This is what I’m talking about

On Saturday at about 5:30 p.m. 56 year-old Anita Zaffke was on her way home and sitting at a stop light on her Honda Shadow at a light at Old McHenry Road on Rte. 12 in Lake Zurich, IL. It’s a four-lane divided highway. She was wearing a reflective jacket and a helmet, according to this article on the Chicago CBS site.

Neither jacket nor helmet helped her, though, when 48 year-old Lora Hunt driving an Impala rammed into the back of Zaffke’s bike. Hunt had been painting her nails and admitted she wasn’t paying attention and didn’t see the bike or the stop light.

Zaffke’s bike was hit so hard she and the bike flew 200 feet down the road. Her spine was fractured and she died an hour later in the hospital of multiple chest and abominal injuries.

Hunt got a ticket for failing to reduce speed to avoid a crash. It’s a misdemeanor.

This crash got me thinking of how three riders–including Jeff Brenton who teaches in the NIU region of the Illinois Motorycle Rider Program, iirc–all were hot to stress how it’s the rider’s responsibility to ride safe. And I’m sure that some riders would find fault with Zaffke and suggest she should’ve done this or should’ve done that. And maybe she could’ve, I don’t know. The fact remains, Hunt was painting her fingernails and had she been paying attention, Zaffke wouldn’t have been hit.

So this press release out of Tennessee is what I think motorcycle rights activists wanted Motorcycle Awareness Month to do. It equally addresses the issues and problems for both other road users and riders:

TDOS Joins Agencies to Urge Drivers & Riders to “Share the Road”

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month & National Bicycle Month

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Safety has teamed up with the Governor’s Highway Safety Office, the Motorcycle Awareness Foundation of Tennessee, the Tennessee Truckers Association, the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), Walk/Bike Nashville and the Murfreesboro Police Department to encourage motorcycle riders, bicyclists and drivers to “Share the Road.” May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and National Bicycle Month, and to kick it off, the agencies hosted a safety festival Saturday, May 2, 2009, at Bumpus Harley Davidson in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

“As the weather improves, more and more motorcyclists and bicyclists are hitting the roads. With that in mind, drivers of all vehicles need to be extra attentive and make sure they “Share the Road,’” said Department of Safety Commissioner Dave Mitchell. “Motorcycles and bicycles are some of the smallest vehicles on our roads, often hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot, so everyone needs to really look out for them.”

Motorcycle fatalities nationwide have steadily increased over the past decade. In Tennessee, the number of motorcyclists killed in crashes jumped from 42 in 1998 to 143 in 2008. Statistics for 2000-2008 and a list of Motorcycle Safety Tips are attached to this release.

“This steady increase over the past decade represents one of our greatest highway safety challenges,” said Governor’s Highway Safety Office Director Kendell Poole. “When you consider that one out of every seven deadly crashes last year involved a motorcycle rider, it is clear that drivers need to be extra cautious.”

Motorcyclists and bicyclists have responsibilities too. Riders must follow the rules of the road and always wear protective gear.   More than 300,000 Tennesseans are licensed to operate motorcycles. Tennessee law requires that they, and their passengers, wear approved helmets and protective eyewear.

“Motorcyclists must understand that riding a motorcycle is different than driving a car,” said John Milliken, the state coordinator of Tennessee’s Motorcycle Rider Education Program. “Motorcyclists are much more vulnerable than passenger vehicle occupants in the event of a crash. It is imperative that they educate themselves by taking an accredited training course and never ride beyond their skill ability.”

The Department of Safety’s Motorcycle Rider Education Program approves courses and instructors across the state. To find out more about the program, go to: http://tennessee.gov/safety/mrep.htm.

The mission of the Motorcycle Awareness Foundation of Tennessee (MAFT) is to remind drivers to stay alert for the less visible motorcycles on the roadways. “More than half of all motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle, so all drivers must be aware of motorcyclists,” stated MAFT State Coordinator, Bob Edwards. “We also want to remind riders that they should always ride defensively and within their own limits.”  To find out more information about the MAFT, go to www.maft.us.

At the event, the Tennessee Truckers Association set up its “No Zone” truck to illustrate the importance of being visible while riding or driving near tractor-trailers. TDOS set up a safety course for motorcyclists, and many of them participated in a ride Saturday afternoon from Bumpus Harley Davidson to Lynchburg, TN.

The Tennessee Department of Safety’s mission is (www.tennessee.gov/safety) to ensure the safety and general welfare of the public. The department encompasses the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Office of Homeland Security and Driver License Services. General areas of responsibility include law enforcement, safety education, motorist services and terrorism prevention.


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This press release out of Tennessee is what I think motorcycle rights activists wanted Motorcycle Awareness Month to do. It equally addresses the issues and problems for both other road users and riders:


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This press release out of Tennessee is what I think motorcycle rights activists wanted Motorcycle Awareness Month to do. It equally addresses the issues and problems for both other road users and riders:

This press release out of Tennessee is what I think motorcycle rights activists wanted Motorcycle Awareness Month to do. It equally addresses the issues and problems for both other road users and riders:

This press release out of Tennessee is what I think motorcycle rights activists wanted Motorcycle Awareness Month to do. It equally addresses the issues and problems for both other road users and riders:

is press release out of Tennessee is what I think motorcycle rights activists wanted Motorcycle Awareness Month to do. It equally addresses the issues and problems for both other road users and riders:

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