The message that appeared on
electronic freeway signs in San Diego was intended to be innocuous and helpful.
Instead, in some people it triggered resentment and even anger. The offending
message? Share the road. Look twice for motorcyclists.
Edward Cartagena, a spokesperson for
the San Diego Caltrans office told the San Diego Union-Tribune that none of the
calls the office had received had been positive.
About a dozen angry callers
complained that it wasnt up to them to keep an eye out for motorcyclists. Said
Cartagena, Wow, I didnt know there was a sentiment like that out there on the
Endangered By Distracted Drivers
Motorcyclists told the newspaper
that they welcomed the drive-by message campaign because theyre increasingly
vulnerable on crowded streets and freeways. Drivers are less attentive than
ever, distracted by cellphones and other electronics, as well as more
traditional distractions such as music, food, conversation and rapid
The result is that California is
experiencing a dramatic rise in injuries
and fatalities among motorcyclists.
Between 1999 and 2008, motorcyclist
deaths in San Diego County skyrocketed from 16 to 52: an increase of 225
percent. San Diego County motorcyclists also suffered 1,134 injuries in 2008,
the most recent year for which figures are available. These statistics reflect
broader trends throughout California; in 1999, there were 230 fatalities
statewide, by 2008 this number had surged to 529.
The California Highway Patrol is
conducting a two-year Look Twice, Save a Life campaign to reduce the rapidly
rising number of motorcyclist deaths and injuries in the four counties with the
Ultimately, motorcycle safety is a
shared responsibility. Clearly, motorcycle riders must obey the laws of the
roadbut even the most careful rider is at the mercy of other drivers on the
road. All drivers must pay close attention to the road and the surroundings to
avoid potentially catastrophic collisions with motorcyclists.
What to Do if Youve Been in A
If you have been injured in a
motorcycle crash due to someone elses negligence, contact a San
Diego motorcycle accident lawyer who can assess the facts of your
case and help you use the law to protect yourself.