Monday, March 10, 2008

Sometimes, the most extreme conspicuity is not enough

I spotted a posting on advrider.com about a motor officer in Idaho who was rear-ended on his police motorcycle while he had all its emergency lights going.

I mean, that's about as conspicuous as you can get on a motorcycle! Flashing blue and red lights, very bright lights designed to catch the eye.

Picture from Idaho Statesman News

The office is OK, thank goodness. The idiot cager's name has not been released but I hope the driver is prosecuted to the full extent of the law! Getting hit from the rear is high on my list of dangers I worry about while on the motorcycle. My main brake light flashes several times upon initial activation of the brakes, and I´ve got flashing Hyperlites LEDs as well that continue to blink so long as I hold down the brake lever. This incident kind of renders moot my measures to be visible though, just goes to show that sometimes no matter what you´ve done to prevent something, some inattentive idiot cager will come along and hit you.

The police officer was apparently riding behind a police cruiser, also with its strobe lights on, which was pushing some disable vehicle in front of it. The theory on advrider.com is that the motor officer had nowhere to go to avoid the oncoming idiot and got hit.

The lesson for all this? Keep enough distance at stops to be able to maneuver out of the way of some idiot who looks like he´s going to not stop safely behind you, keep the motorcycle in gear and a wary eye on your mirrors. I rarely, put my motorcycle into neutral at a stoplight, I am ever ready to move. If I do have to free up my clutch hand, I wait for the cage behind to come to a stop and then use it as a shield (hopefully) but this is a rare thing.

Be wary and careful, there´s limits to conspicuity.

LINK to the news article.

1 comment:

Krysta in Milwaukee said...

Just linked over here from Intrepid Commuter...

Yesterday (tax day) on the news there was a piece about a trash truck that rear-ended another trash truck 'cause it had stopped for a school bus & the second driver wasn't paying attention.

The cab of the one doing the hitting was pretty well mangled, pushed under the rear of the other truck, and the driver was in very serious condition.

The front truck was pushed into the bus, and a couple students were slightly injured. I shudder to think how many would have been killed if that front garbage truck hadn't been there!

People can make all the snarky comments they want about my high-viz 'Stich & the reflective tape on the rear of my saddlebags... Anything that helps me be seen is good! (We also have the flashing LED brakelights.)