Hi it’s me! I’m the one who killed your guardian angel last Saturday at the intersection of Rancho Paloma and Cave Creek Roads. The lights changed and you roaring down Cave Creek Road on your big motorcycle with no helmet and decided it was too late to stop for a red light. You got lucky because I’m a driver that looks both ways and doesn’t just hit the gas when the light turns green. I didn’t stop though I wanted to get out and confront you for scaring the life out of me but your friends were taking care of berating you so I figured you were getting the message. This incident is just one of many I have witnessed this past year though it touched me directly this time. I think a few things need to be said. There is a whole undercurrent of frustration in Cave Creek among motorists, bikers and bicyclists. Maybe I can shed some light on the real issue and maybe, just maybe it will save a life.
It isn’t that as a motorist I’m against bikers or bicyclists; I want them to show me the same respect I afford them on the road and follow the laws of the road just as I do. I am encased in a whole lot of plastic and steel and you are not. If I should hit you, there is a good chance you won’t walk away. The sad part is that more times than not it wasn’t the motorists fault. We have bikers and bicyclists blowing through lights, stop signs, riding tandem and swerving in and out of traffic without a care in the world.
Let’s go back to my original story; should I have killed the biker that blew the red light, it would have been her fault hands down, but does that really matter? Would her life have been the only one destroyed? What about my life and the fact that I killed someone or permanently maimed them? Don’t you think for the rest of my life I would have had to deal with the fact I did that? Maybe left a spouse, child, sibling or parent without the person they cherish? I would have relived that day, just as I do even with the good outcome we had, every day with horrible guilt. More guilt probably would have been almost impossible to overcome.
So here is what I’m asking, when you jump on your bike, with or without a motor, please put a helmet on and ride per the rules of the road. Stop at stop signs, ride single file, stay out of our blind spots and remember to give us space just as we try to give you space. This is difficult. As a motorist I take great pride in watching out for bikers and bicyclists. Please watch out for me too.