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Archive for Friday, August 26, 2011

Authorities say driver in I-70 crash in Douglas County was driving faster than 80 mph

One person suffered serious injuries after a rollover accident on the Kansas Turnpike near Lecompton on Thursday. It was the first of three serious accidents in Douglas County on Thursday.

August 26, 2011, 12:41 p.m. Updated August 26, 2011, 2:13 p.m.

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A Ford Mustang is pulled from a ditch along the Kansas Turnpike on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011. Emergency crews were investigating an accident that involved two cars in the eastbound lane. Traffic was stopped just west of East 600 Road to allow a LifeStar helicopter to land on the road.

A Ford Mustang is pulled from a ditch along the Kansas Turnpike on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011. Emergency crews were investigating an accident that involved two cars in the eastbound lane. Traffic was stopped just west of East 600 Road to allow a LifeStar helicopter to land on the road.

The Kansas Highway Patrol says a Fort Riley man is expected to be ticketed for speeding for his involvement in a two-vehicle crash Thursday afternoon on the Kansas Turnpike west of Lecompton.

Trooper Greg Peters said Friday that investigators believe Eugene Riddick II, 29, was driving at a speed much faster than 80 mph on Interstate 70 just before he lost control of his 2010 Ford Mustang and struck the side of another car that a Naples, Fla., couple were traveling in.

The crash occurred just after 3 p.m. Thursday in the turnpike’s eastbound lanes, and it was the first of three serious crashes in Douglas County that all occurred within one hour of each other. The two other crashes happened on U.S. Highway 24-40 near the Leavenworth County line and on Kansas Highway 10 just west of Eudora. The KHP closed both directions of K-10 for six hours Thursday, causing major traffic issues into the evening.

In the I-70 crash, Peters said a witness who was driving 80 mph alleged that Riddick passed him easily just before the crash.

Riddick was treated and released from Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Peters said Robert Berkoski, 67, and Joyce Berkoski, 62, who were traveling in the vehicle Riddick struck, were both taken Thursday to Kansas University Hospital in Kansas City, Kan., where they were in stable condition and expected to recover.

Peters said troopers also believed the treads on Riddick’s tires were worn, which also caused him to lose control of his Ford Mustang. The trooper said he expected to write Riddick a ticket for driving too fast for conditions and improper tires.

In the other two serious crashes:

l The KHP said Donald Burnett, 63, of Manhattan, was taken to KU Hospital after he was injured in a motorcycle crash on southbound U.S. 24-40. Burnett, while headed south, applied brakes suddenly to his 2010 Yamaha motorcycle and laid the motorcycle down on its side to avoid a car in front of him that had stopped suddenly. Burnett and a passenger Doreen Burnett, 65, were thrown from the vehicle.

Neither person wore a helmet, according to the KHP. Doreen Burnett was treated and released from LMH, a hospital spokeswoman said. Information about Donald Burnett’s condition was not available Friday.

l Richard A. Vandruff, 44, of Tonganoxie, was also taken to KU Hospital in the K-10 accident Thursday afternoon when a tire blew on the cement truck he was driving westbound, according to the KHP. Vandruff lost control of the truck, swerved onto the north shoulder and then veered across the lanes and onto the median before the truck rolled onto its side.

Master Trooper Aaron Klaassen said at 2 p.m. Friday that Vandruff was in stable condition at KU Hospital.

Klaassen said the truck nearly ended up in K-10’s eastbound lanes before it tipped over in the median.

“It could have been really bad, but luckily it wasn’t,” Klaassen said in reference to a possible head-on collision involving the truck.

Comments

gccs14r 3 years ago

"...applied brakes suddenly to his 2010 Yamaha Motorcycle and laid the motorcycle down on its side to avoid a car in front of him..."

More likely that he panicked and stabbed the back brake, locking it up, and that caused the lowside. It's better to remain upright under max braking (and please use the front brake, because that's where most of your stopping power is) to dump as much speed as possible, and then maneuver around the obstruction if you're not going to stop in time.

The front brake isn't a DOT conspiracy to kill motorcyclists. I don't know where people get that idea, or the idea that laying the bike down is the best way to stop.

Kansas should really step up the training and testing requirements to get a motorcycle license. If you can fog a mirror you can pass the current skills test.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

If, and only if, you are alone on a motorcycle and it's necessary to very quickly make an emergency stop, it's possible, only possible, to stomp on the rear brake, jerk the wheel to the right, and then in a flash lift your left leg up and over the bike and lay the bike down on the ground.

After that, stay on, but mostly behind, the seat, and that will stop the bike more quickly than any other method.

It's possible, only possible, to stop the bike very quickly that way. It has been done successfully many times, but more often than not, has resulted in failure and death. That action will completely total the bike, and it's not something that can ever be practiced.

Your best bet is to never get in a situation where such an action would ever be necessary.

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gccs14r 3 years ago

Ron,

No. Steel on pavement has a lower coefficient of friction than does rubber on pavement. Not to mention that you've lost all maneuvering ability once the tires leave the ground. The only time that purposely lowsiding the bike might save your butt is if you're approaching an overhang that you won't clear unless you try to go underneath it and you can't stop before you get to it.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

Not all roads are paved.

So, the steel on pavement rule does not always apply. Digging into the dirt under the gravel on a dirt road is a good way to stop quickly, if you try to stop on top of the gravel in a real hurry you are likely to only skid and fall over anyway. And then, land on one of your legs. That was certainly the situation I found myself in when it appeared that I had less than two seconds to live.

The only time I "might" have considered such a maneuver was on a gravel road. But, there wasn't time to do even that, I was going far to fast and the back of the wheat truck was way to close. I was young, dumb, and looking at the speedo instead of the road.

But, I was able to veer to the right of the back of the wheat truck and into the ditch. I managed to stay on top of the bike as I fell into and hit the the bottom of it, and the motorcycle and I then became airborne when the motorcycle and I were launched up and into the air on the other side of it. That was my first motorcycle jump.

I sure do remember flying through the air, holding onto the handlebars of the motorcycle, and I had not a clue what to do except to keep the wheel straight ahead and try to land on top of the bike when it landed. Other than that, I had no idea what to do.

Amazingly, there was no barbed wire fence at the edge of that field, most of the fields in western Kansas have one.

Then, I was able to land on the bike with its front wheel pointed straight ahead, but then very quickly there was another challenge, and that was the terrace on the field that required another motorcycle jump within two seconds.

I was able to successfully complete both motorcycle jumps, the first one was quite spectacular from the description of the only witness, and the second one was smaller.

I have never, ever attempted another motorcycle jump, I've done two successfully, and I think that my luck has now run out.

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grimpeur 3 years ago

"...lay the bike down on the ground. After that, stay on, but mostly behind, the seat, and that will stop the bike more quickly than any other method."

No no no no no! Wrong. Dead wrong.

This is absolutely the WORST advice for any moto driver. Unfortunately, it's all too common.

Brake hard and reduce speed. Practice emergency stops often.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

Brake hard on a gravel road.

Then see what happens!

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

I'll watch while you lock up the rear wheel of your motorcycle on a gravel road.

From a safe distance, of course.

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Steve Miller 3 years ago

You should be an instructor..

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

Every situation you will ever find yourself in, either in a car, truck, or motorcycle is different.

That is why there is no single rule that applies to every single situation.

Except for two: Watch all of the vehicles around you, and don't follow any of them too closely!

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

Almost all of my motorcycle driving was done on gravel roads. I learned very well how to ride on gravel roads that are not paved.

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OonlyBonly 3 years ago

Of course neither of these cycle geniuses mention "why did the car stop suddenly?" in their assessment of the rider's capability.

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gccs14r 3 years ago

Because you should always be able to stop before you get to the vehicle ahead of you, even if it comes to an instant stop. It's called following distance. That "one thousand one, one thousand two" (and now four is the recommended count) to measure following distance is not just for courtesy, it's to give you enough room to stop without hitting that vehicle should it suddenly stop moving.

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impska 3 years ago

Gccs is right. It can be annoying when a car brakes suddenly for no apparent reason, but that's no excuse for following too closely.

Cars may need to stop suddenly for any number of legitimate reasons: a person in the road, another stopped vehicle, an unexpected construction zone, an accident ahead, a malfunction with the vehicle or blown tire, an emergency inside the vehicle, any number of obstacles in the road such as fallen trees, power lines, flooding, etc.

We all may wonder occasionally how that person who is randomly braking got their driver's license, but the fact is, if you are following too closely, you are the one who is driving dangerously.

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Hoots 3 years ago

Most people follow way to close to leave themselves any margin. As a rule you should leave 4-5 seconds between you and the vehicle in front of you, about 6 to 7 if the road is wet and more if there is snow or ice. If you don't give yourself room and time you greatly increase your chances of having an accident. This is just one of several things most people don't do.

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evilpenguin 3 years ago

The official recommendation by the department of revenue is 2 seconds....doesn't seem like enough to me.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

That's very true. One thing that many drivers don't seem to be aware of is that some cars, if equipped with antilock disc brakes, can put to shame the stopping ability of cars without them. Especially if they have big fat tires that really grab the road.

Not long ago, I was a passenger in a car that did not have antilock brakes during an emergency, and I was amazed that the thing had almost no stopping ability at all.

It was an emergency situation, and I was very aware that if I had been driving my car, everything, items on the floor, trash, and all the passengers would be violently thrown towards the front of the car. My car would have stopped very quickly, all right! And left no skid marks, either.

Even if two vehicles were to hit the brakes at the exact same instant, the one behind, if it does not have antilock disc brakes, is going to slam into the back of the one in front. And guess whose fault that is going to be.

That's nothing more than basic physics. You always need to keep in mind the fact that most vehicles around you have antilock brakes if yours is not equipped with them.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

Actually? I have never had to use the full stopping ability of my car on the highway, so I have no clue how quickly it can actually stop.

Damn fast though, that was obvious.

But then, I've never floored the gas to see what its limit is on acceleration either.

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Hoots 3 years ago

The problem is most people won't press them with enough force. ABS is progressive so the harder you press the better they work. People feel the vibration from the system and assume they are getting all they can from it which isn't the case. Even worse some people feel the pulsing and let off.

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Hoots 3 years ago

The problem is most people won't press them with enough force. ABS is progressive so the harder you press the better they work. People feel the vibration from the system and assume they are getting all they can from it which isn't the case. Even worse some people feel the pulsing and let off.

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Hoots 3 years ago

The problem is most people won't press them with enough force. ABS is progressive so the harder you press the better they work. People feel the vibration from the system and assume they are getting all they can from it which isn't the case. Even worse some people feel the pulsing and let off.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

I have TractonLok too. It works the same as antilock brakes, but in acceleration mode. But, right at take off, there is a slight chirping of the wheels.

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greenme 3 years ago

I cannot express how relieved I am to see that there were no fatalities with all that happened yesterday. What a crazy day.

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KEITHMILES05 3 years ago

People on the turnpike drive like stupid maniacs. I have seen many times 100 mph or more and I am doing 80. There are never enough cops out.

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omnedon 3 years ago

The maniacs aren't limited to the turnpike. I have had two motorcycles pass me on K-10 when I was doing 75+ like I was standing still. I am amazed I didn't see them in a pile down the road.

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Hoots 3 years ago

Because every time someone goes really fast they just burst into flames?

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omnedon 3 years ago

No, because a car ahead of them changes lanes before they can react and slow down in time. Going fast is fine, but there is a time and place for it. If you want to go fast, find a racetrack designed for that purpose, don't put the general public in danger because of it. For myself, I plan to start driving slower...it's not worth the couple of minutes I cut off my commute driving 5-10 mph over the speed limit.

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evilpenguin 3 years ago

the speed limit is 75, why does everyone seem to think that going +75 or 80 is acceptable? You're still breaking the law even if someone else is going faster than you.

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Ricky_Vaughn 3 years ago

They raised the speed limit to 75 mph. That means everyone is driving at least 5-10 over, if not more. People driving 80 mph on I-70 these days are the slow drivers...

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CloveK 3 years ago

Yup. with the 75 mph speed limit, a lot of people will drive 80-85. Especially considering that in Kansas, anything under 10 mph over is only a non-moving violation and won't effect your insurance.

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Hoots 3 years ago

Major highways are always engineered for much higher speeds than what will ever be posted.

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Hoots 3 years ago

Major highways are always engineered for much higher speeds than what will ever be posted.

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Hoots 3 years ago

It could be 35 and people would find a way to screw that up. They do it in this town every single day.

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RugerLCP 3 years ago

Never lay a bike down.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

I did some research. From: http://www.vtxoa.com/forums/showthread.php?t=125058

"Control. If you have the time to take action, having rubber on the road gives you a higher degree of control. The MSF ERC discourages "laying it down". It is old school. As much as we respect our elders, this was their first option. But today, radial tires, disc brakes and improved suspensions, controlling the bike away from harm is now a better option. "

In 1971, when I did most of my riding: We did NOT have radial tires. We did NOT have disc brakes. We did NOT have improved suspensions.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

Not only that, we had to double clutch our Model As. And I bet most kids today don't even know what that means!

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Hoots 3 years ago

I've spent a good amount of time on a road racing course. I've spent weeks driving the Autobahn at speeds well north of 100 mph and never saw a single wreck nor had one. Almost every time I come back I see one between the airport and home. What the H*ll is wrong with Americans? Oh yeah, I remember. You barely need a pulse to get a license. Germans are allowed to drive much faster yet they have lower crash and fatality rates. Speed doesn't kill but our horrific lack of training in this country does. Most people don't even understand how to use ABS properly. Most Americans driving skills are a complete joke.

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Curtis Lange 3 years ago

Could not agree more (lived in Germany for nine years and learned to drive over there).

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evilpenguin 3 years ago

Totally agree. I just got my license last year having moved from another country and the test was a complete joke. I had to show I could park, use my mirrors, not drive like an idiot. I was done in ten minutes. America is so dependent on cars that it seems the test is made to help people to pass so the government can get more cash in their pockets. Why it's not designed to keep people safe I will never know? American drivers are far and away the worst I have ever seen.

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Hoots 3 years ago

Travel to the 3rd world and those drivers will make you wet your pants.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

We drive many more miles than most countries such as Poland, where very few people own a car.

A comparison of fatalities of deaths per million miles traveled would be much more meaningful.

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Curtis Lange 3 years ago

That doesn't excuse the fact that driver training in the US is an absolute joke...no matter how it is sliced per stats. "Read this book, take this five minute written test, show me you know how to turn the car on, park between the lines and come to a complete stop. Ok. Here is your license. Good luck!"

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Curtis Lange 3 years ago

I still chuckle when I see this headline. "Oh no! Noooot 80+ mph. How dare he?"

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Hoots 3 years ago

My reaction was...They have to be kidding. If this was on Mass Street it would have meant something. Traveling at over 80 mph that is. The headline is embarrassing.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

That's very true. In an article that was written for the LJWorld some time ago, the phrase "circumstantial evidence" was used with a completely different meaning than a dictionary or a legal definition of the phrase.

But, anyone who was familiar with the details of the case would certainly not consider those circumstances to be circumstantial at all.

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Hoots 3 years ago

Then create a different headline. It just sounded idiotic to say the least.

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nut_case 3 years ago

"You are exactly right, CloveK. If KDOT felt that 75 is safe for the road, they should have lowered the limit to 65--then the average speed would have ended up closer to 75. "

Why is it necessary to play a bargaining game with the speed limit? "...well, we want you to go 70, so we'll make the limit 60, then we only take your money up to 70, but you're a criminal at 80...'

You're basically saying they should set the limit low enough that everyone is a criminal, then the police get to pick and choose which ones they single out based on what ever whim they have that day.

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evilpenguin 3 years ago

75 means 75. Why don't the troopers stop everyone who goes over that? I'm pretty sure that would send a clear message....

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zzgoeb 3 years ago

Good ol' Governor Sam in his infinite wisdom raised the limit to 75 to get more votes. Now we will ALL pay for the carnage with EMS and other costs. And amazingly, the dummies on this board admit to driving 80 while complaining about the "speeders"!! Really? Hey, let's all be responsible and drive 65 and save gas and lives. Oh, wait, this is America, the land of the free and home of the morons?!

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Curtis Lange 3 years ago

I saw a group of cars driving 60-65 on K10 this afternoon. Guess what? Saw a couple near misses because of it. That is just as dangerous as cars travelling faster than 70...

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devobrun 3 years ago

"Peters said troopers also believed the treads on Riddick’s tires were worn, which also caused him to lose control of his Ford Mustang. The trooper said he expected to write Riddick a ticket for driving too fast for conditions and improper tires."

A 2010 Ford Mustang. A year old car with worn out tires should tell you somehin' about the driving habits of young Mr. Riddick.

Yikes.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years ago

"In the I-70 crash, Peters said a witness who was driving 80 mph alleged that Riddick passed him easily just before the crash"

So lets raise the speed limit to 100 mph so all these idiots who think a little more speed will somehow save them some time will eliminate themselves and the public nuisance they pose to the rest of the driving public.

Speed limits are only useful to those who obey the law, the unlawful will do as they please no matter the hazards they create.

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gsxr600 3 years ago

Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary... that’s what gets you.

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Hoots 3 years ago

When are they going to allow us to remove our own post here. I've posted a couple times today and it has double or triple posted when I hit comment once. It would be nice to be able to remove those.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

From my experience, they aren't ever going to do that. Make sure you never double click on "post comment", and that's all you can do.

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Kris_H 3 years ago

Can you hit the "suggest removal" button on your own post? Or would that remove the original as well as the copies?

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

I tried that some time ago, and no, the repeated comments were not removed by the staff.

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Hoots 3 years ago

You could unsend an Email on AOL 20 years ago yet LJW can't figure this out. REALLY?

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Kris_H 3 years ago

I see maniac drivers everywhere I go, even on the city streets in Topeka, and in small towns. In small towns it's usually slow maniacs, but they are still maniacs.

I've learned to expect the dumbest possible moves from other drivers, then I'm ready for them when they fail to disappoint me.

I admit I missed the one last year who ran a stop sign onto 6th Street in Topeka at about 45 mph and t-boned my friend's car and spun us just like a pit maneuver. That one, I did not see coming, literally.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

Where I came from, there is a serious problem with curves in the highway.

Many drivers have proceeded onward as though it did not, and that has been the cause of many fatalities.

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JerryStubbs 3 years ago

I've started putting the GPS on __MPH display ( you just press where it shows your speed down in the corner) It's supposed to turn red when you go over the speed limit, but I don't know if that works.

I used to drive a car that showed 75 but was really only going 69, I didn't have a GPS then, so I didn't know it.

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nut_case 3 years ago

"I used to drive a car that showed 75 but was really only going 69, I didn't have a GPS then, so I didn't know it."

Huh?? Seems like either you would know it or you wouldn't?? I don't think you can know it said 75 at 69, but not know it?

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

The size of the tires that you have installed makes a great deal of difference in your speedometer and odometer readings.

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KEITHMILES05 3 years ago

Medical care, if needed, should be denied to those who violate the law during an incident.

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Curtis Lange 3 years ago

I don't agree with that, however, insurance should be allowed to deny payment for those involved in accidents where speeding played a role....again mimicking Germany/Autobahn. The Autobahn has a recommended speed limit of 130 km/h (80mph) on the 'unlimited speed' sections. If you're in an accident while going over that 130 km/h limit it is up to the insurance company whether they pay your claim or not.

It is kind of like a 'pay to play' caveat; you can drive as fast as you like, but take the risk of having to pay everything out of pocket if something goes wrong.

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mommy_n_me 3 years ago

I just want to say, UNLESS U ARE THERE, You have NO CLUE what the surcumstances were to this man braking!!! And just becuz the JLWORLD words it one way, doesnt mean that is how it happened, The car in front of this motorcycle braked suddenly, the motorcyle tried to stop in time, but couldnt with the TRAILER on the back that he was towing, then the TRAILER FLIPPED causing this man to lose control of the bike/situation!!! Motorcyclist are not always the ones at fault!! People in cars need to be more cautious and aware of their surroundings and WATCH for the motorcycles!!!

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mommy_n_me 3 years ago

ALSO, To the EDITOR!!!!!!

I would like to see a story done about all the motorcycle accidents that have happened this past week, to month!!!!! Motorcycles are everywhere in this whether and I personally know of 3 accidents involving motorcycles that my husband worked!! Maybe alittle piece on motorcycle awareness!!!!

I think now would be a GREAT time with all the college kids coming in from other areas to REMIND them, they are not the only ones on the road.... and I'm not only talking reminding college kids either but grown people who are just inpatient or to into whats going on INSIDE THEIR CARS to pay attention!!!! Maybe if people see the numbers and take a good look at it, They might start looking twice and save a life!!!

BEWARE, Motorcycles are EVERYWHERE!!

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Curtis Lange 3 years ago

!!!! !!! !!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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