I remember my dad sitting on the back porch of our home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The cool, clear night’s calm would be broken only by the screaming engines of the kids on crotch rockets racing down the streets near our house. He would ask me if I rode like that, and I would say no… I really didn’t. I didn’t have a crotch rocket for one, and the bike I had wouldn’t make the power those rockets made. But, he would give me a little nod as I grabbed my leathers and told him I was heading out to see the boys. My Mom would always yell at me in the driveway to put on the helmet and not just stick it in a saddlebag.
I also remember reading an article about the life expectancy of a non-trained and new rider who gets onto a crotch rocket. An inexperienced rider was expected to live five days. Damn, that is pretty harsh.
I fully endorse a rider’s safety course and think you are an idiot to start riding without taking one. That being said, I also believe that no one should be able to tell me to fasten my seatbelt, wear a helmet, or do anything that would basically be deemed a “victimless” crime where my personal stupidity hurts no one (physically or monetarily) other than myself. Of course, if something happened to me, my family would suffer, that should make me think twice… but I still stand by my earlier statement that no one should be able to force me. So, with this in mind, I am passing on an article about mandatory safety courses for sport bike riders in the state of Texas. Once again, while I think everyone should, I don’t think there should be a law.
Love, Respect, and Ride Safe,
EL PASO, Texas — In 2006, Myles Anderson, 20, of El Paso crashed his Suzuki motorcycle into a car as traffic slowed on I-10 East. The collision killed him. His parents believe education could have made a difference. Their story led to the development of HB 4531.
The bill would require those buying high-performance motorcycles take a training course within six months of the purchase.
“They shouldn’t even be allowed to buy a bike unless they take classes for that,” said Ivana Torres, of East El Paso.
Torres supports the proposed legislation because two of her friends were recently involved in a deadly motorcycle crash.
“I know they were riding down Transmountain, and I know he didn’t know how to maneuver the bike right,” said Torres. “And it slipped out, and the girl fell out. She instantly died.”
Those behind the bill hope it will slow the rise in motorcycle deaths. The numbers nationwide are up 8 percent, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System. And in Texas, motorcycle fatalities make up 12 percent of all motor vehicle deaths in the state.
“I just think that most people, a lot of people, don’t really understand the differences, the challenges associated with riding a motorcycle versus a car,” said Eric Safford, of East El Paso. “And there’s a lot less safety on a motorcycle because you’re not enclosed. So I think it’s a good idea.”
With motorcycle training required, some said they would feel more comfortable sharing the road with bikers.
“It would be for my safety and the safety of others as well,” said Karla Perez, of East El Paso.
“You know it’s not just about them,” said Sifford. “There’s other people on the road, as well as other motorcyclists.”
If the bill becomes law, the motorcycle owner must show proof of course attendance upon the request of law enforcement. Violators would be fined between $500 and $1,000.