Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Motorbike accidents in the media, part 17

The big problem with having things you have to write is that it doesn't leave you any time for things you want to write. Which means that thesis has taken a huge priority over blogging and randomly scrawled fiction.

So I'm about two months behind, here, and am only going to comment briefly.

Straight out of the blocks with:

Man's leg broken in trail-bike accident at Dayboro (Courier Mail, September 19)

Slightly long CM headline, but not too bad. Four paragraphs, pretty complete, nothing to take exception to and they even said "coming off his bike" rather than "the bike crashed."

Motorbike rider dead, pillion passenger hurt as bike hits tree in Ipswich (Courier Mail, September 30)

Now, there's an excessive CM headline for you. I'm not sure they're expecting people to actually read the articles.

Six paragraphs. Fernvale Rd at Brassall, which is fairly straight and through suburbia. No mention of any known cause, which gets the the police bonus points for not having a superficial, knee-jerk speed reference.

"A police spokesman said it was believed the motorbike left the road and collided with a tree."

So, either the headline is not entirely justified, or the police are being cautious to the point of silliness. I would have thought that would have been obvious - a cause, not so much. But having hit a tree that wasn't actually in the road - pretty obviuos.

Oh, well. The impressive thing about this article is that it manages to get three different spokesmen into six paragraphs.

Man killed after hitting tree - same writeup, longer and more informative from, surprise surprise, the local regional paper the Queensland Times (October 1).

Seventeen paragraphs, starting in good emotive style with Shocked residents have told of the horrifying moment...


This time we have "veered across Fernvale Rd" and a photo of nice big skidmarks in grass, pointing straight at a tree.

This bit gets me: "The man's helmet landed in our front yard," she said.

Not wearing it, or not done up, or the strap ripped right off? The rider was given CPR at the scene before being pronounced dead and the male pillion was taken to hospital still breathing, so neither were completely dismembered and, therefore, it's hard to imagine helmets coming off unless they weren't being worn properly. Hmm...

Another resident heard the motor "revving really loudly." Yes, well, it's a bike, so there's not a lot we can say about that. Some bikes with modified pipes sound like they're racing at idle.

Okay, not a bad article, but there's a huge whiff of ghoulishness about it.

Okay, one more: Heartache drives man to drink ride (QT, October 2)

Six paragraphs, some quite long, court report.

Attempting to overtake using the left lane, which happens to be illegal (note: Riding on the right without overtaking is also illegal in some states, but doesn't seem to be enforced in Queensland), crashing, blood alcohol concentration of 0.152 which makes it impressive he hadn't crashed before then.

Also: L plates, rear tyre not roadworthy, weeping hydraulic flood (so the brakes weren't working properly, not much else that's hydraulic on a bike), and he broke his back twice, his knee and has to learn how to walk again.

I think we can say, unreservedly: Idiot.

Again, no mention of speed, which is great to see, and nothing extraneous. A baffling story, but a good article.

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