On February 4, 2012 at about 4:30 in the afternoon a man was riding his motorcycle westbound near 700 East Main Street in Lehi when a car pulled out of a parking lot directly into the path of the motorcycle. The car driver reportedly told officers at the scene that he simply did not see the motorcycle. The motorcycle collided into the car and was ejected from his motorcycle. Among other injuries the motorcycle rider sustained severe trauma to his head and was flown by helicopter to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo, Utah. The motorcycle rider was listed in critical condition as of Saturday night. The accident investigation team was analyzing the scene and reported that no citations were immediately issued.
It is simply not good enough that vehicle drivers are allowed to evade citations and even harsher penalties because they claim to have simply never saw the motorcycle. Drivers of all vehicles must be aware of their environment and see what is to be seen on the roadway. There are many slogans used in the motorcycle industry to try to make drivers aware of motorcycles. “look twice – save a life” and “lookout for motorcycles” are not mere slogans, they are meant as education for drivers to slow down and pay attention. It will be very interesting to see if the driver of the car was using his cell phone or what other distractions existed in the cabin of the car before and during this crash.
Lately there has been signs that law enforcement has been willing to impose harsher penalties involving motorcycle deaths and injuries. Recently an unlicensed 19-year-old woman, Katelyn Young, was charged with negligent homicide when she drove a car directly into the path of motorcycle rider Ken Cox in 2010. That crash resulted in the death of Ken Cox. I handled the case for the widow of Ken Cox and the pain visited upon the Cox family by the blatant disregard perpetrated by Ms. Young was terrible.
We all have to look out for each other out there. Motorcyclists have a right to be on the road and they have a reasonable expectation that vehicle drivers will look and see what is there to be seen.