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Your safety. Your responsibility

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by b12mick, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. Not my writings. But I do agree.

    It’s a lovely sunny day and you’re riding along on your favourite twisty bit of road, minding your own business, and just chillin’.
    Suddenly, and before you are able to do anything about it, a motorcycle coming the other way goes down, slides across into your path and takes you out.

    Oh dear. “Shit happens”, say all your ‘friends’ on social media who have been made privy to the event. “It’s no-one’s fault, or maybe it’s a little of the other guy’s fault,” they also say. “But it’s certainly not yours, bro!”

    I beg to differ.
    And I beg to differ because it is your fault. It’s the other guy’s fault too. And certainly, the cops might charge him with Negligent Driving, and if he’s insured, you should be able to get your bike fixed, and maybe get some Third Party monetary compensation down the track if you’re injured.

    No big deal, huh? Remember shit happens, right?
    It’s just the kind of thing you can comfort yourself with while your spleen is re-growing, and your bones are getting used to their new titanium inserts, isn’t it?

    You’d hardly even spare a thought about whether you should accept any part of the blame for this shit happening, would you?
    Well, you should. Because you are also responsible for what happened.

    I know that taking personal responsibility for yourself and what happens to you while riding a motorcycle is not a very popular concept. You only have to see the responses on social media should such an idea be injected into an accident thread to know we live in a time when the happening of shit is no-one’s responsibility.
    After all, how could it be? It is shit and it is happening. Always apropos of nothing, it would seem.

    The bike went out of control. The road surface was dodgy. That’s a dangerous corner. The front-end just tucked. The back-end just lost traction.

    Gee, I hate to break it to you but bikes do not go out of control by themselves, front-ends do not tuck because they suddenly feel like it, and back-ends have never once become sentient enough to lose traction of their own volition. Corners are just corners with not one single corner being any more or less dangerous than the any other one. And road surfaces vary all the time and change constantly, which if you spent any time actually riding your bike anywhere other than the same over-policed stretch of road each weekend, you would know this.

    But to acknowledge any of that, would be to acknowledge your personal responsibility for what happens to you on a bike, and so many people are not good with that.
    Just such an incident as I described occurred on the Old Pacific Highway this past weekend. In will not surprise you to know that such things occur on the Old Pacific Highway on most weekends. It is for that reason that the police frequent the Old Pacific Highway and it is for that reason the speed limit on what was once a glorious bit of road has been reduced to 60km/h.

    Of course, this does not stop legions of Sydney riders from going there every weekend. They crash, they get booked, they get defected, they complain about all of that and also about everyone else ruining it for them, and so on and so forth.
    But still they go there. Because, I presume Australia is such a small country and rather limited when it comes to places to go riding.

    So up the Old Pac they go. If they’re lucky, there’ll be a few hobby photographers snapping amateur shots of their immense riding skills, and posting the results up on Facebook and Instagram. Happy days.

    If they’re unlucky (which is what they tell themselves when shit happens), then someone else on a bike will overcook a corner and run into them, and bits of everything will explode and there will be crying, and wailing, and social media comfort and outrage.
    But what there will not be is any acknowledgement of responsibility by the bloke who was minding his own business and got nailed by some bloke who lost it in a corner.

    After all, if I choose to go riding on a road that is teeming with all kinds of fools on bikes, chased by all kinds of bastards in cops cars, then I cannot be held to blame for someone losing it on a corner and running into me can I?
    Actually, not only can I be held responsible for that. I must be held responsible for that. And I must accept the responsibility for what happens.

    I chose to ride on that road. And I chose to ride at the speed and in the manner in which I was riding, knowing full well that lots of people with varied skill sets are all riding in the same place as I am, and that incidents like the one described happen all the time on that road.
    Short of an asteroid or a Cessna landing on your head as you’re riding along, everything that happens on the road to you is your responsibility.

    You chose to ride motorcycles, didn’t you? You knew it was a dangerous thing to do, didn’t you? You chose to do it anyway, didn’t you?

    Good for you. It’s the best thing in the world, precisely because it is fraught with peril.

    Now just grow up a little bit and take responsibility for what happens to you.
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  2. I agree with a lot of what you say but this is utterly ridiculous in parts.

    "Suddenly, and before you are able to do anything about it, a motorcycle coming the other way goes down, slides across into your path and takes you out."

    I'm expected to claim this is my fault?

    There's a culture in this community where people expect you to be similar to a game of thrones character who doesn't cry when your nipple is cut off.

    Yes I ride on two wheels, yes I am more susceptible to injuries, but I will not accept that things that are out of my control are my fault, just because I chose to leave the house without my cage.

    With all due respect you've been riding for decades and I have the utmost respect for you and admit you have probably forgotten more than I'll ever know in relation to bikes, but I disagree wholeheartedly with this post.
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  3. As I said in the first line - not my words.
  4. Your first line was "Not my writings. But I do agree." :p
  5. Just in case it was missed...
    Hard to argue, IMO, that if you ride where sh*t is known to happen, that sh*t shouldn't have happened...
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  6. Yes my safety my responsibility buts that's about all I can agree with.

    Yes I can limit my exposure but not everything that happens is going to be my fault
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  7. Yeah look I don't agree with this, yes to personal responsibility etc as a concept, but getting cleaned up by somebody else is not your fault in most (not all) circumstances. I'd be interested to see how the writer would view a nature walker who happened to be walking along a track just off a road and got hit by a wiped out bike coming off the road - is that his responsibility too?! I call bullshit on this degree of pious-ness (probably not a word but....).

    And I accept the risk of riding, and riding in a style I enjoy. But some things are actually blameless. Unless you take a 'born in sin' approach to motorcycling as well.
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  8. Not words, writings same thing.

    But for the record, I do agree with most of what is written. For the most part there is always something the rider could have done differently or better to avoid having the accident.

    What he's talking about isn't legal responsibility, but rather personal responsibility. They are often 2 very different things.

    Just to explain my understanding of the part you quoted above. (I've quoted it below). Why were you unable to do anything about it? Why weren't you expecting this to occur. Why were you riding at a speed that didn't allow you to take evasive action. robsalvvrobsalvv can explain that last bit better than I can.

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  9. Piety, mate. Regarding your nature walker point, if you walk along a road, then yes it is at least partially your responsibility IMO.
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  10. On the road he's talking about crashes happen weekly, every weekend some numpty falls off. Why does that keep happening? And why do people ride on that road and NOT expect to get cleaned up by some wanker.

    One of my favourite roads is a stretch of the Snowy Mountains Hwy locally called Talbingo Mtn. It's tight and narrow. Cars and other bikes often cross to the wrong side of the road. I ride that road with that in mind, and I've had bikes coming the other way pass me on my left. Yes you read that right. Yes a bit of poo did come out, but for the most part I was expecting it so I was more or less prepared to take evasive action. What is that robsalvvrobsalvv says "Don't travel faster than the distance you can stop in" or something.
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  11. Just curious b12mickb12mick, as that rider who passed you on the left was coming by if he happened to swerve at that moment to avoid a stick or some other hazard and takes you both out, would you take any blame for it?

    You can't seriously think in those circumstances that you are to blame for simply choosing to leave the house and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The only true way to avoid this kind of stuff is to never leave the house. Take responsibility sure, and accept the dangers, but that doesn't make it your fault IMO.
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  12. Oh and for those who may be interested, they are the words of Boris Mihailovic.
  13. Dunno about b12mickb12mick but to me this is about responsibility, taking ownership of situations even when shit happens. It's not about fault. Fault is for lawyers who make money out of assigning fault.

    Everybody seeking others to blame is a way of avoiding responsibility and is not a net positive thing for society or on a personal level.

    Apologies for jumping in here Mick, you've touched on a hobby horse of mine.
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  14. #14 chillibutton, Aug 23, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2016
    Read what I wrote. He's walking along a track off the road, not on the road.

    This 'it's your fault' thing, when you have nothing to do with the event, pisses me off frankly. I think some people get confused with 'fault' and 'risk'. Example - do you think it was their fault that the 100 plus dead were wiped out by an ISIS worshipping lunatic in a truck while celebrating Bastille Day in Nice recently? Not on your nelly! Is there a risk associated with travel to Europe, yes sure, but the incident that occurred is not their fault.
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  15. Partially, yes, some fault would lay with me. Sure, fcukhead rider shouldn't have been riding they he was and the vast majority of fault is with him.

    This isn't aimed at you directly. But why is it so hard for people to accept that they are, at least in part, responsible for what happens to them?
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  16. Yes exactly - see my post above fault/risk. I hate people blaming others and trying to make money out of it. There's some rich prick in the US suing Ferrari for hundreds of thousands because they didn't put him on their list of 150 people who will get the new La Ferrari, and he claims this diminishes his reputation. WTF?
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  17. If he's walking along a track close enough to the road to be hit by a vehicle that leaves it, same comment.

    Again, I don't think it's about fault, it's about responsibility.
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  18. Too bring it back to context. There's a road that is very popular with riders in Sydney. "The Old Road". Every weekend numpties seemingly go there to crash. Everyone knows that numpties go there to crash. How is it not, at least in part, your responsibility to keep yourself safe from these numpties shoud you CHOOSE to ride a road known to have numpties on it that like to crash.
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  19. Some of you seem to have missed this bit.

  20. 'Fault' is a concept that only has any value in court. It doesn't protect you, it doesn't stop pain and it doesn't comfort your family.
    By all means use 'fault' to get some justice after the fact, but that's all it's good for.
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