I almost hate to bring this up


I almost hate to bring this up

A correspondent sent me this picture:


His concern was that the purpose of the sign was to keep motorcycles out of the garage and wondered if the sentiment was pervasive.

I actually haven’t seen this sign a lot lately. Typically manufacturers, one in particular, put them on their gates probably directed to do so by lawyers. The main purpose was to warn pedestrians about the potential dangers of walking under an open gate. Of course bicycles and motorcycles are in the same category as the mass of metal might not be enough to notify the gate that there is an object under it and keep it from closing.

My suspicion is that if a motorcycle wanted to park in a garage and was willing to pay the fee, they would be welcome. Usually they just drive around the gate and negotiate with the attendant. Many garages actually have small spaces blocked out for two wheeled vehicles.

By the way, my guess is that the reason most gates don’t have these signs any more is that they do no good, either in keeping out pedestrians or lowering liability. If they are going to sue you, they are going to sue you. And they are going to sue everyone, the owner, operator, installer of the gate and the gate manufacturer. This is true even if the gate was doing exactly what it was supposed to do, close right after a car.

I am often filled with wonder at the stupidity of the average person on the street. They will pass a sign that says "vehicles only" walk over a perfectly good sidewalk, and then follow a car out through a lane where they have just watched a gate open in front of the car — don’t they think that gate is going to close?

Oh well.. By bringing this up, I’ll probably cause lawyers across the fruited plain to dig in old cases and begin class action lawsuits against everyone in sight.


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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