Message to Minneapolis Motorcyclists: You aren’t human.

Last June 41-year old Martin Shusta was riding his motorcycle, following all traffic laws, and was struck by State Trooper Scott D. Mittelstadt. The accident killed Shusta, and as you can see from this photo, demolished his bike.

Today has an article about Middlestadt’s plea of guilty to charge of careless driving (the failure to yield charge was dimissed). The sentence was a fine of $563 and a stayed sentence to 30-days in the workhouse. Oh, and the trooper can’t get any tickets until 2007.

This is a phenomena you encounter when you start riding motorcycles. The moment you get on your bike, you become sub-human. It’s okay for someone to mow you down in a careless act, claim they “didn’t see” the motorcyclist they plowed into, and the perpetrators walk away virtually scott-free. When you put on your helmet you not only are imbued with the power of invisibility on the roads, but you become persona non grata in the courts. What makes this situation sting so much for me is that a State Trooper failed to follow traffic laws – the very ones he’s supposed to uphold – and killed someone. For that, he gets a paid vacation and a pittance of a fine.


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