Discrimination Against Motorcycle Riders

January 1, 2024
By Michael Padway
man on motorcycle not wearing helmet risks penalty
Table of Contents

Nice Way to Wreck a Ride

This week was a bad one for me because it brought up the issue of discrimination against motorcycle riders.

First, I was on my Triumph Speed Triple, doing a Sunday Morning Ride kind of thing.  It’s been a wet winter in California, and I wanted to start warming up my riding skills for the spring season.

I get behind a car full of gang bangers at a stoplight. The thick smell of gange was beyond anything you could imagine.  There were so many  cues of gang activity that you really could not sort them all out.  We take off from the light, go down a main thoroughfare past a major motorcycle dealer, and a cop stopped in a parking lot pulls out to follow — me.  He stays on my tail for several blocks before giving up.

It’s the kind of nonsense thing that sours the end of the morning ride.  We can’t profile terrorists, but we do profile motorcycle riders.

My week starts, and I’m in a deposition on a motorcycle accident.  The attorney taking the deposition goes off on one of the witnesses, who happens to be a motorcycle savvy rider himself.  Have you ever crashed?  (Remember, this is just the witness – not the injured rider?).  Aren’t motorcycle crashes common?  Don’t motorcycles crash even when they are riding all alone and take a turn too fast?  Etc. etc., and so forth.

When I point out that this is nothing but discriminatory motorcyclist bashing, and that it has no relevance to the accident we are litigating (which was caused by this lawyer’s client), the lawyer defends himself by saying he is a rider himself!  How crummy is that?

I guess its just the nature of our society that every case of an injured motorcyclist requires dealing with these negative preconceptions.

Photo by: Tim Vrtiska

Michael Padway

Michael Padway uses his expertise in personal injury and motorcycle accidents to represent a broad spectrum of clients dealing with life-changing and permanent injuries for the first time. His offices are located at 235 Montgomery St., Ste 668, San Francisco, CA 94104 and at 3140 Chapman St. Oakland, CA 94601. For more information, please call (800) 928-1511.

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