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Sheer Peril Out There for Freeway Motorcyclists

October 12, 1985

Maybe we should ban children from sidewalks. After all, unless I "accidentally" look in my mirror, I may run over one of them as I pull out of my driveway. This makes as much sense as Honick's concern that we enact "more rigid controls" on motorcyclists on the freeways.

If, Mr. Honick, it was only "an accidental reference to (your) right-hand mirror" that kept you from hitting a motorcyclist who was legally splitting lanes, what does that tell you about your driving habits? Why do you think your car has mirrors, anyway? You ask: "How could I have been prepared . . .?" How about by paying attention to the traffic instead of your radio?

It might surprise you to learn, Mr. Honick, that the motorcyclist you accidentally saw in your mirror had probably duly noted that you'd looked, but not moved to the right, thereby making it safe for him or her to pass. He or she was probably also aware that no one ahead of you was swerving to avoid an obstacle. And if you actually kept an eye on what goes on around you, you would note that the great majority of car drivers stay to the left of the No. 2 lane, and to the right of the No. 2 lane, thereby leaving about 4 feet of pavement for lane splitters--legally.

I've been in your spot; once while driving my car, I nearly changed lanes into a motorcyclist. But that didn't cause me to try to legislate them off the road. Instead, I did something practically unheard of in L.A.--I started using my mirrors and turn signals. Amazing concept, isn't it?

MARY AUSTIN

Lakewood

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