of a 4 lane freeway durring the morning commute. At lest they found your SOB, the got away. Me, I am an AMA member and have been for years. They, we, do some stupid but over the years there has been allota good done too.
P.S. Traded the Bird for a 996, I had never recked a street bike before these two incidents, other than the stupid fall off, pick it up and ride home stuff. figured the Bird was cursed, little did I know it is the cage drives that are zombies But, back in the day I wadded a bunch of race bikes thou.... I'm a Gettin too old and rattle on.
Unfortunately, this is only a small part of the big picture. It's pretty much going after people after the fact. Don't get me wrong, I applaud what the AMA is doing. I've been a member for a year and just renewed. The problem is that it takes so little to get a license in the US. All you need is a fourth graders understanding of traffic laws and very basic coordination. Any fool can get a license, and once they're licensed, that's all they need to go out and buy a Ford Behemouth or any other monster vehicle. Also, the distractions in a vehicle are becoming absurd. Phones, radios, food, etc. Even now they're starting to put DVD's, computers and more in cars, turning them into offices. These distractions are killing us. Once you try and curtail these kinds of things you get public outrage about how they can't have their precious cell phones taken away from them when they drive. Until people actually learn how to drive instead of wrecklessly meander down the road in a car, they will forever cut in front of us motorcyclists.
This sounds great, I had a close call this summer with a double trailered big rig from a national trucking industry try to kill me by doing that left turn in front of me crap. Great thing was there was a cop in front of him and he lost his cdl( it was on probation for a separate violation). He was caught fixing his books in front of the cop and got fined for the left turn in front of oncoming traffic and got chewed out for a while by the cop. The trucker wanted to go to court to avoid the fines and save his cdl, he never showed up. Oh well another reckless jerk off the road. This all happened on the clearest summer day at 10 minutes til noon. His quote was " I didnt see ya from 50 feet away or farther" then "Well I saw ya and dont know why I never slowed down, stopped, or yeilded to ya" and "wow , shouldve seen the smoke coming off of your tires as you stopped by my trailer tires" Got some powerful brakes there huh?". So he burnt himself with his own comments . And scared the hell outta me .
I don't think this initiative goes far enough. I didn't read anything in there about long-term jail sentences. If someone actually hates motorcyclists or just doesn't give a sh#t do you think a $200 fine and a suspension for 6 months is going to dissuade them from being as$holes in the first place ? How many people do you think that are driving around right now are driving on a suspended liscense ? There was a drunk driver in my town 2 years ago that killed a lady and hadn't had a valid liscense for over 5 years ! I am not and probably never will be a member of the AMA and I've been riding for over 20 years on the street. Something like this should have been lobbied to the Senate and Congress about a decade ago. It's the classic, "too little too late", kind of thing that the AMA always seems to do. Just like the screw ups with the Edmonson vs. BOD debacle of a few years ago.
I applaud the AMA for its attempts to enforce strict penalties on mental cagers, but the core of this problem is simply bad driving. More severe penalties will simply just screw the cager over more and does not directly attack the core... which again, is bad driving... I think license suspension is the best part of the new proposed penalties but my biggest turnaround for "dumb ass" cage driving was also having to pay for classes that occupied my saturday out of my own pocket... so keep up the work AMA!
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