Thursday, May 15, 2008

Panic! at the Handlebars...

So media outlets across the US and Canada are abuzz with Gannett News Service's new series of reports on the inherent dangers of motorcycling. At the same time, many motorcyclists' organizations have come out swinging in a bid to discredit the claims being made in the reports. Truth be told, most of the claims are simple common sense that would be hard to contradict.

I'm just wondering if this is a small sign of things to come.

It was municipal election time this week in my neck of the woods, and one of the subjects being raised for debate with the local wannabe politicians was excessive noise. Now usually, the finger always points towards motorcyclists since we're often a victim of our own persona... You may be a middle-aged orthodontist with a nice house in the suburbs who coaches minor league hockey, but once you put on your leathers and beanie helmet, you're just an outlaw biker like all the rest of them! Cruisers with straight-pipes or crotch-rockets with racing exhausts are often grouped together, as the general public can hardly differenciate between a Ninja and a Sportster.

I was somewhat relieved to notice that in this case it wasn't directed at any specific group of noisemakers, as one member of the electorate who wrote to the local newspaper stated: "Whether be it from motorcycles, sportscars or powerful sound systems makes no difference: noise is noise, and when excessive it disturbs the public peace. Someone has to stand up for the majority."

A few politicians have taken a stance for new bylaws that would limit motorcycle use, but most seem to be against it by simply stating that if existing noise laws were enforced, then no new bylaws are necessary. Time will tell.

1 comment:

irondad said...

I like the "noise is noise" viewpoint. It's true that there's some really rude and insecure riders. As there are people in cars with stereos, mufflers that they refuse to fix on cars and trucks, and neighbors who always have to play their music obnoxiously loud.

The sad fact is that you can't legislate moral character and courtesy.