Just saw this thread. I agree: be in gear and ready to move.
My Shadow helps me with this: if I'm shifting from neutral to 1st, the gearbox always clunks a bit. So I downshift to 1st as I'm pulling up to the stopsign/traffic_light. Might be a hassle keeping the clutch disengaged, but it's less wear and tear on the trans.
My sympathies to the families of the people in those vehicles. A tragedy.
Used to have a 1979 CB750L, sold it as a parts bike, now riding a slightly modified 1984 VT700C. Network/Field Engineer. Central OH, USA, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy, Universe.
Another piece of advice to go along with this, whether on a bike or in a car, is to not pull up too close to the vehicle in front of you when coming to a stop. Leave yourself enough room to escape if you notice a vehicle coming in too hot from behind.