O‘ahu seems to be rather accommodating of the large population of motorcycle and scooter drivers and their unique needs. The roads are shared, and this vast mix of motorized vehicles of various sizes forces all drivers on the road to be even more careful and mindful of the smaller motorists.
Those who drive cars are at a clear advantage, not only in size, but also in sheer mass and – most importantly – the mitigated risks involved for the driver in case of an accident. In comparison, those motorists who drive scooters or motorcycles are exposing themselves to higher risk factors because in the case of an accident, these drivers do not benefit from having a steel frame to absorb the energy from an impact or collision.
Opinions diverge regarding how motorcycles and scooters should better protect themselves on the road by utilizing loud engines, horns, or bright lights. The term "pipes save lives" is used by many motorcycle enthusiasts to defend the argument that their super loud engines serve to notify nearby car drivers that there is a motorcycle approaching.
Some motorcycle drivers prefer "hogs," while others choose "crotch rockets" or other large, motorized engines that emit noises which reverberate for miles around. Hogs are typically identified as Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and these have a cult following. It is safe to say that most of us have witnessed a caravan or parade of Harley-Davidsons, sometime, somewhere. These drivers absolutely love to rev their engines. Why? What do these drivers accomplish by forcing people to cover their ears in pain and setting off car alarms from the high decibel-level vibrations?
Not to single out Harley-Davidson owners, but perhaps these people drive their motorcycles for a more Machiavellian reason. These are not the top reasons why a ‘hog' motorcycle driver buys their noisy motorcycle: it has real transportation and hauling utility, it handles very well, or the motorcycle is undeniably unique. Instead, the drivers probably buy and drive their motorcycle aimlessly around town and sometimes even across the country because they get a chance to interrupt and annoy other people's lives. The worst part is that these people know they are demanding negative attention and they like it.
Drivers of loud vehicles, including super decked-out cars, have the opportunity to rev their engines when they first start the vehicle and at every intersection thereafter. People with loud vehicles have a field day when they have to wait at a red light; they can rev their engines all day. High gas prices? These people single handedly fund the oil industry with all the gas they waste making loud engine noises.
Crotch rockets, as well as ‘souped-up' cars, are the biggest offenders for noise pollution. These motorized vehicles are designed to deliver very few specs: accelerate fast, run even faster and make immense amounts of noise throughout. For those of us who could care less about fast and loud vehicles, the deafening noise associated with these vehicles is downright repulsive.
Crotch rocket drivers and pimped-out car drivers frequently epitomize the stereotypical situation where they rev their engines at a red traffic light, then floor the gas like drag racers when a red light turns green. The following moments of agonizingly loud and obnoxious engine noises and gear shifting is best situated for a race track, where people actually pay to see a vehicular competition, and not on a public street, where people just want to commute and not be bothered.
Perhaps due to O‘ahu's hillsides and valleys, the way the noise from these loud engines carries is as impressive as the island itself. Those who side with the loud motor vehicles must admit, if not to anyone else then at least to themselves, there has been a time when they were sleeping, taking a nap or in the middle of a conversation and were rudely interrupted by a passing loud vehicle – and in that moment cursed loud engines for how obnoxious they really are.
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