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  1. #16
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    You echo valid concerns on the minds of many a motorcyclist. Yet, we Americans are a pathetic bunch when it comes to personal responsibility.

    We resist intersection cameras and vote out of office any politician who would dare raise taxes to fund more squad cars on patrol to catch these idiots - yet grumble endlessly about how out of control the driving public has gotten.

    Don't see this getting any better any time soon.

    Be careful out there.
    I would rather mandate driver training as a prerequisite to getting a license, and I am not talking sitting in a class room and watching a movie, but REAL WORLD training behind a wheel, or better yet a simulator, where real hazards can be simulated and actual driving skill has to be demonstrated.

    Then, like Europe, severe penalties for putting others at risk.

    More LEO is not the answer, but effective enforcement is, NYS bans cell phone use and now texting too, but I can drive down main st of our little city, behind a police car, and in 3 miles, see at least 3-6 drivers chatting away, while the cop drives merrily along. Many swerving, sitting at green lights until someone honks, blowing through intersections etc. Two more cop cars cruising up and down main st will do nothing, unless they start enforcing and reinforcing the laws and dangers.

    Anyone who gets caught texting need to go to a simulator, and have them simulate a 5 year old chasing a ball in the road as they run over them, while they were texting LOL to their BFF's, screaming parents and all! A reality smack up side of the head, is better than a slap on the wrists, or trip to jail AFTER they injure someone.
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  2. #17
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    I would rather mandate driver training as a prerequisite to getting a license, and I am not talking sitting in a class room and watching a movie, but REAL WORLD training behind a wheel, or better yet a simulator, where real hazards can be simulated and actual driving skill has to be demonstrated.

    Then, like Europe, severe penalties for putting others at risk.

    More LEO is not the answer, but effective enforcement is, NYS bans cell phone use and now texting too, but I can drive down main st of our little city, behind a police car, and in 3 miles, see at least 3-6 drivers chatting away, while the cop drives merrily along. Many swerving, sitting at green lights until someone honks, blowing through intersections etc. Two more cop cars cruising up and down main st will do nothing, unless they start enforcing and reinforcing the laws and dangers.

    Anyone who gets caught texting need to go to a simulator, and have them simulate a 5 year old chasing a ball in the road as they run over them, while they were texting LOL to their BFF's, screaming parents and all! A reality smack up side of the head, is better than a slap on the wrists, or trip to jail AFTER they injure someone.

    Like any good discussion, I agree with some of your points; object to others.

    Consider this from my (former LEO) perspective: I used to aggressively enforce common traffic violations such as improper right turns and running red lights..............until my supervisors chewed my butt for not being "available" for more important calls (ones that never seemed to materialize, for the most part?!). Not saying that's what's going on with the cops in your neck of the woods (I'll be the first to admit that lazy cops do exist, but don't paint with too broad a brush - most trying to do their best - really), but consider this:

    Back in the late '70's and early '80's, when personnel in law enforcement was plentiful (including my department), all kinds of creative enforcement occurred and we had the traffic statistics to prove that numbers mattered. Now, with dwindling resources for traffic patrol, drivers have lost their fear of getting cited, and drive however they please.

    More cops may sound like too simple a solution, but often simple is what gets the job done.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
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  3. #18
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    I would rather mandate driver training as a prerequisite to getting a license, and I am not talking sitting in a class room and watching a movie, but REAL WORLD training behind a wheel, or better yet a simulator, where real hazards can be simulated and actual driving skill has to be demonstrated.

    Then, like Europe, severe penalties for putting others at risk.

    More LEO is not the answer, but effective enforcement is, NYS bans cell phone use and now texting too, but I can drive down main st of our little city, behind a police car, and in 3 miles, see at least 3-6 drivers chatting away, while the cop drives merrily along. Many swerving, sitting at green lights until someone honks, blowing through intersections etc. Two more cop cars cruising up and down main st will do nothing, unless they start enforcing and reinforcing the laws and dangers.

    Anyone who gets caught texting need to go to a simulator, and have them simulate a 5 year old chasing a ball in the road as they run over them, while they were texting LOL to their BFF's, screaming parents and all! A reality smack up side of the head, is better than a slap on the wrists, or trip to jail AFTER they injure someone.
    pffog, I believe I am total agreement with you. Mandatory training with a licensed instructor SHOULD be a prerequisite to getting a drivers license. I think training before getting a license, or re-training on a simulator following an "at fault" accident or ticket for any form of "distracted driving" should also be mandatory. The BIG QUESTION is the availability and cost of good driving simulators. It would certainly be safer for the students (and driving instructors) to have students making mistakes on a simulator than learning the same hard lessons in the "real world." Anybody able to answer the questions about availability and cost of driving simulators?

    Just as with speed enforcement or drinking and driving, you only have to nail a small percentage of the culprits - and have it well publicized - to alter the behavior of most motorists. I think education (texting while driving a simulator) would bring the message home far more than just a big fine. My guess is that most of the "texters" are in the under 30 crowd and most likely to use the social media. A few hundred of their stories might dramatically change the ideas of a large demographic.

    LEO's simply ignoring cell phone use and texting while driving sends exactly the WRONG message; and I agree, that seems to be the norm.
    Doug
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  4. #19
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    My standard last advise to newbies in my classes:

    You are riding in a combat zone. You're are invisible and everyone is trying to kill you. Ride and act accordingly and you will have a good chance of surviving on the street.
    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
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  5. #20
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    Like any good discussion, I agree with some of your points; object to others.

    Consider this from my (former LEO) perspective: I used to aggressively enforce common traffic violations such as improper right turns and running red lights..............until my supervisors chewed my butt for not being "available" for more important calls (ones that never seemed to materialize, for the most part?!). Not saying that's what's going on with the cops in your neck of the woods (I'll be the first to admit that lazy cops do exist, but don't paint with too broad a brush - most trying to do their best - really), but consider this:

    Back in the late '70's and early '80's, when personnel in law enforcement was plentiful (including my department), all kinds of creative enforcement occurred and we had the traffic statistics to prove that numbers mattered. Now, with dwindling resources for traffic patrol, drivers have lost their fear of getting cited, and drive however they please.

    More cops may sound like too simple a solution, but often simple is what gets the job done.
    Greenwald, I'm sure you are correct that LEO's on the street enforce the laws their superiors TELL them to enforce and mostly ignore other infractions. My question is how the superior officers decide which traffic laws should be occasionally enforced (given reduced personnel) and which should be totally ignored.

    Here in BC we have three "nanny laws," - my shorthand for laws that protect us from ourselves, not others from ourselves: seatbelts, MC helmets, and bicycle helmets. You WILL receive a ticket and fine if you are not wearing your seatbelt if stopped for any reason. EVERYBODY wears a MC helmet in BC - though often a junk one, now illegal - because again you WILL be fined for not wearing a MC helmet. Over 50% of all bicycle riders I see, both juvenile and adult, do not wear a helmet. I have yet to hear or read about anyone cited for violating this law which has been in place for several years. This despite a few deaths on bicycles which might have been avoided by helmet usage. Not to raise the question of helmet laws yet again: I'd use all three of the above if they were not required. I DO raise the question of very different enforcement of three similar laws.

    In BC, drunk driving laws have become much tougher in the last couple years: blow .05 BAC (0.08 is the norm) and you lose your license for three days, your car is impounded, etc. BIG expense and hassle. Blow 0.08, much bigger expense and I believe 90 days you can not drive. I believe it is pretty much accepted that using a hand-held cellphone while driving is as predictive of an accident as driving with a .08 BAC. Driving while texting is equivalent to driving dead drunk. So, why not some few days where THESE laws become the priority for LEO's? (I expect the penalties are not even close to the DUI penalties in any jurisdiction, but SOME enforcement would be a good start.)
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

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    In early spring of 1966, as I was riding my newly acquired Triumph TR6 into the east edge of Topeka,(having Greyhound'ed to north KC to pick it up) As I came in on the hwy I was joined by a city cop who followed me all the way into my parking spot in town where we were bacheloring it. I asked what was up, he nicely tells me I'm getting a ticket for loud pipes. I ask how so as they are the factory pipes on a nearly new bike. "We are getting a lot of complaints & have been told to crank up enforcement of loud pipes". Move forward to now & loud pipes-those would be laughable to the other crowd...
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

  7. #22
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCKRIDER View Post
    ...... I believe it is pretty much accepted that using a hand-held cellphone while driving is as predictive of an accident as driving with a .08 BAC. Driving while texting is equivalent to driving dead drunk. So, why not some few days where THESE laws become the priority for LEO's? (I expect the penalties are not even close to the DUI penalties in any jurisdiction, but SOME enforcement would be a good start.)

    Actually I believe that several studies have found texting is up to EIGHT times more dangerous!!! And some attribute 11,000 fatalities annually, due to distracted driving. Yet the penalties do not reflect the seriousness of those actions. In NY we were one of the first states to make use of cell phones, without a hands free device illegal (that is a whole discussion in itself), and you could be stopped and ticketed, but when the first passed the texting law our lawmakers chose to make it only a secondary offense, meaning you could not be stopped for doing it, but could be ticketed if you were stopped for another infraction!!! I never did find out how such a stupid decision was made, but my guess is some state politician got rich from a communications companies "political contribution".



    I have said for years cell phones should be DISABLED, at speeds above 15 mph. Why do we need to communicate 24/77?? Most conversations are drivel anyway, and personally I survived fine before I had a cell phone.


    And on the questions of how we pay for simulators, $150 retraining fee for those ticketed, and you have 30 days or your license is suspended until you get the training.
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  8. #23
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCKRIDER View Post
    Greenwald, I'm sure you are correct that LEO's on the street enforce the laws their superiors TELL them to enforce and mostly ignore other infractions. My question is how the superior officers decide which traffic laws should be occasionally enforced (given reduced personnel) and which should be totally ignored.

    Here in BC we have three "nanny laws," - my shorthand for laws that protect us from ourselves, not others from ourselves: seatbelts, MC helmets, and bicycle helmets. You WILL receive a ticket and fine if you are not wearing your seatbelt if stopped for any reason. EVERYBODY wears a MC helmet in BC - though often a junk one, now illegal - because again you WILL be fined for not wearing a MC helmet. Over 50% of all bicycle riders I see, both juvenile and adult, do not wear a helmet. I have yet to hear or read about anyone cited for violating this law which has been in place for several years. This despite a few deaths on bicycles which might have been avoided by helmet usage. Not to raise the question of helmet laws yet again: I'd use all three of the above if they were not required. I DO raise the question of very different enforcement of three similar laws.

    In BC, drunk driving laws have become much tougher in the last couple years: blow .05 BAC (0.08 is the norm) and you lose your license for three days, your car is impounded, etc. BIG expense and hassle. Blow 0.08, much bigger expense and I believe 90 days you can not drive. I believe it is pretty much accepted that using a hand-held cellphone while driving is as predictive of an accident as driving with a .08 BAC. Driving while texting is equivalent to driving dead drunk. So, why not some few days where THESE laws become the priority for LEO's? (I expect the penalties are not even close to the DUI penalties in any jurisdiction, but SOME enforcement would be a good start.)
    To answer your question about LEO supervision, it seemed that decisions as to where enforcement emphasis would exist was a convuluted equation involving what the Mayor and Common ( or "Comedy") Council wanted, plus the philosophy of the sitting Chief, and the Judiciary. Often Judges would complain to the DA's office that we were "cluttering up their courts with frivolous infractions" like speeding, red light violations and failure to signal. At times, it became a very frustrating career, to say the least.

    Many of us always said that the "bad guys on the street were a piece of cake compared to the Brass in the department, and the politics."

    Like I've said before: In the absence of adequate enforcement (which is not about passing an abundance of new, feel-good ordinances - it's about copious numbers of enforcers out there!), most drivers have lost their fear of breaking the law.

    My second issue is: how come you didn't immigrate to Wisconsin and become my Chief?! I think you'd of made a good one!
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
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  9. #24
    Registered User arthurdent's Avatar
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    Maybe a can o worms..

    How much does fear of a charge of racial bias against LEO play in to lack of enforcement?

  10. #25
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    By far the predominant texting person around me is white and knows its against the law & still does it anyway. Like already said, many people these days simply don't respect the law & the race card isn't looming large in that equation. Lexington,KY has a "DON'T TEXT" VW Beetle(donated by the VW/BMW dealer) that's painted B&W with blue lights & a lady officer assigned full time and "they" drive right by it texting away!
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

  11. #26
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurdent View Post
    How much does fear of a charge of racial bias against LEO play in to lack of enforcement?
    In my 32 1/2 years on the job - never.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
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  12. #27
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    The more things change the more they stay the same; holds true with the rules of riding. Lkchris is right.

    rant on-

    I received my first motorcycle license in WI by filling out a form and forking over a bit of pocket change. During my time in college in MN I picked up a chauffeur license the same way. Then when the law changed to break down into classes I ticked the Class A box because I moved semi trailers in a parking lot for one of my part time jobs. I was transferred to SD in the late 70s when it finally became a law that you had to signal your turns. A couple of years ago I was riding in US 6 in SW Iowa and was run off the road by someone who was leaning over in the cab of their pickup to get something of the floor(at least that is my guess). This took place a few miles away from the site of a fatal crash friends were involved in over forty years earlier. Same reason: the driver causing the accident dropped something wandered into on coming traffic taking out two cars, killing one person and sending my friends to the hospital for an extended stay. In my case I just had to clean the ditch weed and corn from my unexpected (yet prepared for) excursion.

    Yes I support tougher licensing requirements and more training. Yet how much time and money is used training pilots and yet crashes due to pilot error have been decreased but not eliminated.

    Yes I support banning texting and cell phones on the road at the same time I see drivers and riders demanding more and more technology in and on their vehicles. I rented a car on a recent trip that had as much or more computing power in the dashboard than I have on my desk right now. You need go no farther than this forum to find thread after thread asking how to mount and use cameras,GPS, blue tooth devices, intercoms, mount tablets etc for use on the fly.

    Yes, I support (for use on others :d) more law enforcement. Yet at any time who are the laws written for and the people LEOs are enforcing the draconian laws on? The same idiots that lkchris warned us to watch out for in the second post.



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  13. #28
    MOA,RA,ABC,AMA,TT,MOAL brownie's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Excellent discussion.....

    This thread re-affirms my sig line on my "motorcycle" screen name (BMWShep@bellsouth.net)......it says:

    "Don't even think for a moment, the people you share the roadways with live, drive, or think like an attentive motorcyclist......they DON'T!!!!!"

    Heed NEAD: No Egos, Attitudes, Distractions!!!!!
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  14. #29
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mika View Post


    Mika,

    Like you, I got my MC license by riding a Figure 8 in the Lock Haven PA City Hall parking lot when I was a senior in high school. The most notable event of the experience was the lecture from the policeman on why I should be in class instead of doing this foolishness. Although he didn't know me, it was nice to know that he cared enough to point out the "right way" to some kid.

    In any case, learning to drive and living in rural America, doesn't prepare you for the suburban and urban congestion that most of the population lives with. It's a big country, but the population is centered near the jobs. Driving in those conditions requires a level of focus that is exhausting and rarely pleasurable.

    I agree with Ken than more LEO's are needed for patrol, but they need consistent direction on what laws should enforced (just like getting the "boss" to prioritize the company policies). But, considering the political climate, hiring more police or paying their earned pensions is unlikely.

    So, as they say, watch out for the other guy..............He's bigger.
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  15. #30
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    As to hiring(or not) more LEO's: here in my very rural part of E. KY we got more sheriff's deputies from the Homeland Security $$$. It's ruined my retirement! I retired the year of 9/11 & now I have to worry about the terrorists coming to Appalachia? The Sheriff also bought a new Camry Hybrid with some of that Homeland Security largess.
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

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