Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Motorbike accidents in the media: Part the V-five

What's that you ask?

Of course motorbikes have used V-5 engines. Honda has been very fond of them in GP racing for ages.


Here's another example of an incident which seems unbelievable to anyone who hasn't become tediously familiar with its sort through long and bitter experience:

First things first: Harley. Right there, first word in the headline. About the only brand that people who know nothing about motorbikes, know about. Apart from Honda and Suzuki, who make cars as well. Do you think you'll ever see the headline "MV Agusta rider breaks legs..."?

No. Neither do I.

Still, it gives ammunition to those of us who say that Harley's aren't actually bikes, but some lesser form of barely-living fossil.

Anway, let's look at the article itself.

The direction of the headline suggests the rider was at fault. Let's look at the article:

A MOTORCYCLIST has been left with two broken legs and pelvis after a car pulled out of a driveway in front of him at Capalaba West on Brisbane's southside this morning.

Now, if you're going to go with a tediously long headline, you may as well have used that.

Police said the male rider was travelling along Mount Gravatt-Capalaba Road about 5.30am, when an elderly driver pulled out and the Harley Davidson motorcycle ``T-boned'' the driver's door.

Um... How? If it was reversing out of its driveway, the driver's door would have been on the side away from oncoming traffic. Mount Gravatt-Capalaba Road is not in two halves with houses in the middle.

Also, looking at a map suggests that, as one commenter said, all the houses are on nice big blocks with plenty of room for turning around, making reversing completely unnecessary along with (as commenters here and on other stories have pointed out) illegal-but-unenforced.

Moving on.

5:30am is still dark, so it's possible the driver was half-asleep or simply didn't expect that anybody else would be about. Both of them unacceptable excuses.

There is also the fact that the bike's headlight would have been highly visible due to contrast with the darkness, and if it was any sort of regular Harley, the pipes would have announced its presence from some way away.

It's entirely possible that the bike was speeding, and/or not paying attention.

It's also entirely possible that the rider, whose age we don't know, was middle-aged, new to motorcycling and riding his midlife crisis with inadequate training in riding skills and defensive attitudes.

All of which fails to be relevant to the fact that, under law and any reasonable argument, the driver was at fault.

This is another article which is factual, concise, and unsatisfying. Even in a purely news-report article such as this, surely there's time to ask the police if they're considering laying charges, or to think for a second and wonder how the driver's door got involved.

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