Saskatchewan could make riding gear mandatory

Saskatchewan's insurance agency is considering making riding gear mandatory.

Saskatchewan’s insurance agency is considering making riding gear mandatory.

The ongoing debate over insurance rates in Saskatchewan has resulted in some more suggestions from government-run insurer SGI.

Some of the suggestions SGI is putting forward are standard in other parts of the world – things like restricting new riders to smaller motorcycles, or charging them more money for insurance if they skip rider training. Some, like issuing stiffer fines for not wearing helmets, probably won’t change a thing.

But the most interesting suggestion of all is the idea of making riding gear mandatory. Canada requires helmets in every province, but no jurisdiction has any laws regarding jackets, pants, or other protective equipment.

Whether or not such a move would really make motorcyclists safer is another question. Many riders are already on the roads with the smallest, skimpiest helmets they can find. Requiring motorcyclists to wear riding gear would keep some safer, but many others would simply opt for jackets and pants that comply with the letter of the law, but not the spirit.

For some background on the Saskatchewan insurance issue, read here and here. Basically, SGI was threatening to raise rates by an average of 73 per cent this spring; some riders would have seen much larger hikes than that. They pulled back on the issue after bikers were outraged, but they are still trying to figure out how to reduce insurance costs.

3 thoughts on “Saskatchewan could make riding gear mandatory”

  1. Leather is a truly remarkable thing. When leather meets tarmac at velocity, it is astoundingly resilient. I’ve tested this myself… several times. Why did the slow moving cow evolve to be soooo abrasion resistent? I can’t imagine riding a motorcycle without as much quality leather coverage as possible. If it is too hot for leather… then it is too hot to ride.

  2. I agree with El Marco, leathers on a bike just make sense. Seeing what happened to some of the Euro guys who came of their bikes in Thailand while wearing only Speedos, well let’s just say it was bleak.

    But making it the law is probably a big waste of time. What I’d like to see is the headline, “Saskatchewan actually makes riding gear…instead of importing everything from sweatshops overseas.”

    1. Textile or leather, as long as there are some reliable standards (like requiring CE approved armor). What frustrates me is the scooter riders who have no idea what they’re doing – make scooter riders receive a minimum level of rider training and at least a cursory road test before setting them loose on the road.

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