Motorcycle Safety NewsThere’s no doubt about it – one of the largest dangers to motorcyclists is distracted automobile drivers.
And one of the largest distractions nowadays, even sometimes compared to the dangers of drinking while driving, is texting behind the wheel. This texting-while-driving epidemic has caused many deaths, not only to automobile drives, but to numerable motorcyclists.These horrific numbers have caused almost all states to ban texting while driving. And the latest – the 40th – was Hawaii.The new ban on texting while driving law was signed into law Monday by Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie. The law also prohibits hand-held cell phone use while driving; there are now 11 states with this provision.The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) recently praised Hawaii for taking such action, and expects addition states to follow the role.Barbara Harsha (GHSA Executive Director) says: “Congratulations to the governor, legislature and Hawaii Department of Transportation for this important safety achievement. This action sends an important message to all Hawaii drivers: cell phone use and driving do not mix.“It’s remarkable that 40 states have acted on the texting issue since 2007. While more work remains, states have quickly responded to the emerging problem of distracted driving.”Texting bans are pending in Florida and Texas. GHSA encourages every state to enact both texting and hand-held bans for all drivers.Upon hearing the news about a previous state that banned texting while driving, the American Motorcycle Association responded.Peter terHorst (AMA Spokesman) says: “The American Motorcyclist Association is encouraged by the number of states taking action to penalize distracted driving activities such as texting while operating a motor vehicle.“Distracted or inattentive driving has become a major concern to the motorcycling community. Motor vehicle operators engaged in these behaviors are not just a danger to motorcyclists – they endanger pedestrians, bicyclists, roadside assistance and emergency medical personnel, highway construction workers, and law enforcement personnel. The AMA acknowledges that motorcyclists share this responsibility as well.“The AMA supports legislation that includes enhanced penalty options to be determined by the courts. Examples include enhanced fines, operator’s license suspension, points assessed on an operator’s record, community service, and imprisonment.”The first state to make the roads a bit safer for motorcyclists was Washington, which signed the texting ban into law in May, 2007. Since then, many states jumped on the safety trend.Following is a list of states that ban texting while driving:
West Virginia (July, 2012)
*D.C., Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam are also included in the texting ban
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This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!