Help reduce motorcycle accidents with alertness
need a wake-up call
I drive between 80 and 100 miles every day in and around St. Petersburg, and I have seen a lot of motorcycles. If motorcycle riders want to reduce their accident rate, perhaps they should take responsibility for their own safety.
Here are a few suggestions in response to Lorrie Lykins' list:
Motorcycles: Do not take your share of the road out of my lane, and do not pass me in my lane. I'd be happy to give you plenty of room when I pass you, but I've never been able to go fast enough to actually pass a motorcycle.
Motorcycles: When you change lanes, which is roughly every 15 seconds, use your signals.
Motorcycles: I would check for you before changing lanes, but you are usually coming up behind me at 90-115 mph (or more), so no sooner am I sure the lane is clear than there you are.
Motorcycles: Don't tailgate me and I won't tailgate you. It's hard to ride on your tail anyway, because my car won't do 140 mph (speed estimated by the Pinellas County sheriff for bikers coming off the Gandy Bridge).
Motorcycles: Abandon the "loud pipes save lives" myth and get rid of those straight-line pipes. They are the reason you are the object of more noise complaints than any other vehicle except boom cars. The national anger toward you is now of titanic proportions and you brought it on yourselves.
Judy Ellis, St. Petersburg
City loses manners | April 20, letter about rudeness of area drivers
Drivers are spoiled
Our drivers are not rude; they are just spoiled. If you have been repeatedly and rudely honked at, then you were probably either going the speed limit or you must be one of those who interprets yellow lights as a warning to prepare to stop instead of "hit the gas and fly through the red light."
You see, St. Petersburg drivers are used to going whatever speed they want without any repercussions, and you were obviously in their way.
The only time you might see a few getting speeding tickets is at a couple of the speed traps at the end of the month, most likely because the police need to meet their low quotas.
I get honked at a lot when red lights change to green because I wait for those red-light runners before I proceed. I travel Fourth Street N every morning on my way to work, and I get honked at too. I even have had comments yelled at me, something about a sunny beach, and sometimes they even wave to me.
You see, I use the middle lane, and I go about 40 mph to conserve my gas. I happen to be one of those who can't afford today's gas prices, and I wonder where the fire is as cars fly by me as they rush to red lights.
A tip for all drivers who are not familiar with Kenneth City: Don't speed or you will get a ticket. The police there actually do their job throughout the month and thankfully have a reputation for it!
Gerry Kimmitt, St. Petersburg
Road rules ignored
The other day I saw something I hope I never see again. A woman driving a big, black SUV in a fashionable neighborhood passed a school bus letting off children. She pulled around it without a thought of what she was doing. Lights were flashing and the stop sign arm was out.
Do we need reminder signs or warning signs that vehicles must stop for school buses?
There is a stop sign at the post office I use, and while I was stopped at the sign two different times, cars went around me to avoid stopping. I don't understand this blatant disregard for the rules of the road. These people are accidents waiting to happen. People, please take more care.
Gloria Julius, St. Petersburg
A 'wary' victim no match for burglars | May 1
Crime out of control
I would like to extend to Howard Troxler my condolences for his having his laptop computer stolen right from his own home. Troxler and many other nice people are not aware of conditions that now exist here in our fair city.
The mayor and chief of police are often quoting from reports that show crime declining in St. Petersburg. This is simply not true.
Our city is being overrun by juvenile gangs, serious gangbangers, dope peddlers, dope pushers and prostitutes. Most of our city officials seem to be looking the other way, embarrassed to face the reality of what is happening. Many people in the slightly more affluent neighborhoods that are left here are riding on cloud nine high above the fray, ignorant of the facts.
Folks, something has to be done. I think that it has gotten so far out of hand that it will require an effort of 100 percent of our residents — plus leadership that truly wants to restore our once beautiful city.
We need more police. The policemen and women we have are outstanding but are fighting an uphill battle against numbers. I would gladly pay more taxes for a more efficient police force.
This should be the topic of discussion at City Hall, not baseball or redevelopment of our infrastructure.
Guy U. Nash, St. Petersburg
Desperate to find Pooh Bear
April 30, story
If only on a leash …
I read with great sadness the story of Pooh Bear; the loss of a much loved pet is hard to bear, but there is a lesson in the story not told.
On many occasions I had the "poodle lady" pointed out to me in the North Shore area, walking/running her "herd" of dogs (I counted six one day). They were all running and playing — not on leashes.
Yes, even though there is a leash law, this fun family of dogs was being walked without the precaution, let alone the legal requirement, of leashes. This is underscored by the fact Pooh was able to "slip" away. Had the dog been on a leash, this sad incident would not have happened.
A leash is the law; a leash is your dog's best friend.
Steve Graumlich, St. Petersburg