May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and this year B.C. is marking the occasion with the introduction of some new regulations. These are meant to help improve road safety and reduce injuries and fatalities.
So what do the new motorcycle laws ask for? Effective June 1, riders and passengers are required to wear helmets that meet safety standards. Passengers have to put their feet on pegs or floorboards to improve balance. Font size on motorcycle license plates has also increased for better visibility.
Since 2007, there have been over 5000 motorcycle injuries, over 200 of which were fatalities. Minister of Justice and Attorney General Shirley Bond says “these new standards provide even more guidance to help riders who are more vulnerable to injury and death than other road users enjoy a safe journey.”
With less than two weeks to go, make sure you’ve got the right gear or you could be facing increased fines. The license plate fine is now $230, seat violation fines range between $109 to $121, and helmet violation fines range from $138 to $276.
Motorists should appreciate that there will be more motorcycles on the road as the weather gets warmer. Drivers please respect the rights of motorcyclists:
- Respect the motorcyclist: A motorcycle is entitled to the same rights as any other vehicle on the road. Give the motorcycle a full lane of travel.
- Look out: Be extra cautious at intersections and on the highway. Motorcyclists are harder to spot when making a left turn or changing lanes. Clearly signal your intentions.
- Anticipate a motorcyclist’s maneuver: Potential road hazards may not present a problem for motorists but can be deadly for a motorcyclist. Anticipate sudden, evasive actions.
- Allow plenty of space: Don’t follow a motorcycle too closely. Allow enough room to provide the motorcyclist with room to maneuver.
For More Information:
- Province rolls out new motorcycle laws, BC Newsroom