The state and motorcyclists

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mikenixon
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The state and motorcyclists

#1

Post by mikenixon »

Well, we need a little relief from all the political nonsense going on. Here is something just as silly because it has to do with government bereaucracy, but thankfully it's not political and not nearly as serious as the election. Moderators, relax.

Several years ago while still living in California I had the distinct displeasure of getting a speeding ticket. Of course I did the traffic school thing--now online--and boy, what a shock! First, it was a lot of work! Seven lengthy chapters of 10-20 pages each, a quiz after each chapter and a final test. It was pretty serious stuff. But perplexing and even disturbing, was that saturated throughout the training was some of the worst examples of bereaucratic twaddle I have witnessed in my lifetime. Really, these folks are in charge of motor vehicle laws?

The most egegious nonsense was the repeated references to the motorcycle's inherent instability. I'm not making this up! Here's the quote.
When following bicycles or motorcycles, you need extra room in case the rider loses control
of the bicycle or motorcycle.
What!? This idiocy was restated at least three times throughout the program. What fantasyland is the creator of this matetial living in? There were many other interesting, and usually funny statements. Here are a few more. Remember, these are quotes...
Yellow light--85% of drivers on American roads do not know the proper course of action to
take when faced with a steady yellow traffic light.
Really? Eighty-five percent of California drivers are brain-dead? So says the state.
Smoking in a vehicle--As of 2008, California Health and Safety Code 118947 makes it an
infraction for any person to smoke a cigarette, pipe, or cigar in a motor vehicle when a
minor is present in the vehicle. The law applies whether the vehicle is at rest or in motion
and is punishable by a fine not exceeding $100.
Hmm. Did you know this?
Cell phone use while driving [which by the way is illegal in California]-- A University of Utah
report shows that talking or texting while behind the wheel alters a driver's reaction time in
the same way as a DUI-worthy blood alcohol level of 0.08%. Hands-free (bluetooth) devices
have been shown to have the same effect on the brain as talking, texting, or drinking. It's
not the act of dialing a number or holding a phone to your ear that causes the distraction in
the first place. It's the fact that your mind's attention is diverted from watching the road. Any
kind of cell phone use while driving, whether hands-free or hand-held, reduces the brain
activity used for driving by 37%.
Yup, distracted driving is serious. But have you ever seen this comparison of hands-free versus hand-held? Very interesting.
Bicycles--Bicycles play an increasingly important role in our nation's overall transportation
system. Many people think bicycles do not belong on the streets. However, they have as
much right to be on the road or highway as do motor vehicles.
I found this interesting because although I knew the mores of society had changed regarding bicycles and street traffic I had no idea it was law. Those of us over 50 remember when it was considered wrong to ride a bicycle on the street. We had to get off and walk the bicycle across a crosswalk.
The traditional steering hold no longer recommended--There are two methods for holding
a steering wheel that are generally accepted as the safest ways, as we stated at the
beginning of this course. The first is to hold the wheel with your hands in the positions of 8
o'clock and 4 o'clock. Holding your steering wheel in this manner is widely
regarded as the most useful method for maintaing control of your vehicle in the event of an
emergency situation on the road. The second method is to hold your hands at 9 o'clock and
3 o'clock on the wheel. This method is steadily gaining popularity and support as a more
comfortable way of holding your steering wheel, while still affording the same control that
the first technique offers.
Really? When did this change? High school Driver's Ed did a good job pounding into our (at least my) heads that the 10 and 2 positions were the only correct hold. Interesting.

There are many other surprising things regarding motorcycles in the California vehicle code, things that as a lifelong rider and a 46-year veteran of the powersports industry I found startling. For example the repeated reminders for motorcyclists to ride in the center of the lane. This is suggested from the standpoint of securing your right to the lane and actively discouraging car drivers from attempting to push you out if it. And I appreciate that sentiment. But it is obvious a motorcycle rider did not write that instruction. As good as that sounds, it is wrong. Historically, motorcyclists have preferred to ride slightly to one side of the lane's center to avoid the grease and debris that accumulates there. I actually got this question wrong on my written driving test once years ago, because even then California was clueless about how motorcyclists actually ride.

Taken with the absurdity about motorcycles always crashing and other nonsensical statements, I find it odd that the state of California, with more motorcycles than anywhere else in the nation, has historically communicated so much that is unfriendly toward motorcyclists and demonstrably unaware about the biking community.

And finally, more proof that state authorities have lost their friggen minds! The aforementioned disregard for the seriousness of motor vehicle safety is not limited to the state of California. My wife recently did her online traffic school here in Arizona and after wading through a couple hours of mindless instruction, the final test was found to be...wait for it!...on the antics and quips of a cute, talking dog!
Watch out for yourselves. There are crazies everywhere.
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delling3
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Re: The state and motorcyclists

#2

Post by delling3 »

I can't speak to most of what was listed, but the "10 & 2" grip has fallen out of favor since the advent of airbags. Having your hands at 10 & 2 apparently makes the driver more prone to injury from a deploying airbag. :|
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Re: The state and motorcyclists

#3

Post by Sugs »

At least lane splitting in California is still legal...
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Re: The state and motorcyclists

#4

Post by 77Gowing »

Having worked within a gubmint bureaucracy for 32 years, I am not surprised. When bureacrat pay is delivered whether bureacrats work or not, then meaningful results are almost impossible. And, what gets reported up the chain usually is just fluff to placate the ignorant leadership.

Yet, there still are honest hard working honorable employees that go the extra mile. However, they are rare indeed.

But, take into account, I'm a "Jaded cynic".
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Re: The state and motorcyclists

#5

Post by CYBORG »

And just think....if you not been speeding, you would not have insight to all that info :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: The state and motorcyclists

#6

Post by mikenixon »

CYBORG wrote: Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:32 am And just think....if you not been speeding, you would not have insight to all that info :lol: :lol: :lol:
:)
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Re: The state and motorcyclists

#7

Post by CYBORG »

mikenixon wrote: Tue Nov 24, 2020 9:27 pm
CYBORG wrote: Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:32 am And just think....if you not been speeding, you would not have insight to all that info :lol: :lol: :lol:
:)
To be fair, I lived in Ca. Many years ago. Took the test for a motorcycle license. And you are 100% correct. lolol lolol
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Re: The state and motorcyclists

#8

Post by mikenixon »

:)
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Re: The state and motorcyclists

#9

Post by JamesPal »

I got my MC endorsement in 1975. I was taught to ride to the left of the centerline to dominate the lane. It would give you the rest of the lane to move over is some half asleep cager decides to take his half in the middle. I have heard the oil in the center of the lane before. But it is true modern cars don't sweat oil like they did back in the 70s. Anyone ever owned a car without a PCV valve? I've had a few and the just had a dump of the crankcase over the side of the engine. Oh, BTW, my '72 CB450 dumps the crankcase gasses over the side.
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Re: The state and motorcyclists

#10

Post by Sidecar Bob »

I can't say for anywhere else but here in Ontario bicycles have been considered vehicles under the highway traffic act as long as the act has existed. As such their operators theoretically have all of the same rights & responsibilities as the operators of cars & trucks, including the right to occupy a position in the driving lane and the responsibility to obey all traffic laws, including those that pertain to obeying stop signs and signalling the intention to stop or turn.
Unfortunately, somewhere around the '50s or '60s parents started to treat bicycles as toys so instead of teaching children to obey the laws they let them play in traffic. Fortunately for me, my parents did not take that attitude and when we had kids we taught them to obey the laws too.

When our son was hit from behind by a drunk driver while bicycling home one night the cop tried to put the blame on him for being in the driving lane on a bicycle because he simply wasn't aware that a bicycle is legally a vehicle and it is technically just as illegal to operate it on the shoulder of the road as it would be to drive a car on the shoulder.
After we pointed this out the charges against the drunk driver were taken much more seriously....

As for 85% of drivers not knowing what a yellow light means, if drivers around here are any indication that is an underestimate. Most of them seem to think it means to sped up so you will be in the intersection when the light turns red.....
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Re: The state and motorcyclists

#11

Post by CYBORG »

Sidecar Bob wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 12:05 pm I can't say for anywhere else but here in Ontario bicycles have been considered vehicles under the highway traffic act as long as the act has existed. As such their operators theoretically have all of the same rights & responsibilities as the operators of cars & trucks, including the right to occupy a position in the driving lane and the responsibility to obey all traffic laws, including those that pertain to obeying stop signs and signalling the intention to stop or turn.
Unfortunately, somewhere around the '50s or '60s parents started to treat bicycles as toys so instead of teaching children to obey the laws they let them play in traffic. Fortunately for me, my parents did not take that attitude and when we had kids we taught them to obey the laws too.

When our son was hit from behind by a drunk driver while bicycling home one night the cop tried to put the blame on him for being in the driving lane on a bicycle because he simply wasn't aware that a bicycle is legally a vehicle and it is technically just as illegal to operate it on the shoulder of the road as it would be to drive a car on the shoulder.
After we pointed this out the charges against the drunk driver were taken much more seriously....

As for 85% of drivers not knowing what a yellow light means, if drivers around here are any indication that is an underestimate. Most of them seem to think it means to sped up so you will be in the intersection when the light turns red.....
pretty much the same here. But until a license, and a test are required, most riders here thing they have no need to stop at stop signs, signal turns, or obey the normal traffic rules that apply to everyone in a car. In fact, a lot of them feel they have more rights. Just saying. And it only relates to my own experience with a lot of bicycles on the roads, over the years
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Re: The state and motorcyclists

#12

Post by rcmatt007 »

lolol lolol
CYBORG wrote: Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:32 am And just think....if you not been speeding, you would not have insight to all that info :lol: :lol: :lol:
lolol lolol
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Re: The state and motorcyclists

#13

Post by heraldhamster »

just my .02...

a lot, or all, of this seems so ludicrous because most states (if not all, I've only been licensed in four states in 40 years of driving) hand out licenses to drive like candy on All Hallow's Eve.

the part that bothers me the most is, when taking the exams for a license, there are obviously incorrectly answers on the computer test that I answered correctly and got the question marked wrong. I even called the adjunct over and pointed it out with the question on the screen, they just shrugged.
I passed anyway, but it's still wrong.
worse yet, the computers occasionally ask questions that the study material never covered.

but yeah, all of this idiocy is why it's so dangerous for us out there. these things I think you pointed out because they seem insane are, in fact, what some people believe or don't know depending upon to which point it might apply.
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