Riders react to last week's fatal crash
October 18, 2008 10:43 AM
A traffic accident near SF State resulted in the death of a motorcyclist during morning rush hours on Oct. 16 at the corner of 19th and Holloway Avenues.
The motorcycle rider, 41-year-old Mark Buck, was traveling east on Holloway Avenue and was thrown from his bike after he struck the right side of a Honda Accord headed north on 19th Avenue, San Francisco Police Sgt. Lyn Tomioka said.
Paramedics rushed Buck to San Francisco General Hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after 9 a.m., Tomioka said.
The accident occurred at a time of day when large numbers of students arrive on campus and many SF State students either witnessed the accident or passed the scene of blood and glass-strewn pavement.
The site of the fatal trauma was within yards of a parking area where dozens of students line their motorcycles up along 19th Avenue.
“What happened was terrible,” said SF State biology major and motorcyclist Ray Fayad. “It could happen to anyone. Whenever someone rides a motorcycle they should know that it is extremely dangerous.”
Chad Bayless, a hospitality management senior at SF State said he knows he’s taking a risk every time he gets on his bike, but said cost and convenience outweigh the danger.
“Riding a motorcycle is so much cheaper than driving,” he said. “It’s a lot easier to get to and from class and there is more parking for motorcycles than cars around campus.”
Fuel economy, more parking options and being able to use carpool lanes are some of the reasons motorcycles are gaining popularity, said Ian Walsh, sales associate at Golden Gate Cycles Ltd.
“I’ve seen a large influx of new riders over the past few years,” Walsh said. “A lot of these riders have little to no riding experience.”
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, the number of motorcycles registered in San Francisco has increased from 14,316 in 1997 to 19,417 in 2007.
California vehicle code requires motorcycle safety courses only for individuals under the age of 21, said Jan Mendoza, an information officer at the DMV.
But Dean Thompson, spokesman for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, said all riders need to educate themselves about proper motorcycle handling and road safety.
Thompson’s organization conducts motorcycle training classes that teach new and experienced riders strategies to prevent accidents.
The series of classes, held in three five-hour installments, are taught by certified instructors who teach students how to minimize risk by riding safer and within the limits of their abilities.
Riders Fayad and Bayless agree on the importance of the training.
“I would definitely suggest taking the classes,” said Fayad, who has taken the course. “People are doing themselves a disservice if they don’t take the classes.”
While Bayless said he thinks anyone who rides a motorcycle should be required to take the training classes, he admits, “I didn’t take the classes and I feel bad about it.”
Hillary Bryant, a junior majoring in geography at SF State said she has had “scary moments” on the motorcycle.
“People can get overconfident and take risks without realizing that they’ll be seriously injured if there’s an accident,” Bryant said.
“The longer you ride, the more you forget how truly exposed you are.”
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