Thursday, January 14, 2016

The perils of being seen on a motorcycle

I appreciate motorcycle training. I appreciate the mentoring when I was a new. I appreciate the books people bought me. After all, they just want you to succeed. If you are new also, welcome.

A while back I wrote a post challenging something I was taught. I challenged the belief about riding with your high beam on to be seen. I understand complaints about drivers not paying attention. I understand the dangers of intersections and oncoming traffic, especially when an oncoming driver decides to turn left in front of you without warning. There’s no doubt intersections are dangerous.

A head light on high beam can temporarily blind or cause drivers to squint their eyes obscuring vision. For a brief few seconds they can’t see well, if at all. I can vouch for this because it’s happened to me. Another problem is areas with a lot of building and street lights. A lone rider’s light may blend in with other lights, especially at night.

In some states it’s illegal to drive or with ride high beams on in close proximity to somebody. It can be a $100 or more ticket. Washington State and RCW 46.37.230 is one such example.

My purpose here is to provoke some critical thinking. You want to be seen, you want attention, but not the wrong kind. You don’t want to be the target of urban road rage. Don’t give an inconsiderate driver a reason for retaliatory behavior.

A few of my cohorts don’t link the issues together. In fact, I know riders who gave up riding altogether because of altercations with drivers. Crossing my fingers, my personal altercations with drivers are very rare. I want to keep it that way.