Charles Parker: Society Could Use Some More Courtesy

By  //  February 3, 2015

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Delicious Digg This Stumble This

either too impatient or in too much of a hurry

OUT-ON-A-WIRE-580-15-4

Charles Parker writes a weekly perspective column, Out on the Wire…Without a Net, on Space Coast Daily which appears every Tuesday.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Governor Scott’s budget…Steve Crisafulli’s legislative agenda… “De-flate Gate” and the Super Bowl…local dog-fighting rings…the weather…God…

All worthy, timely, and controversial topics for this week’s column. But what shall I rant about…motorcycles and bicycles.

Gov. Rick Scott

Gov. Rick Scott

Now, before you bikers and bikers get all defensive with me, this is not about your right to the road. Even though motorcycle accidents have had personal impacts on my family and bicycle masses are a pain in the tush on South Tropical Trail on Saturday mornings, the highways and bi-ways are as much yours as they are mine.

In fact, you are legal “vehicles” in the eyes of the law.

This is about the penchant of some two-wheeled riders to skirt the rules of the road and put themselves and others in danger because they are either too impatient or in too much of a hurry.

This is about the penchant of some two-wheeled riders to skirt the rules of the road and put themselves and others in danger because they are either too impatient or in too much of a hurry. (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

This is about the penchant of some two-wheeled riders to skirt the rules of the road and put themselves and others in danger because they are either too impatient or in too much of a hurry. (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

Twice in the last three days, while I have been languishing at one of the multitude of stop lights on the well-traveled streets of Merritt Island and Cocoa, along have come motorcyclists and bicyclists passing cars on the narrow stretch between cars and sidewalks.

And it happens all the time.

C’mon car-riders…I know you want to agree, but you don’t want to risk the scorn of those wearing bandannas and leathers or helmets and lycra.

Zooming past idling cars, these lawbreakers cruise to the front of the line – sometimes turning right on red without a full stop, sometimes running the red light with impunity, or sometimes just settling down to be the first to go when the light turns.

C’mon car-riders…I know you want to agree, but you don’t want to risk the scorn of those wearing bandannas and leathers or helmets and lycra.

First, it is a basic issue of courtesy, which this society seems to be lacking in more and more. Just yesterday, a guy butted in line in front of my family and me at S’Barro’s. And how many of us (yes, us) have squeezed into the fast lane at Publix with more than 10 items?

A line of cars waiting for green is no different than a line of over-indulgers waiting for a Blizzard. (Actually, butting in line at an ice cream shop might cause a serious case of DQ-rage.) Everyone – including those on the roads, but not in cars – need to wait their turns.

But secondly, and more importantly than courtesy, is safety.

Charles Parker: Eight States Hold Key For GOP In 2016Related Story:
Charles Parker: Eight States Hold Key For GOP In 2016

I Googled the issue and found a myriad of personal injury lawyers who address the issues of motorcycle and bicycle safety and liability. The numbers are there. Lots of people driving two-wheelers get into accidents. And about half of them are the fault of the people driving two-wheelers.

There’s probably no way to calculate how many of these accidents occurred because bikers were jumping line, but I think we can all agree that when we drive anything and subsequently skirt safety rules, then our likelihood of being involved and at fault in a collision is higher.

So – motorcyclists and bicyclists – we welcome you to ride along side, but please, stay courteous, stay legal, stay proper…and ultimately…stay safe.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Charles Parker writes a weekly perspective/opinion column, Out on the Wire…Without a Net, on Space Coast Daily which appears every Tuesday. 

He is a longtime resident of Brevard County and has been writing for various publications for the last 40 years – both print and digital. Parker covers space, politics, religion, and other news and special events for Space Coast Daily.

Charles Parker

Charles Parker

Currently, Parker is an aerospace engineering teacher at Merritt Island High School. He is also the director of both the da Vinci Academy of Aerospace Technology and the Academy of Hospitality, Entrepreneurship, and Tourism at MIHS. He is a professor of Humanities and World Religions at Eastern Florida State College and Valencia College.

Parker has worked extensively in the tourism and aerospace industries in Brevard. He has also been a United Methodist pastor and director of a non-profit to help young adults aging out of foster care. He was formerly a board member at Brevard Achievement Center and the Childcare Association of Brevard. He was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to the Children’s Services Council from 1999-2003.

Parker earned a BA in Organizational Management from Warner University and a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary. He is married, has four children and one grandchild.

You can reach him at cpbrevard@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @cpbrevard_scd

AUTHOR NOTE: These views are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Brevard Public Schools, Eastern Florida State College or Valencia College.


Click here to contribute your news or announcements Free