Live to Ride Another Day

    Motorcyclists Are High Risk Road Users

    BURNABY, BC, May 4 /CNW/ - Motorcycle riders are among the most
vulnerable road users in British Columbia. Motorcycling has become
increasingly more popular as a means of transportation and as a leisure
activity. Add the fact that parts of British Columbia have a longer riding
season, and the result is that crashes involving motorcycles are on the rise.
    It is because motorcycling is a high risk activity that the Government of
British Columbia has proclaimed May 2009, Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month,
and why The Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles and The Coroners
Service of British Columbia are currently co-sponsoring a multi-partner review
of motorcycle safety in British Columbia.
    BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation Executive Director, Allan Lamb is pleased
that the government has made this proclamation, "it should remind road users
that they must pay attention and be aware of each other."
    "Motorcycles are not easily seen," adds Lamb. "Many crashes involving
motorcycles are due to speed and poor riding conditions, but a significant
number occur at intersections in broad daylight on dry streets where drivers
fail to yield to the right of way of the motorcycle."
    Motorcycles represent only 1.5% of insured B.C. vehicles, but 10% of all
road fatalities.
    There are also more middle-aged riders, often referred to as "rubies"
(rich urban bikers), taking to the road. Allan Lamb advises, "that for middle
age riders who perhaps have not driven a motorcycle for many years or ride
very infrequently during the summer season, a refresher course - even every
spring - could save your life."
    Lamb says there is also a message for parents when it comes to young
riders. Young and new riders are involved in a disproportionately high number
of motorcycle crashes. Over the past ten years, 25% of motorcycle fatalities
were riders aged 16 to 25.
    Next to speed, inattention and inexperience are the most significant
contributing factors in a motorcycle crash. Lamb strongly believes that
parents should get involved and stay involved with the young adults as they
are the most likely to become involved in a crash before the ages of 25.
"Motorcycles are not like other vehicles. Riders are not surrounded by 1200 kg
of protective metal and don't have other protective devices like seat belts
and air bags."
    Young drivers in B.C. who have already gone through the Graduated
Licensing Program to drive a car don't have to repeat the process if they opt
to start riding a motorcycle. Lamb suggests that a graduating licensing
program similar to the European model, that restricts engine size, be made
mandatory for young people in applying for a motorcycle license regardless.
    No matter what, age today's motorcyclist is generally a safer rider than
generations past with almost seventy percent of all newly licensed
motorcyclists in Canada having taken a rider training course.

    The BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation offers some tips for staying safe on a

    -   Ride like you're invisible - Don't assume other drivers can see you.

    -   Watch out for left-turning vehicles - Don't assume they will wait for
        you to drive through the intersection. They may not even see you.

    -   Dress as if you plan to crash - Wear appropriate gear to maximize
        your protection that is "armoured" bright and reflective.

    -   Be aware of hazardous road conditions - Wet roads, sand, gravel,
        potholes and other hazards may cause a motorcycle to fall.

    -   Pay attention to posted speeds and watch the road ahead - Reduce
        speed on curves and watch for oncoming vehicles. Many crashes happen
        when a rider overshoots the road ahead or crosses the centre line.

    -   WEAR A HELMET - Helmets are mandatory in B.C. and prevent head
        injuries in 67 percent of crashes and 29 per cent of deaths. Make
        sure your helmet meets current safety standards.

    -   NEVER drive a car or a motorcycle while impaired - Driving is
        impaired when the ability to do so is affected by any substance or
        condition that changes the mood or perception of reality of the
        driver. Alcohol or drugs, illicit or prescription, and even fatigue
        and stress will impair your driving. A combination of any or all of
        these things can be deadly.

    Available for Interview:

    Allan Lamb, Executive Director for the BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation

    About BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation

    The BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation is a non-profit registered charity
working with families, communities and business partners to reduce the number
and severity of traffic crashes and injuries in B.C. For more information
visit or call 604-298-5107.

                             DRIVE TO SAVE LIVES

    URL for this media release is:

For further information:

For further information: Lennea Durant, Media Relations, BCAA Traffic
Safety Foundation, Tel: (604) 875-1182, E-mail:; Allan
Lamb, Executive Director, BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation, Tel: (604) 297-2151,

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BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation

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British Columbia Automobile Association

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