Friday, October 17, 2008

Motorcycle Killed My Son

Here is the unfortunate truth. A 20 year old man is dead and his mother is on a campaign to educate parents about the dangers of crotch rockets. I began this article with sympathy for a woman who has lost a child. The more I read, the more I realized this woman did not know what she was talking about. It is evident that the woman is angry. Anger is one of the phases of grief and understandable. However, her anger is misdirected.

Check out the facts of the story here: Motorcycle killed my son

Here is an overview:
o Max died on the day he bought the motorcycle.
o He was out late with friends and showing off.
o Max did not have a motorcycle endorsement. It is safe to assume that he had no rider training.

Max’s mother, in learning that a motorcycle endorsement is state law wants dealerships to police those who buy a motorcycle by making sure the customers have an endorsement before they are sold a bike. How can this be the dealerships responsibility? Each person is responsible to know their state law. You need a driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle, you need another endorsement to drive big rigs and you need to show motorcycle proficiency to get your motorcycle endorsement. You can do this by taking the course and passing or as in New Hampshire, show up at the State Police Barracks on the right day of the week, and take your exam there. It is not the dealership’s responsibility to make sure Max had his endorsement, it was Max’s.

Next, Mom is angry with the government. She wants them to regulate how fast motorcycles can go by having the government require that a “governor” be installed on motorcycles that limit how fast they will go, and essentially shut down the machine when a person goes to fast. She would like this to start with Yamaha and Suzuki. How interesting. My thoughts here are the government already has laws in place to punish those who exceed the speed limit. If we modify bikes to shut down when going too fast, what’s next? The family van?

I am truly sorry for Cyndi Martin's loss. It is indeed tragic to see a young life cut short. However, it is yet another example of how people do not take responsibility for their actions. It is not anyone else’s fault that Max lost his life. Max was riding his motorcycle illegally. Max did not have the experience to be riding this bike. It was his responsibility to obey the posted speed limit and understand the state laws. This is the responsibility we all have. Max’s mother wants to educate other mother’s about the dangers of motorcycling. I agree and in addition, they should educate their son’s to make sure they take a Rider Safety Course, receive the motorcycle endorsement and invest in riding gear. It would be the responsible thing to do. We don’t need the government to parent us.

1 comment:

BAM said...

I cannot agree with you more!

I can understand as a parent the frustration of such a tragic event. However, as you point out, it is pointed in the the wrong direction.

Responsibility as a rider in my opinion is much greater when it comes to motorcycles. Thus the reason for the courses we have to take.

I hope this mother will eventually come to terms and realize it is not the vehicle but the operator's that are held responsible.