Talk of changes to motorcycle regulations continues in New Brunswick in the wake of a prominent motorcycle-pedestrian fatality last summer, with a call now from the chief coroner for graduated licensing.
Authorities launched an investigation after 46-year-old lawyer Caroline Higgins was struck and killed by an out-of-control motorcycle in the summer of 2010. The rider wasn’t charged after the incident, but chief coroner Gregory Forestell says the tragedy is proof that motorcyclists need graduated licensing, and he’s lobbying the government to implement such a program.
Higgins’ family is echoing those statements; her brother Don has been working to implement more motorcycle safety regulations since her death, telling CBC News the expense for rider training, motorcycle inspection, and graduated licensing can all be covered by motorcyclists.
It doesn’t look as if the provincial government needs any urging from the coroner or victim’s families though; as we’ve already told you, the transportation department is considering motorcycle inspections and graduated licensing, and police forces seem to be all for it.
New Brunswick already has a tiered licensing system for motorcycles; riders can acquire a license for 550cc and under, or a license that allows them to ride any machine, regardless of engine displacement. However, new riders can get either license at the time of their road test, enabling beginners to hit the streets on fairly large, powerful bikes without the experience to handle them safely.
There hasn’t been much of a reply to the regulation rumours from the motorcycling community yet, but you can bet it’s coming.