Look twice for motocycles

5 May 2016 - By Eugene Herbert

I freely admit to the
fact that riding a motorcycle has many benefits, not the least of which is
having the freedom to navigate traffic congestion effectively. Interestingly,
in the US, the month of May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month where more emphasis
is placed on creating a safer environment for motorcycle to operate in.

The information shared
below contributes in no small way to creating greater synergy but………. Yes, most
will agree but also probably comment on the emergence of new motorcycle lanes —
the far right, which is also known as the emergency lane. This lane has, it
seems become the de facto lane, with other lanes only being used if there are
obstacles blocking their travel.

While it can be
reasoned that such use has benefits for both cars and bikes, the fact is that
this use is tantamount to abuse when riders pass slow moving traffic at
“breakneck speeds”. On certain sections of the N1 in Gauteng the forward view
of riders – laying low on superbikes – prevent the rider from seeing a parked vehicle.

While these suggestions
are for vehicle drivers there is equal admonition for riders to show some
consideration. Riders have as much right to the use of the road, but with that
right comes responsibility.

MasterDrive
offers the following safety tips:

·        
Though
a motorcycle is a small vehicle, its operator still has all the rights of the
road as any other motorist. Allow the motorcycle the full width of a lane at
all times.

·        
Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic.

·        
If you see a motorcycle with a signal on, be careful.
Motorcycle signals are often non-cancelling and could have been forgotten.
Always ensure that the motorcycle is turning before proceeding.

·        
Check
all mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging
with traffic, especially at intersections.

·        
Always
allow more following distance — three to four seconds — when behind a
motorcycle. This gives the motorcycle driver more time to manoeuvre or stop in
an emergency.

·        
Never drive distracted or impaired.

·        
When you see a motorcycle “splitting lanes” show some
consideration by allowing some space for them to pass.

Drivers who
are also riders do empathise but some who are able to obscure their identity
behind a helmet do take liberties - please let that not be you.

Till next time – driver
nice it is contagious


Eugene Herbert



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