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Voices / Letters from readers

Don’t quit riding motorcycles — educate drivers instead

RE: “A very bad time to be riding motorcycles” [Viewpoint, Jan. 17]:

I am a motorcycle rider, and have been one on and off for 20 years. When I first started riding, car drivers didn’t have the distraction of smartphones, but motorcyclists still had to worry about distracted drivers and/or drivers just not looking out for motorcycles.

I agree with almost everything that T. Breeze Verdant writes up until “I encourage people to stop riding and to encourage others to quit as well.”

Look, it’s always been more dangerous to ride a motorcycle on public roads than it has been to be in an automobile, perhaps more so now with the added technological distractions.

But I feel a better response than the author’s campaign to get people to “quit” loving to ride their motorcycles would be to continue encouraging folks to keep their hands and eyes off their mobile devices while driving, to keep instructing teenage drivers from the start as to why and how that’s unsafe, to urge riders to wear proper safety gear (that means full coverage head-to-toe!) and, lastly, to keep reminding car and truck drivers to be aware of other vehicles that share the roads (including bicycles).

In fact, I’d be more concerned for my safety while riding a bicycle around distracted drivers these days, especially in a more rural and small-town area such as ours whose drivers have less consideration for those on pedal bikes than those in more urban areas tend to.

Thanks for reading this response, and I’m looking forward to next riding season this spring!

And while you are driving, please remember, as the bumper sticker says, “Motorcycles are everywhere.”

Josh Bernbaum
Brattleboro

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Originally published in The Commons issue #444 (Wednesday, January 31, 2018). This story appeared on page C2.

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