The Streets Perspective
With Kenny Kelley
The Cell Phone and motorcycle safety
Lets be honest, riding a motorcycle on one wheel at 55 mph isn’t something everyone should do but neither is driving while talking on the cell phone. I am not going to tell you that a wheelie is less dangerous, just filling you in on the fact that the laws surrounding both are complete trash.
Cell phone distractions caused 2,600 deaths and 330,000 injuries in the United States in 2005. 4,500 hundred people died on motorcycles that same year. So why is something that causes over half the amount of fatalities is given a small little fine while we get screwed? I went to talk to the head of DC’s Department of Motor Vehicles in Washington DC to get some answers.
George Huntington has run the DMV for over 6 years and agreed to meet with me thinking this was an interview for 2 Wheel Tuner. When he sat down I could smell the whiskey on his breath, or maybe it was cologne I asked him about these laws, first starting out with his perspective on cell phone use. “It is a fact that a 18 year old kid with a cell phone has the same reaction time as a 70 year old who is not on the phone.” Unfortunately he couldn’t tell me what age of an old person I would have to be to brake from a wheelie but assuming I can drop the front end down in under 1 second my stopping time is still faster than a standard size vehicle.
I didn’t want to give him the opportunity to rip into me on the horrible law breaking things I do so I continued to ask about the laws regarding cell phone use. The facts are in most cities that have decided to add cell phone laws only an average of 100 dollars per fine. However, if you are caught doing a wheelie on your bike or an endo, you get a minimum (unless the officer stunts himself) Negligent driving which is a $500 fine plus 2 points that raises your insurance. The average if you get caught is $1000 fine, Negligent and Reckless Driving, plus potential Criminal charges of Reckless Endangerment and Conspiracy to Commit Reckless Endangerment, a tow bill of 300 bucks and a whooping 8 points (as seen in Adrenalin Crew 2 “Awaiting Trial”). Below is a scene from the first motorcycle movie titled Adrenlin Crew 1 “100% Illegal”. Cute title eh? Anyways in this clip Kenny is doing a wheelie while racing Bono from the popular band U2 in Malibu California. The other Farrari was just a bonus! Then The cops come, Kenny runs then pulls over thinking “Hey thats Bono from U2, he can get us off, plus i want to meet him and get more footage!”. Not so much…the cop gave him over 500 in fines (maybe even 1k) and the cop said he never even saw 2 farraris… obviously we didn’t show the cop the footage.
So yes, let’s sum this up kids shall we? If you are distracted by a cell phone which causes more deaths then the amount of friends on your MySpace you get a 100 fine, but if you ride a wheelie you say goodbye to your insurance and the paychecks you worked all month for. Fair right?