Current ferry loading practice of motorcycles is unsafe | Letters | Dec. 31
December 29, 2010 · 11:08 AM
While waiting for the ferry [last week] I noticed a sign that reads, “Motorcycle Please Wait for Attendant’s Signal to Board Vessel.”
Needless to say, the sign is ignored by ferry staff and motorcyclists alike.
Motorcyclists that arrive after the ferry begins loading board at their pleasure.
They then often zip over the upper wing so they can be one of the first off the ferry.
Speaking with ferry staff, there was wide agreement that the current situation is, in the words of one, “an accident waiting to happen.”
Some of the motorcyclists are experienced riders on powerful bikes; others are new riders on underpowered scooters.
But all are allowed to use their judgment as to when it is safe to squeeze themselves between two boarding cars as they approach the loading ramp.
I envy the personal injury attorney who gets the first injured motorcyclist as a client; the ferry system is a large target, is aware of the danger and has failed, so far, to act.
To avoid both potential tragedy and liability, I suggest enforcing the same ferry boarding regimen for motorcyclists done for bicyclists, e.g., board motorcyclists after bicyclists and before cars (as you do now).
Then hold all motorcyclists until the end of the car boarding cycle (as you do bicyclists now) and allow them to board just before departure.
There is only one downside for the motorcyclists. Those that arrive after the initial boarding sequence will end up at the back of the ferry and have to wait a bit longer to disembark at the other end.