Friday, September 19, 2008

Do you see what I see?

I have to be very careful how I word this. I know a lot of truckers like to ride motorcycles in their spare time, so let me just say this is not really aimed at you.

I live in the Kansas City area and lately I’ve been seeing a lot of signs up around town – some billboards, some on those electronic signs that usually have traffic updates on them. These signs are telling me to watch out for motorcycles. “Look Twice for Motorcycles.” “Watch out. Motorcycles are everywhere.”

I have no problem with this message, and I agree with it wholeheartedly on general principle. Where my problem comes in is this: Not a day goes by that I don’t see some yahoo – usually on a crotch rocket, never on a Harley – come zipping down the interstate, weaving in and out of traffic like he’s the only one with someplace to go.

I usually drive the speed limit, or close to it anyway. Maybe a few miles to the north of 65 or 70, whatever it happens to be. Not excessively fast. These guys come whipping by me like I’m standing still. And usually they’re going so fast I don’t even realize they are there until I hear the engine go buzzing by my ear like a horsefly on steroids. I even saw one guy doing a wheelie for several miles, thinking he was impressing everyone around him. I was not impressed.

I’ve been startled by these idiots on more than one occasion. So much so that I’ve jerked the steering wheel. Thankfully, not enough to cause my car to swerve, but enough to scare the bejeezus out of me. Oh, and did I mention I drive to and from work each day on 40 miles of Interstate with my 19-month-old daughter in the car?

So you can see why I might be a little agitated.

My point is this – somebody at the Missouri Department of Transportation (maybe Kansas, too, I’ve seen the signs on both sides of the state line) has decided to put up all of these signs promoting motorcycle awareness and safety.

And yet every day I see these morons on wheels driving so recklessly it’s a wonder there aren’t more news reports of tragic motorcycle accidents every day in this town.

But you know what I don’t see? A single sign telling folks to share the road with trucks. Not a one.

You know what else I don’t see? Truck drivers swerving in and out of traffic putting other people’s lives in danger because they’re in a hurry or they just want to show off.

Which, again, is not to say that I don’t support the message of motorcycle safety and awareness, because I do.

I just wonder if maybe those messages aren’t being aimed at the wrong people.