Monday, July 28, 2008

Check Twice – Save a Life

For three years, I’ve been driving a scooter. It’s a little one, not legal on the highway. I ride it around my hometown of Gloucester, Massachusetts.

My scooter saves on gasoline, reducing my carbon footprint, and it’s fun. Most of the time.

When people ask whether I feel safe driving my scooter, I say of course not. The minute I let down my guard, I’m likely to get hurt.

Years ago, I put myself through college by teaching high school students the classroom portion of driver’s training. Drive defensively was my mantra.

“People riding bikes and motorcycles are invisible to your eye because you’re not looking for them,” I warned my students. “You have to pay special attention.”

When I’m scooting around town, I stay in the middle of the road. People parked on the right side of the street often swing open their car doors without looking.

Recently, one driver pulled out of a parking lot in front of me. I’d seen him coming but still had to slam on my brakes, and almost smashed right into him.

“Do you have a license for that thing?” he snarled.

My scooter is 49 cc’s and requires no special operating license. My scooter is registered, and I do have a driver’s license.

I shot a question back at him: “So if I were on my bicycle, you’d have done the same thing?”

Another time, a driver in front of me kept hitting her brakes. Even from my safe distance behind her, I could see that she was sending a text message. When I beeped my horn to get her attention, her teenage passenger gave me a nasty look.

Yesterday, I was waiting my turn at the stop sign. A driver pulled around me and nearly knocked me over.

I yelled, “Hey!”

I can’t repeat here exactly his retort, but this will suffice: “You @#$%^&*.”

As he drove off, I noticed his bumper sticker: CHECK TWICE, SAVE A LIFE, MOTORCYCLES ARE EVERYWHERE.

When I bought my scooter, there were just two or three other scooters in my hometown. Now there’re about ten times as many.

I predict that it’s only a matter of time before one of us is seriously hurt or killed by an angry or distracted motorist.

Please – parents take note. Remind your kids: Check twice. Save a life.


Blogger Jack Thomas said...

Be careful on your scooter. I cannot abide the thought of you hurting yourself.

August 07, 2009 12:32 PM


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