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Both sides wrong in SUV vs. motorcycle incident

Posted: October 10, 2013 1:37 p.m.
Updated: October 11, 2013 5:00 a.m.

The story about the New York motorcyclists and the man in the vehicle with his wife and his child is another sad story and example of a lack of respect for our fellow humans. A man driving a SUV was attacked by a group of motorcyclists after the man bumped into one motorcyclist and ran over another, leaving the second paralyzed, according to media reports.

Personally, I think they all need to go to jail; Alexian Lien, the man who was attacked, needs to at least get some sort of citation as well.

Media reports said the motorcyclists may have driven up on Lien and purposefully stopped in front of him and others while on the highway Sept. 29. What the group of motorcyclists did was wrong. However, these people were on motorcycles. I am left wondering why Lien didn’t fall back when he was surrounded by all of the motorcycles. Even if running into the first motorcycle was an accident -- which it most likely was as the bike pulled in front of his vehicle and slowed down -- Lien should have slowed down so that he wouldn’t be so close to the group as soon as he saw them surround his vehicle. Why did he continue moving at the same speed when he was clearly being surrounded? The fact that he sped off after he severely injured a second member of the group, indicates that he was fearful of the repercussions of colliding with the first bike, but he was also wrong for running over a man and leaving the scene.

Both parties were in the wrong. Just because you have a smaller, more compact vehicle, doesn’t give you the right to swerve in and out of traffic as you please or go whatever speed you think is appropriate. Just because you are driving alongside a group, doesn’t mean everyone has to be huddled together if there is additional traffic on the road. Those bikers aren’t the police -- they had no right to stop or hold up traffic so that they could show off. Most people have had close calls with motorcyclists who feel like they can swoop and scoot wherever they want because they have a smaller mode of transportation, which is not only conceited, it’s dangerous. Most of us have also had experiences where a driver of a vehicle has been negligent in how they drive around a motorcycle. Drivers are on their cell phones, listening to music and just generally unconscious that motorcycles are around sometimes. Car and truck drivers need to be more mindful that motorcyclists are simply a body on a bike versus being slightly protected by a 1,000 pound piece of surrounding metal and plastic. Someone hit the back of my vehicle on the way to work on Wednesday morning but, thankfully, cars are pretty sturdy. There were a few scratches, but not enough for me to stress over. Can you imagine what it would have been like if I had been riding a motorcycle, though? I would have been smashed onto the vehicle parked in front of me.

The motorcyclists shouldn’t have attacked Lien and honestly they shouldn’t have stopped in the middle of the street after the first person was hit, but Lien also chose to use some faulty logic. A mistake is a mistake, but it’s unfortunate that there is only a chunk of the video available. I wonder if he would have made some kind of signal saying that he apologized for hitting the first motorcycle and immediately slowed down if the outcome would have been the same. One news site reported Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly saying that it was unclear if Lien was at fault for leaving the scene of an accident, because he was in fear of being attacked. I don’t understand why a group of motorcyclists would illicit “fear” on their own. If there are 30 bikers moving together at a pace that will put them ahead of you, you need to slow down.

There are so many local and national examples that I could allude to right now, but it seems that people have become more negligent while interacting with fellow humans.

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