Q To Barbara Waaland and Sarah Morgan -- the ladies who were complaining about motorcycle riders and freeway signs urging drivers to look twice for motorcyclists in Monday's column:

I have been riding motorcycles for more than 20 years and have been nearly run over or hit on freeways and surface streets by distracted drivers, most of whom have been women. Women in minivans full of unruly children, "chatty Cathys" having social time while driving with friends, people texting and talking on their phones, women with their yappy dogs on their laps or turning to give a child a juice box.

There are "little old ladies" with poor timing pulling out of driveways in their tank-like sedans, and drivers listening to music so loud that they can't hear my bike next to them and who then change lanes. Oh, then there is the "I have to put my lipstick on while driving 65 mph."

So ladies, it is not just riders that are dangerous. Although you may feel that we all deserve tickets, the lifetime consequence if you kill or maim one of us with your vehicle won't be worth not looking twice. Look twice for motorcycles (and bicycles for that matter). Your long-term mental health may depend on it.

Rose Litvin

San Jose

A Monday's column on this generated a large response, and today motorcyclists and others who like the safety messages posted on electronic freeway signs weigh in. But let's be fair, Rose. Men and women drivers both need to be on the alert.

Q I was shocked by your "Don't tell me to look out for motorcycles" column. When Barbara Waaland says she "has yet to see a motorcyclist that didn't deserve a ticket for some unsafe maneuver," and "if one chooses to get too close with a bonehead maneuver, he will have to take the consequences," I saw red. What a ridiculous thing to say.

The vast majority of automobile vs. motorcycle accidents are caused by motorists who don't follow the rules of the road and take a good look. And when a motorcyclist goes down the question is never, "Did he get hurt?" It's "How badly was he hurt?" or "Was he killed?" There's no such thing as a fender-bender on a motorcycle.

Dave Martens

San Jose

A Unfortunately, a year ago Dave and his wife were injured in a motorcycle crash on Highway 84.

Q We were out for a pleasant ride one afternoon when an automobile coming from the opposite direction outside Livermore pulled an illegal U-turn in front of us and we hit him broadside at 50 mph. The aftermath has been horrible for us, to say the least. Perhaps if he would have heeded the "Look twice for motorcyclists" warning, an awful lot of pain and suffering could have been avoided.

Dave Martens

A Continue, please.

Q We were both taken to a trauma center. My wife, thank goodness, used me as her personal air bag and then went airborne for 10 or 15 yards, ending up on the side of the road. She was scraped and bruised, with a sore neck and missing tooth.

I took the majority of the impact, and needed to be airlifted by the Stanford Life Flight helicopter. I had a broken arm, torn tendons in my hand, massive rotator cuff tear (three of the four shoulder muscles were torn clean off the bone), broken hip socket, crushed knee and ankle as well as a concussion and road rash.

I've had four surgeries at Stanford, with one more to go. I will wind up with two new and one rebuilt joint on my left side alone.

Dave Martens

A Dave has one final comment.

Q I say that reminding motorists to "Look twice for motorcyclists" is some of the best advice ever given.

Dave Martens

A I so agree. It is silly to rail against a freeway message to look twice for motorcyclists.

Q Thank you, CHP. You have made my life much safer since the start of your "Look twice for motorcyclists" campaign. I couldn't believe my recent experience lane-splitting south on Highway 1 through Santa Cruz. Motorists were giving my friends and I a wide berth and some hand-waving as we passed. Be assured there were a few motorists with issues, but what a wonderful difference. Looks like we have a chance that most everyone may get the word that to share the road is a good thing. I now have a little hope.

Bud LeVesque

San Jose

A I hope your hope spreads.

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