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EDITORIAL: Let bikers bike

— On a warm, sunny day, we’re told being on a motorcycle is practically perfect. It’s the ultimate freedom.

If only bikers were able to ride in peace, without lawmakers casting unfair legislation and society casting unfair stigmas. It seems a few bad apples, like the young man accused of hitting 170 miles per hour on the 90 in Albany, have ruined the whole pie.

With a fatal accident rate five times higher than those in passenger vehicles, it’s easy to say motorcycles are dangerous. But let’s look at the math, here: an average car weighs about 3,500 pounds. A motorcycle, 500 pounds. Cars have four tires to help stop. Motorcycles, two. They’re smaller tires, too, so that’s less inches of rubber on the ground stopping.

Add in these mathematical statistics to the increasing distracted driving rate, and you have a recipe for disaster. Take two seconds to look at a text, look back up and a motorcycle could have appeared from a hidden spot and crashed into your vehicle.

Maybe, just maybe, the odds are stacked against motorcyclists. Society could do a lot to help these men and women on their two-wheeled vehicles, rather than hindering them.

We’re hoping progress will begin on some of the unfair legislation in New York. One of the biggest would be tougher laws against those whose poor driving habits injure, maim or kill motorcyclists. Failure to yield the right of way? That’s a joke ticket. There needs to be a law on the books that will carry some weight against those whose inattentiveness kill the biking brethren.

The state could also go a long way to push, force and enforce stricter laws for licensing motorcyclists. In the instances of accidents where passenger vehicles aren’t to blame, many accidents involving inexperienced drivers could be cut down. Current laws don’t require an additional road test for motorcyclists, and this needs to change.

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