I'm not one to get all uppity and self-righteous about cars vs. scooter as modes of transport. I often hear scooterists speaking with disdain about "cagers" as if driving a car was some sort of a crime. I own a car. I love my car, but I also love my scooters. So, for me it's not an either or, it's a case of what is appropriate for the situation and my mood.
This post comes from someone who drives both a scooter and car. When I drive and I see a motorcycle coming up behind me to split lanes, I move over in my lane to give the bike more room. When I see a group of scooters/motorcycles, I let them pass so that they can go on their way and I can go on mine. Also, when I ride my scooter, I do what I can to be mindful of the cars around me. I do whatever I can to make sure that they see me. I try to anticipate what they will do in order to avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
So, it really upsets me to read so many news items of scooterists being seriously injured or killed by accidents with cars. When Josh had his accident in March, there was no chance against the car that came head-on into his lane. Any scooterists that has been scooting for an extended period of time knows the typical accidents:
* a car going in the opposite direction turning left in front of you especially at an intersection or when pulling into a driveway
* a car next to you changing lanes into your lane
* a car pulling out of a driveway
So my question is, how do we make cars more aware of scooters and motorcycles? How do we as regular folks make car drivers look for two-wheeled vehicles when they drive? I can't do that much with Scoot! as I'm preaching to the choir in the magazine. I have a few suggestions, but would love to hear what you think:
1) write letters to local newspaper editors about the need for cars to be aware of two-wheeled vehicles
2) Ask local news outlets (TV, radio, print) to cover motorcycle visibility, especially when a local rider is injured. News outlets focus on timely news, so such a local angle would make it a more compelling story.
3) Grassroots local efforts. If you belong to a scooter club, perhaps you can create a local campaign to increase awareness. Hook up with a local motorcycle club and have an event where you encourage car driver to be aware. Maybe appear in a parade and hand out fliers to increase awareness.
4) Put motorcycle awareness bumper stickers on your car to get folks in that element.
Got any other ideas on what we can do to increase awareness?