Friday, April 17, 2009

Another killing season begins...

And so another season of carnage has begun. Early Thursday morning (0525hrs), the 16th of April, a rider was killed in the West end of town by a hit and run driver. The driver was in a gold or tan coloured Buick Regal or Century. Later that day (1510hrs) in the East end of town (Rockland), a couple were taken out on the 174 by a cager who "didn't see them" and turned onto the road right in their path.

An air ambulance was called to the scene and the passenger, a woman in her 20s was airlifted to hospital in serious condition after suffering a fracture to her upper leg. The rider, a man in his 20s was treated for a serious lower leg fracture and facial injuries. He was taken to hospital in serious but stable condition.
Predictably, the driver of the car was not injured.

I will be the very first to admit freely, that there are riders out there who certified, Grade A assholes. They break every rule of the road in existence and are a menace to themselves and all around them. I will also be the first to state unequivocally that they are in the minority. As a conservative guesstimate, I would say that a full 95% of all motorcycle/vehicle incidents are the fault of the cager (motorist).

As it turns out, one of my work acquaintances knows the individual who was responsible for the second 'accident'. It is in fact, her man's brother. Apparently he feels very badly about the whole incident and not totally because his own vehicle is a write-off. She of course feels badly for him, if for no other reason than out of loyalty to her boyfriend's family.

I'm going to go on record here as saying that I do not feel the least bit sorry for these drivers. I cannot find it within me to feel badly for anyone who would commit such a mindless and basic error of judgement. Why? Because it simply shows a complete and utter disregard for the well-being of others. I do not personally know either one of these drivers who were involved in these incidents. If I did, it would forever alter the dynamics of our relationship. These are the people that all riders fear and loathe. These are the people that kill and maim so many of us every goddamn year on the roads of this nation and around the world. These are literally, the people our mothers warned us about...

On the other side of the coin, I do not know either of the victims, but I can certainly feel empathy and sympathy for them, because any one of them could well be me.

Speaking from a very personal viewpoint, I have had far too many drivers materialize in front of me, inexplicably, when to do so would be to challenge any description of sanity itself. I know the absolute horror of that moment and how if you survive such an encounter with your life, how you will revisit that horror many times over the years, in your dreams. Do those who inflict such calamity on those who ride, have the same type of 'flashbacks'? Are they left to deal with the pain, the disabilities, the costs of their actions? No.

Motorcycle enthusiasts continue to be marginalized and persecuted by our society, even as more and more people seek to join our ranks. It makes no sense. Motorcycles are not dangerous! If they were, it would be us killing hundreds of motorists each and every year. As the truth bears out, it is in fact those mindlessly complacent morons in cars who are dangerous! The problem is that most if not all of them, are entirely too stupid to realize this.
What do the provincial governments do? They jack up the costs of our license and our plates. In Qu├ębec at the moment, it is unthinkable to own a bike. It simply costs too much. What do the insurance companies do? They rape us unmercifully with horrendously inflated premiums. Why? Because in their considered estimation: motorcycles are inherently dangerous. Or: people steal motorcycles. Seriously? How 'bout for every motorcyclist who is killed or injured, you jack up the premiums for everyone who drives a car? That would actually make sense. Why? Because most motorists out there are criminally negligent, if not out-and-out homicidal.

As far as theft goes, there were 146,142 motor vehicles stolen in Canada in 2007. That's an average of 400 each and every single day. Of this figure, 4% were motorcycles. Did you hear that, Mr. Insurance Adjuster... FOUR FUCKING PERCENT!!!! That's 16 bikes per day, Canada wide. These figures are straight from Statistics Canada, by the way. So tell me again, with a straight face this time, why our insurance rates keep going up and up when our driving records are far better than most?

Everywhere we see these insipid signs telling motorists to "share the road" and depicting bicycles. Are you fucking kidding me? How about signs reminding these mindless fucks that there are motorcycles out there???? Motorized vehicles which are licensed and fully entitled to use our roadways... Not people who cannot progress beyond the age of 10 and insist on employing a child's toy as a primary means of travel. I have plenty to say about this lot in a future post...

The month of May has officially been earmarked across the country, as 'Motorcycle Awareness Month'. That's all well and good, but riders are out and about on the roads well before May. Many haul their steeds out of the garage in March, if the weather permits. What will it take to be recognized on the road? What will it take for motorists to give us the space and respect that we so rightly deserve?

I have thought on this long and hard over the years. Clearly 'the government' (municipal, provincial and/or federal) has no interest in any of this. As though motorcycle fatalities are not deemed as actual deaths, simply because bikers don't count. So... if those elected to govern have no interest in your safety or in dispensing justice when members of your clan are slaughtered on the nation's roads, what can you do...? What is your only recourse...? Answer: You take the law into your own hands. There really is no alternative.

Picture if you will across the country, a small armada of leather-clad, helmeted and visored riders, whose sole purpose is to dispense instantaneous and dispassionate justice in the name of their fellow riders. An eye for an eye. Call it vengeance if you will, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with exacting vengeance. It is how to keep the other man honest. And never mind this bullshit spouted by Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi about: "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind...". An eye for an eye makes the other person think before he acts, because he knows there will be consequences. Is this really what it would take to have people wake up?

The only consequences that exist these days are those endured by the victims of these crimes and their families, not the perpetrators. It's high time for this to change.

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