Motorcycle Safety Foundation Raises Awareness on Dangers of Impaired Riding
By Greg Kaminsky, Staff Writer
Motorcycle riding has long been associated with the counter-culture lifestyle, exemplified best by Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper in the classic late 60s road trip film Easy Rider. Motorcycles and rebellious personalities just go together. But there are other things that come to mind when thinking of counter culture icons like them, such as heavy drug use and a disregard for the law.
While the counter culture evolution from the 60s happened nearly half a century ago, its effects are still being felt today. Marijuana has become legal in several states, no doubt a ripple from that generation’s anything goes attitude. And while the risks of marijuana use are still hotly debated by legislators and weed enthusiasts, the dangers of riding a motorcycle are indisputable.
Riding a motorcycle is dangerous enough even when sober, which is why the Motorcycle Safety Foundation recently launched an initiative to raise awareness about the dangers of riding one while under the influence of marijuana. They’re doing so by simulating the experience with their “Riding Straight – Marijuana Awareness Host-An-Event Kit” which includes a pair of goggles that imitates the effects of being stoned.
Selling for $595 beginning this year, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation expects the awareness kit to be popular at motorcycle rallies and other events that focus on motorcycle safety.
“Although marijuana may be legal for medicinal or recreational use in one's state, it is still not legal, safe, or wise to operate a motor vehicle while impaired by marijuana, since it tends to distort perception of time, space, and speed,” a press release from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation reads. “This is especially true for motorcycle riders, who must continually make detailed assessments of complex traffic situations and make split-second decisions requiring precise rider input to navigate safely and maintain an adequate safety margin”.
The not-for-profit organization will not require any kind of certification for those interested in obtaining the awareness kit, and the course, which includes the simulator goggles, can be taught by anyone interested in doing so.