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Motorcyclist Not Ticketed in Crash

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois Motorcycles

Motorcyclist Not Ticketed in Crash

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
July 19, 2008


A motorcyclist crashed his bike on U.S. 14 last Sunday during the Gavers Community Cancer Foundation charity ride. According to the Northwest Herald, he was eastbound on U.S. 14 near Dean Street, when traffic in front of him slowed and he ran off the roadway, presumably to avoid running into a vehicle stopping in front of him.

While it's nice to know that Woodstock PD didn't spend months investigating the accident, it's curious to me that the motorcycle operator was not ticketed. He was injured and taken to the hospital, and his motorcycle was towed from the accident scene.

The Northwest Herald did not publish the operator's name, nor has there been any follow-up.

I don't recall reading of any other accident handled by Woodstock PD that involved vehicle damage and injuries, when the driver was not ticketed.

Why should he have been ticketed? He failed to maintain control of his vehicle. He crashed his vehicle.

I've been on charity rides and one of the reasons I no longer go on them is that too many motorcycles ride too closely together, operate at speeds in excess of posted speed limits, disregard traffic control devices and generate too much noise. On one ride a pack of about 25 bikes rolled up to a stop sign. The first bike stopped, then went on. All the others, except yours truly, went through the stop sign on the first biker's stop. That was when I dropped back and just enjoyed the rest of the ride alone.

I don't object to the mild rumble of a throaty motorcycle exhaust. What I do object to is when operators "crack" the throttle and cause excessive, unnecessary noise. Also, when they decelerate sharply in lower gears to generate loud, excessive, unnecessary noise. That type of operation generates a black mark for all motorcycle riders.

Was this operator distracted by his buddies alongside or behind him? Was he talking while he was riding alongside another bike? Had he turned his head away from traffic too long and, when he looked forward again, Surprise!

Otherwise, why would he not notice traffic slowing in front of him and adjust his speed accordingly? We can probably rule out text-messaging or talking on a cell phone, although I did see a motorcycle operator the other day with his BlueTooth hanging on his ear. I thought, "There goes another Borg!"

So, what was the real reason that this particular motorcycle operator was not ticketed for something like failure to stop in time to avoid an accident or improper lane usage or following too closely? There is a good reason that the State form is called a Crash Report, not an accident report.

© 2008 GUS PHILPOTT



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