LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Missouri needs stricter laws to stop poor drivers

Thursday, March 21, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

The biggest cause of motorcycle accident deaths is driver negligence. Seventy-five percent of all motorcycle accident deaths involve collisions with other passenger cars. Of these cases, two-thirds are caused by passenger car driver negligence.

Vehicle drivers often lack the know-how and consideration required to safely share the road with motorcyclists. Some drivers do not pay enough attention while driving to identify motorcyclists on the road before making lane changes and other vehicle maneuvers.

Most motorcycle accident deaths are the result of another vehicle's failure to yield the right of way to a motorcyclist. A driver's failure to yield may be an intentional decision, or it may be caused by the negligence of the driver. Failure to yield the right of way is the first course of action a Missouri citizen can apply regarding a traffic accident that involves negligent, inattentive or even aggressive driving. Such actions can cause car accidents that can seriously injure or even kill other motorists and pedestrians. These victims and their families may experience numerous costs after a car accident, including expenses related to doctor's visits, hospitalization, medications, therapy, vehicle repairs and other expenses, in addition to the loss experienced with the fatalities.

It is paramount you recognize the turmoil experienced by the victim(s). This is 100 percent avoidable, and as such, such erratic behavior should be inexcusable! Our law should be strong and fair; SB 130, sponsored by Senator Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, and HB 674, sponsored by Rep. Ron Hicks, R-St. Peters, is a current proposal that corrects the language and increases the penalties to Missouri’s state law regarding failure to yield the right of way.

We implore you to show your support and encourage you to contact your state House representative and state senator and request they vote yes to this proposal that corrects the language and increases the penalties to Missouri’s state law regarding failure to yield the right of way.

Katherine Fox is the state legislative coordinator for the Freedom Of Road Riders Inc.

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