A few nights back I was battling a bout of insomnia as my mind was spinning with thoughts of an upcoming grueling travel schedule. While any travel for the magazine turns into a fun trip, I was struggling with how I would be able to manage my time and take care of all the necessary day-to-day activities required to run a magazine. So as I lay there tossing and turning, I decided to turn the TV on for a bit to see if it could pull me away from thoughts. As I clicked through the channels, I stopped on one of my local news stations to catch the weather report. After the weather they led into a story on motorcycles entitled “Motorcycle Crackdown.”
With a title like that I was very intrigued, and the little bit of heaviness I was feeling in my eyelids was immediately swept away as my interest piqued. The story was about how the city of Santa Monica and its police department was going to be conducting crackdowns during the 4th of July weekend. The reporter mentioned that the police would be cracking down on reckless motorcyclists who can cause collisions and that over the weekend additional officers would be patrolling areas frequented by motorcyclists and where motorcycle crashes often occur. Needless to say, this didn’t settle my mind one bit and really didn’t help me get to sleep as I was now frustrated and kind of pissed about the story.
The next day I tried to see if I could find a video clip of the report online so I could watch it again, but I couldn’t find anything. What I did find however was a press release from the Santa Monica Police Department discussing how the department would be conducting specialized Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operations to help lower the amount of motorcycle-related deaths and injuries. Actually, the press release was titled “Working to Reduce Motorcycle Fatalities,” a much more positive title than “Motorcycle Crackdown.” Maybe I am just a little hyper-sensitive to the issue, but it just really bothered me that the news station ran with the title “Motorcycle Crackdown.” To me it just had a negative connotation that I am sure others, especially non-motorcyclists, feed into.
As I continued to read the press release it stated that officers would be cracking down on traffic violations made by motorcyclists as well as other drivers that can lead to motorcycle collisions, deaths, and fatalities. Reading the release frustrated me even more, especially the part about officers patrolling areas frequented by motorcyclists. This seems to be yet another instance in which motorcyclists are being treated differently and in a more negative manner, all in the name of reducing motorcycle accidents and deaths. Obviously I am all for reducing motorcycle-related injuries or deaths, and I understand that the city was doing this as some form of a potential preventative measure. However, sometimes I feel like local, state, and the federal government can go about things all wrong when it comes to motorcycle safety. I don’t have the perfect solution or answers as to what should be done, but it just often seems like we are being singled out or harassed based on the type of transportation we chose to ride.
I am interested to know your thoughts on this matter and if you have any ideas or suggestions as to what can be done to help make riding a motorcycle a safer mode of transportation? Shoot me an email at [email protected]. I’d love to hear what you have to say.
Until next time,
“Maybe I am just a little hyper-sensitive to the issue, but it just really bothered me that the news station ran with the title ‘Motorcycle Crackdown.’”