Improving safety for motorcycle riders in Pennsylvania takes a concerted effort on the part of lots of different people and groups. In order to decrease the number of motorcycle accidents and fatalities, cooperation between our state's transportation department and the state police has had to improve -- and, by many accounts, it has. Additionally, training of new riders has gotten better.
Motorcyclists are out in force on Pennsylvania roads these days, as the weather is nice and the days are longer. People who ride motorcycles will tell you that the feeling of being on a bike is one that is hard to match. Unfortunately, motorcyclists are sometimes difficult for other drivers to see. There can be many reasons for this; the glare from the sun can obscure drivers' vision, and motorcyclists can sometimes be virtually invisible if they are in a vehicle's blind spot.
Almost all of us in Pennsylvania have heard the refrain -- and seen the bumper stickers -- urging drivers to start seeing motorcycles. Unfortunately, it is still often the case that this is easier said than done. This point is underscored when motorcycle accidents -- many of which are preventable -- take place on Pennsylvania roads.
This winter has been a particularly tough one for Pennsylvanians and people all over the country. Now that it's finally warming up, several rites of spring are upon us, including Easter, an abundance of robins, and folks wanting to get out and about after several long, cold months spent inside. One way that Pennsylvanians love to get out and enjoy their surroundings is by taking a ride on their motorcycles.
Is driving a right, or is it a privilege? While many Americans might suggest that it's the former, it is actually the latter. Driver's licenses are granted by the government, and can be revoked for moving violations or more serious crimes. Such actions are taken with public safety in mind. In the same vein, governments might decide to drastically change the rules of the road in order to improve safety -- and, hopefully, lower the accident rate.
As it is, Pennsylvania motorcycle riders are often at a disadvantage on the road compared to other motorists. Drivers may not always see someone on a motorcycle, even in the best of conditions. And when conditions are worse than normal, that problem can intensify.
Today isn't exactly the picture of beautiful weather. It isn't a motorcycle rider's dream to hit the Pennsylvania roads while they are sloppy and the wind is cold. As every year proves, however, the winter has its end; spring will arrive; riders will want to ride again.
Ideas for legislative change come from many sources. If laws are a matter of safety, perhaps it is no surprise that emergency room doctors would form some opinions about how certain injuries and illnesses could be prevented.
Based on the premise of a legislative effort in Pennsylvania, there is a right and wrong way to use a learner's permit. Motorcycle riders in the state, according to lawmakers, have been abusing the existing motorcycle learner's permit system.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that U.S. roads are safer today than they were in the 1950s. But that is more than 60 years ago. Surely laws and knowledge alone would result in better drivers and fewer traffic fatalities, right?