Monday, January 25, 2010

Focus Driven

The local NBC affiliate just did a piece on a anti-distracted driving group called FocusDriven. As some of you may know, I really have a problem with distracted drivers. Be it eating, putting on make up, reading books or the paper and especially texting while driving, gets my dander up in a hurry. I believe texting while driving should carry a penalty at least as large as a DUI would bring.focus_25 Michigan recently passed a weak texting law that goes into effect in May. The law only allows officers to pull over texters as an secondary offence. Meaning that after someone runs you and your bike over while they were texting, will be written a ticket after they scrape you up off the street. And the fact that the offending driver was texting while diving is established. I guess this law is a step in the right direction, but is woefully lacking in teeth to get this practice stopped.

I guess it will take groups like FocusDriven to educate the public and hopefully get the attention of lawmakers to pass legislation to prohibit these actions while operating a motor vehicle. The group was formed by people that know first hand the lives that are ruined by distracted drivers. They have lost family members to these drivers. I for one fully support FocusDriven and will be writing my local legislators and passing the word around until a better law is on the books in Michigan. I hope all who read this will join in to help eliminate distracted drivers from our roads. Not only making them safer for bikers, but safer for everyone who uses or crosses them.

Here is a small sumary on the states that currently have cell phone/ texting laws on the books provided by Govenors Highway Saftey Association, The full list of all the States cell phone laws can be found on this page as well.

"Current state cell phone driving law highlights include the following:

Handheld Cell Phone Bans for All Drivers: 6 states (California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Washington), the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from talking on handheld cell phones while driving.
With the exception of Washington State, these laws are all primary enforcement—an officer may ticket a driver for using a handheld cell phone while driving without any other traffic offense taking place.
All Cell Phone Bans: No state completely bans all types of cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for all drivers, but many prohibit cell phone use by certain segments of the population.
Novice Drivers: 21 states and the District of Columbia ban all cell use by novice drivers.
School Bus Drivers: In 17 states and the District of Columbia, school bus drivers are prohibited from all cell phone use when passengers are present.
Text Messaging: 19 states, the District of Columbia and Guam now ban text messaging for all drivers. Fifteen states, D.C., and Guam have primary enforcement. In the other four states, all driver texting bans are secondarily enforced. Some states have limited texting bans.
Novice Drivers: 9 states prohibit text messaging by novice drivers.
School Bus Drivers: 1 state restricts school bus drivers from texting while driving.
Local Laws: While this chart addresses only statewide laws, many local jurisdictions have enacted cell phone and/or texting while driving bans. However, six states have preemption laws that prohibit local jurisdictions from enacting such restrictions.
Some states, such as Maine, New Hampshire and Utah treat cell phone use as a larger distracted driving issue.
Utah considers speaking on a cellphone to be an offense only if a driver is also committing some other moving violation (other than speeding"

Till Next Time........................

Monday, January 18, 2010

Aww, Crap

Until recently I had near perfect vison. That all began to change about eight months ago. I noticed that I was beginning to read the morning sports section like a trombone. Before every thing started to get a bit fuzzy, my vision was 20-13 in the right eye and 20-15 in the left. So a trip to the eye doctor was order and he verified my worst suspicions, my eyesight was deteriorating like snow on a fifty degree day. It’s not all that bad, I still can see distances like I always could, but from this point forward I would have to have reading glasses with me wherever I cared to be. I could go about this in a couple of ways. First I could get a pair of bifocals that had no prescription on the top part of the lens and my reading prescription on the bottom, or I could buy a shit load of reading glasses and sprinkle them in the places that I frequent the most. Being the jack ass that I am, of course I chose the latter. Now I own about ten pairs of reading glasses, and this system seems to be working for me so far.
So as I get nearer to starting to tear down the XS, I have to make sure I keep at least a couple pairs in the old garage. I am going to have to get used to having a pair around all the time now, as I was trying to read the Clymers on tearing down the carbs I now have to wear the glasses to read the manual. I did not have this problem the last time I used this manual after Thanksgiving. I am getting ready to re-jet the carbs so the engine will run smooth with the XS pods and the pipes I will be running from Mike’s XS. I’m going with the Ascot Street Tracker exhaust from Mike’s over the Mile Exhaust from Omar’s mainly because of price and That high exhaust cooking my leg. I like the Mile better than the Ascot mainly for aesthetic reasons, but I am a cheap ass and cannot get past two hundred dollar price difference. That price difference allowed me to purchase a Boyer Bransden electronic ignition. That, with the jetting, pipes and pods ought to add a bit of hot sauce to the old XS powerband.

If the weather stays mild like it has been, it will allow me to start getting my bike stripped and ready for paint. I was hoping that Curly would have his bike tore back down and everything out to the powder coaters by now, but he has hit a couple of design speed bumps and is taking a bit longer than anticipated. Oh well can’t have everything, but that climate controlled environment and bike lift he has over at his place sure would be nice.

I will leave you with a couple of verses of Frank Zappa’s Yellow Snow, While I have not suffered a fate as bad as the fur trappers at the hand of Nanook, I certainly now know how he feels.

Whereupon I proceeded to take that mitten full of the deadly yellow snow
crystals and rub it all into his beady little eyes with a vigorous
circular motion hitherto unknown to the people of this area, but destined
To take the place of the mudshark in your mythology, Here it goes, the circular motion, now rub it! and then In a fit of anger, I pounced And I pounced again

Great googly moogly!

I jumped up and down on the chest of the him, I injured The fur trapper,
well he was very upset, as you can understand and rightly so, because the deadly yellow snow crystals had deprived him of his sight
and he stood up, and he looked around, and he said

I can't see
I can't see
Oh, woe is me
I can't see know
I can't see

Till Next Time...........................................
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