The A&E Report: Two Wheels Bad, Four Wheels Good
Here’s a great way to beat the traffic crunch of life in LA. Just buy a really small vehicle and then use it to weave around other cars, squeeze between them at stop lights and cut people off at your whim. What's that? You say it's not safe? Well, then you're not a motorcycle rider. What is it about motorcycles that seems to attract the most obnoxious, unruly, unsafe drivers on the road? Maybe it's that motorcycles are such obnoxious, unruly, unsafe vehicles, with nothing but a few feet of open air between the driver and the unforgiving pavement that's rolling beneath them at eighty miles an hour, tailor-made for racing through residential neighborhoods late at night with engines roaring, with no regard for those of us putting our kids to bed or trying to watch "Wife Swap". Here's some good news for you SUV owners. We've given you plenty of guff on this site, but this is your week off. You don't need a big vehicle to cause big problems. Trouble can come in small packages, too.
Here's an experience we've all had. You're stuck in traffic, wondering how long it's going to take you to get home, when suddenly a motorcyclist roars past you, maneuvering recklessly through the tight squeeze between you and the car in the next lane over. It's called "lane-splitting", and California is the only state in the country where it's legal. Why does everyone else ban it? Because it's dangerous, unnecessary -- and infuriating. But leave it to California to write arrogance and entitlement into law. As a result, those of us on four or more wheels have to be extra vigilant when changing lanes so we don't accidentally plow into some Hell's Angel with a death wish. Sorry, but you shouldn't get a free pass through city traffic just because you're willing to take that kind of chance with your life.
For some, motorcycles are just a method of getting from point A to point B. But with countless miles of beautiful, open highway across our state, for many Californians, motorcycles have long been a way of life. In any case, they're a valuable part of the California landscape. Obviously, plenty of motorcycle owners are perfectly safe, considerate, conscientious drivers. And motorcycles themselves are more fuel-efficient and take up less road space than cars, so they actually help alleviate traffic congestion on our roads. But let's be reasonable, shall we? If Sacramento refuses to join the sensible minds in statehouses across the country (did we just call Alabama sensible?) and ban lane splitting, motorcyclists owe it to the rest of the drivers on the road to drive responsibly and please, put the "easy" back in their easy ridin'.