Motorcycle Collisions

Motorcycle CrashThis year has not been a good year for motorcycle collisions on Vancouver Island. Of nine fatalities, police report that seven of them have been the fault of the rider. Speed and inexperience are the cited contributing factors.

A representative of the Association for Injured Motorcyclists Vancouver Island Chapter doesn't minimize the rider's contribution to the problem but suggests that there is a lack of restrictions placed on new riders, particularly with regard to the limitation of horsepower until the rider becomes more experienced. He suggests that having a high horsepower machine when learning to ride is a recipe for disaster.

Horsepower aside, there is no lack of restriction on new drivers. A learner must remain a learner for a minimum of 12 months. During that time there are limits to speed, hours of the day, passengers, instructors, zero blood alcohol and a requirement to display the new driver "L" sign. A novice remains in that stage for a further 24 months. During that time the zero blood alcohol and display of the new driver "N" sign are the only requirements.

How many new driver signs have you seen when you follow a motorcycle? There must be some chance of encountering one, but I suspect that you rarely, if ever, see them.

Drop in on a motorcycle discussion forum on the internet. While many riders are responsible and try to convince others of the danger, a significant number are quite vocal that they will ride in whatever manner they see fit regardless of the rules. If the police try to stop them the solution is to crack the throttle open and disappear. The police can't catch them anyway.

Attitude, not a lack of restrictions is the problem that we are up against on our highways. Until that changes the death toll will continue.