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02 October 2013
How To Stop Motorcycle Gangs
I have not posted for a while. Most of the ideas on this years-old blog are still current, some ahead of their time. For example, in the news yesterday was a story about eating in a car being as dangerous as cellphone use. Four years ago I pointed out that using a cellphone could be as safe as eating in a car-- it's all about timing and knowing when and where to look.
I've written about motorcycle scofflawing before, but want to add some things in light of the tragedy that happened in NY yesterday, with a large gang baiting then attacking one car with a family, including a child, inside. We have these gangs on Long Island too. They typically buzz, like a swarm of bees, past my car, with license plates too small to see. They change lanes illegally, get much too close, are too unpredictable. The potential is there for mob behavior.
What to do?
1. As I mentioned years ago, motorcycle license plates should be much larger, as a means to be able to call in bad behavior to the police. Hang the aerodynamics. The plates should be front and back, like a car.
2. Because a "gang" reacts as one entity, there should be a law restricting the number of motorcyclists who ride together. While a bit unworkable, this could be a law that the police could use, in and of itself, to stop any group without a proper permit. Thirty motorcyclists should not ride together as one semi-amorphous group. In other words, if thirty motorcyclists were found riding together, a police car could ask them all to stop, take all their numbers and IDs, ask them to disperse, and if something bad happened later, would have all the info. This is a viable deterrent to a potential crime.
3. Most importantly (this would work for cars too), and somewhat of a change from my initial article posted on Best Driver In The World about being able to call an automated number to "tell on each other"-- I think it is becoming obvious, and inevitable, that we greatly increase the number of cameras on roadways. We can have cameras that record motion, proximity, distance from other cars, and even acceleration and deceleration, related to other objects, that basically record our safe or unsafe driving. These cameras need to be set up to a system that will either fine us, increase our insurance, or ID scofflaw or dangerous behavior so that things are taken from us-- cars or motorcycles. Critics would say that what of course would happen is an outlaw society, where motorcycles, for example, would be sold, fake plates made, fake licenses made-- but this would be overcome in time with sheer numbers of legal points of checking. The outlaw society exists now anyway. Adding more points of observation and accountability would stop this in time.
We need, as law-abiding citizens, to agree to this level of monitoring, to weed out the types of criminal behavior exhibited on the NYC roads by the gang the other day. They knew there were not enough police around to watch them. A number of them had no plates on their bikes.
Law-abiding citizens would gain, after a number of decades, the ability to drive faster safely. As long as distance between cars was the number one factor deciding who gets fined or not (as it is on the German Autobahn), better drivers who know how to keep space around their vehicles would benefit. Other would be forced to learn.