It seems that May is déjà vu all over again.
It marks the start of the motorcycle safety awareness month which is shortly followed by accident reports or dumb and dumber maneuvers by motorcycle riders.
The first in Oregon was the 10am arrest of Jessica Peterson (28 years old) on the first day of Motorcycle Awareness Month. The charges were assault in the 2nd degree, DUI and reckless driving. Ms. Petersen crossed over into oncoming traffic and struck Chase Dillon Ivey (26 years old) on his Suzuki motorcycle. At last report Mr. Ivey was in serious condition at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center.
The opening weekend of Motorcycle Awareness in Washington state wasn’t any better where 3 deaths in two motorcycle crashes on highway 101 in Western Washington occurred. In Idaho, just a few days earlier three motorcyclists died.
And as if that wasn’t enough to bring a lot of attention to rider safety and the tragic events, on May 6th on Highway 97 south of Lapine, Oregon, Gregory Zaser (61 years old) was cited for speeding – 130mph in a 55mph zone – on a Ducati motorcycle. According to Trooper Newcomb, Mr. Zaser had just purchased the Ducati (bagger) and wanted to “see what it would do”…
Spoken just like a true attention-grabbing teenager!
I searched and found nothing mentioned on the Desmos web site about this new break-in procedure from Ducati. And combine that with the fact that Highway 97 is notorious for wild animals standing peacefully on the roadway… I think Mr. Zaser is lucky to walk away with only a huge ticket!
My point? Other than calling out Mr. Zaser’s attempt to revive the art of fossilized manliness and giving motorcyclists a bad image?!
We’re coming off 3-weeks of incredibly nice weather here in the northwest and motorcycles have been out in force. Many riders in the state are fair(er) weather riders and for the first time pulling out their motorcycle from storage. An experienced rider once shared with me that when you’re riding on a motorcycle you’ve always got to watch out for everyone else around you. And I’ve noticed more than ever the freeways in the Portland metro area are full of people on the phone – talking and texting – changing lanes or swerving and not using blinkers because they’re just not paying attention to their surroundings.
It’s not my intention to pick on a particular group of drivers or riders, but I wanted to reinforce the conversation about motorcycle safety. A high percentage of accidents are rider caused and preventable. Make smart decisions on the road.
Photo courtesy of George Toomer