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Letter: Drivers can help save motorcyclists' lives

A view riding a motorcycle.

A view riding a motorcycle. Credit: iStock/Scott Hirko

Drivers can help save motorcyclists’ lives

I am a motorcyclist who agrees with the reader who wrote the letter “Some motorcyclists flout traffic laws,” Just Sayin’, July 13]. Now my 2 cents:

Some motorcyclists believe in the saying, “Loud pipes (exhaust systems) save lives.” My take, “Loud pipes annoy everyone.”

What I’d like to see mandated by the National Highway Institute, Federal Highway Administration, the Department of Transportation, etc., are loud horns, not the squeaky little horns that come as standard equipment on motorcycles. The first upgrade to any motorcycle I buy is a loud horn.

The new safety systems in cars (automatic braking, blind-spot detection) will help save many motorcyclists’ lives. However, the deadliest action a car driver takes is a left turn in front of an oncoming motorcyclist. When I suspect that a car will turn in front of me, I zigzag my bike to become more visual. Unfortunately, many drivers don’t seem to care about a possible collision and turn left anyway. It has happened to me countless times, but my defensive riding has saved me. So far.

Drivers, please keep in mind, I am someone’s son, brother and father. I could be someone you know.

Mitch Zyman, Merrick

Critical to document what soldiers saw

Your story about documentarians from Japan interviewing World War II veteran Robert Strugats of Shelter Island tells of the filmmakers’ hope to humanize these veterans [“‘We were at war, with a job to do,’” News, July 15]. This is important because so many of the young men who witnessed unimaginable horrors suffered from postwar trauma.

It is true that very few witnesses to the U.S. firebombing of Tokyo are still alive. The same is true of witnesses of Japanese atrocities, including the Nanjing Massacre of 1937, the Bataan Death March of 1942 and the Manila massacre of 1945.

War is the darkest evil committed by humanity. I, for one, am thankful that Robert Strugats had a job to do and performed it with valor.

Dante Abbate, Lake Grove