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This may make you sick

November 13, 2007
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WARNING! The video in this post shows a collision between a scooter and a car in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. I found it on Scooter-Relief.org’s MySpace page. It is quite graphic and you might find it quite disturbing. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED!

You’ll notice the car ran the red light. Obviously, there’s no way to tell if the scooterist took any evasive action, and no mention of his/her condition, though toward the end it appears the scooterist is conscious.

Watching this makes me think of a conversation I had one morning when I was eating breakfast at the McDonald’s in Ballard (I like Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddles… so sue me). An elderly fellow saw my helmet on the table and approached. This happens fairly frequently, and I don’t mind answering people’s questions.

This guy wanted to buy a 50cc scooter for his granddaughter, and wanted my opinion of the relative merits of Metropolitan vs. Vino Classic vs. the Vespa Seattle ad with the headline “scooters starting at $1499.”

After explaining that the GTS pictured in the ad was not the bike being offered for $1,499 (that was a Piaggio Fly 50), I told him, before you spend any money on a scooter, you should spend 100 bucks to send the granddaughter to a motorcycle safety class.

The guy’s face immediately assumed an “I didn’t want to hear this” expression, but I went on, pointing out that scooters, especially the 50s, are the smallest, most vulnerable motorized vehicles on the road. They’re not toys. I personally would want my kid or grandkid to have all the skills necessary to survive the warp and woof of everyday traffic before turning him or her loose on the street. Alone.

I wish I could’ve shown him this video. Favicon

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3 Comments
  1. November 15, 2007 4:02 pm

    Something else you might notice is the way the scooterist bounces off the car’s roof and hood. Those surfaces will give; the asphalt will not. Hitting the parts of the car probably prevented contact between the scooterist’s head and the concrete median, as well…

  2. November 16, 2007 7:18 pm

    Very strong message to the video. A good point about the 50cc scooter, too. I know my daughters would like to ride mine around time but I’ve told them to either spend a year cycling around town so you know the risks of not being in a car or take a course.

  3. November 16, 2007 8:46 pm

    The scooter as toy is deeply ingrained in most people’s head. If it isn’t a loud rumbling machine it must be safe. And even new big bike riders seem to bristle as the suggestion that training might be in order.

    I’ve watched the video a number of times and everytime it appears as if the body is a limp dummy. Until it starts moving on the road. The video is an excellent reminder to never assume the right of way anywhere. That right offers little protection.

    Steve Williams
    Scooter in the Sticks

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