Motorcyclists: lower the volume
Monday, June 21, 2010 - 1:08 pm

To the Editor,

I see it’s Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. I hope the riders and passengers of motorcycles are paying attention.

It has been my experience that bikers often don’t follow road rules, or have a false sense of safety. They are traveling at high speeds, with nothing between them and the road, or a car or truck, or them and a tree, or even some water. First, your loud mufflers don’t save lives. Most people drive with their windows up and A/C on in the summer, and music playing, or kids screaming. I don’t usually hear a Harley until it’s next to me or right in front of me, on the road, because people don’t drive with their ears, they drive with their eyes. It’s the reason blind people can’t drive, but deaf people can and do.

The loud mufflers do get my attention, when I’m sleeping at night and they race down my street. I can’t imagine I’m the only sleeper they wake up. Or if I am sitting in an outdoor café and a couple of big bikes go by, and suddenly, we are deaf for a few moments. So, if they are afraid of sleepers or pedestrians, I say, make all that unnecessary noise. If I drove a car that loud, I’d get a ticket. Driving a motorcycle is a calculated risk, and a choice some adults make. I told my kids when they would go out on their bicycles, you are responsible for your own safety. To all the bikers out there, follow this law, and lower the volume of your vehicle.

You don’t want to join the many I have known who have been maimed or killed in a motorcycle accident. So, to the bikers this summer, Safe travels and happy trails.

J. Martello,