Valdosta Daily Times

September 26, 2012

Sharing the road is a two-way street

Staff Writer
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — The Times has reported on a series of motorcycle wrecks recently. At least two have resulted in deaths in our region. Some of these incidents could have been avoided had motorists remembered to watch out for motorcycles.  The American Automobile Association recommends the following tips for safely sharing the road with motorcyclists:

• Be extra cautious on weekends, when more motorcyclists take to the road.

• Provide motorcyclists adequate room to maneuver. Follow at least three to four seconds behind them.

• Allow extra maneuvering room in areas with potholes, pavement transitions and railroad crossings. Motorcyclists may need to slow down, stop or adjust their lane position.

• Never try to share a lane with a motorcycle. Motorcycles have the same right to lanes as any other vehicle. 

• If a motorcycle is nearby, check your mirrors carefully before changing lanes. Motorcycles may be in your blind spots or difficult to see because of their smaller size. All motorists should do their utmost to remember these rules and share the road respectfully with motorcyclists. 

Many motorists would ask the same respect from motorcyclists. Lately, there have been a spate of a few area motorcyclists who cruise in between other vehicles in and out of lanes, pop wheelies while speeding along area roads, riding too close to other vehicles.  Granted, these actions involve a few motorcycle riders and by no means represent the majority of riders. But anyone traveling regularly along Bemiss Road, for example, can’t help but notice the increase of motorcyclists who seem to have spent more time learning motorcycle operation from Evel Knievel rather than the Department of Motor Vehicles.  All motorists need to pay attention to one another whether driving a 10-ton truck or a motorcycle. Accidents happen but distracted driving and daredevil antics can kill.