Letter – Dangerous motorcycling
Published 5:16 pm Tuesday, September 5, 2023
Editor, The Smithfield Times:
I am writing to address a growing concern that has caught the attention of our community: the reckless practice of motorcycle wheelies and lane-splitting on our roads.
While motorcycles bring a sense of thrill and freedom, it is crucial to advocate for responsible behavior that ensures both the safety of riders and the well-being of fellow road users.
Wheelies, where riders lift the front wheel of their motorcycles off the ground, might seem exhilarating, but they pose a significant danger to both the rider and those around them. Not only does this maneuver compromise the stability and control of the motorcycle, but it also diverts the rider’s attention from the road ahead. The potential consequences, such as loss of control and collisions, endanger the rider’s life and the safety of pedestrians and other motorists.
Similarly, lane splitting — the practice of riding between lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic — can be perilous if not executed with the utmost care. While proponents argue that lane splitting reduces traffic congestion, it must be emphasized that this technique demands exceptional skill and judgment. When done recklessly, it can result in accidents and create a sense of chaos on the road, endangering all road users involved.
Motorcycle enthusiasts must be informed about the inherent risks of wheelies and the importance of adhering to safe riding practices. Enthusiasts should be encouraged to seek controlled environments, such as tracks or designated areas, for practicing such maneuvers, away from public roads.
Moreover, a comprehensive campaign on the dangers of reckless riding, focusing on both wheelies and lane-splitting, should be initiated. Through community workshops, online resources and public service announcements, we can educate both riders and the public about the potential consequences and the importance of responsible behavior on the road.
Law enforcement also plays a crucial role in curbing these unsafe practices. Strict enforcement of traffic regulations, including penalties for reckless riding, sends a strong message about the community’s commitment to road safety. Additionally, police visibility and patrol in areas prone to such activities can act as a deterrent.
While motorcycles offer a sense of adventure and excitement, it is imperative that these sensations do not come at the expense of safety. Responsible motorcycle behavior is a collective effort that involves riders, law enforcement and the wider community.