Letters to the Pilot

Thursday, June 27, 2002

Tragedies on two wheels show need for new law


In the week just passed we have had 2 fatal auto/motorcycle head on collisions. The first one I'm aware of occurred on the evening of June 16th south of Cherokee on Hwy 59 with one fatality. The second collision occurred on the morning of June 22nd on Hwy 30 in Tama County with 3 fatalities.

In both cases the auto crossed the centerline into the path of the motorcycle.

My question to the general public and law enforcement is this. Isn't this a case of vehicular homicide? Why did I read today that the Tama County collision was still under investigation? Why wasn't the driver immediately arrested and taken to lock-up? Why haven't I read anything more on the collision in Cherokee County? I am a veteran motorcyclist who has been on the receiving end of a head-on collision. The attitude of law enforcement 28 years ago when I was hit was (It's just another biker).

I have been associated with Motorcyclists Rights organizations since the middle '70s. For a while I thought that we were making progress with the motoring public and law enforcement, I'm not sure of that at this point.

While the reporting of the Cherokee County collision made no mention of helmet usage, the media coverage of the Tama County collision did. In these the collisions the usage of helmets is irrelevant. The motorcyclists are the victims in both cases and NO-ONE should venture to guess whether a helmet would have helped or hurt.

I believe that when the Iowa legislature convenes this year that some new motor vehicle criminal law needs to be drafted. This law needs to address criminal intent to the people that cause this kind of grievous damage.

In closing I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims.

R.P. Randall,

Storm Lake