Returned to motorcycling

I AM a Weston resident and a high mileage business driver as well. I have also recently returned to motorcycling. Recent reports state that 40 per cent of serious road

I AM a Weston resident and a high mileage business driver as well. I have also recently returned to motorcycling. Recent reports state that 40 per cent of serious road accidents in our area involve motorcyclists and I am beginning to understand why. I have noticed a worrying trend of many car drivers to consider the public highway a race track. You find cars pulling out in front of you when it is really not safe to do so, or leaving their braking and indicating very late (indeed if they bother indicating at all). As a car driver I have taken this in my stride and just assumed that people were rude. As a motorcyclist the situation changes and becomes a lot more dangerous, and I do accept it is my choice to ride. In the past few weeks, in and around Weston, I have been raced, with cars pushing past my 1200cc bike and then rushing off up the road. I have been tailgated, that is, a car behind gets closer and closer to the back of my bike. I even had a car try to pull across on me while I was in the process of overtaking, and once the manoeuvre was completed the car driver proceeded to sound their horn and flash their headlights at me.I am a defensive rider, although I am also forceful. However I only overtake when it is safe and the road allows, and although I may be able to overtake when a car could not, that does not make the manoeuvre unsafe or invalid. What worries me most is that I look at the drivers who are either trying to race or kill me, and they are not all young men. In fact the majority are middle aged men, sometimes with children or family in the car. I am drawn to the conclusion that the only time reality hits these maniacs is when they finally manage to do the poor motorcyclist injury. My message to these people is simple: The road is not a race track, and if you are in that much of a hurry, you should have left earlier.NEIL MACKINNON - Weston


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