The Motorcycle Problem

posted by Chanoch Ne’eman 26 Tishri 5775 Jerusalem (c)

I want to talk about a subject which is painful to me – the problems caused by irresponsible motorcycle users in Israel, and the failure of the Israeli Police to address them.

I have been here twenty years, and I have to say, the problem seems to me to have gotten worse and worse.

Let’s look at two problems – unsafe driving and noise.

One. Unsafe driving. Motorcycles in Jerusalem weave in and out to traffic like bats out of hell. They pass on the left, on the right, and in the oncoming lane. At any given traffic light you can see a pack of motorcycles who have weaved between cars to come to the front. This is dangerous and also can scratch cars. They do not do this in New Jersey. They wait in line with the cars like a refined person should. This is because the Police do not put up with such nonsense in New Jersey. In Jerusalem, the Police on motorcycles themselves weave up to the front of the traffic light.

The problem has been compounded in recent years by the rapid growth of delivery cycles. They are out there in fleets, at all crazy hours, delivering pizza, subs, burgers, sushi, and documents.

I spoke to my friend’s son, who is one of these deliverers. He said the time deadlines they are given compel them to drive so aggressively; weaving, passing in the oncoming lane, speeding.

Well maybe the burger establishments don’t care about public safety, but that does not mean we should not.

The second problem is noise. A motorcycle, like all vehicles, can be adjusted to make less noise. Or more noise. And for a certain segment of the motorcycle riders, noise is a plus. They are young kids, or older “bikers” whose sense of identity, and perhaps masculinity, is tied to the decibel level they produce.

By me on Pierre Kenig Street in Talpiot, many of these airplane engine cyclists like to “drag”, that is speed, when the street is most empty – late at night.

The police do nothing. I called them and in their imitable style, they said, “call us when there is a problem”. In other words, we are doing nothing.

Hashem Help them both, the low-lifes and the Police, to do teshuva.


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