Bill 117 is "a solution looking for a problem" says a Canada Safety Council general manager in a Nov. 8 article on wheels.ca by Toronto Star editor Mark Richardson.
Richardson, who is pictured aboard his Harley-Davidson with his 11-year-old son on the passenger seat, calls the proposed Ontario law prohibiting motorcycle passengers under 14 "a misinformed piece of unnecessary legislation."
The proposed law is redundant, says Richardson, because there’s already a law that requires motorcycle passengers in Ontario to place their feet on footpegs. And the Safety Council spokesman, Raynald Marchand, a program general manager, says he figures many of the reported "motorcycle accidents" involving kids are cases where a child has leaned against the hot exhaust of a parked bike, resulting in a trip to hospital.
What Richardson says about U.S. laws covering children as passengers is enlightening, and he warns that this legislation could become law in Ontario if no one opposes it.
In an e-mail message forwarded to CMG by the Motorcycle and Moped Industry Council, the Canada Safety Council’s GM says, "I reviewed all seven Ontario Road Safety Annual Reports from 1999 to 2005. I did not find any fatalities for motorcycle passengers less than 14 years of age. I also looked at injuries for motorcycle passengers less than 16 years of age and compared them to bicycle passengers less than 16 years of age and car passengers less than 16 years of age over the same period (1999 to 2005). Ontarian children were four times (4x) more likely to have been injured as passengers on bicycles and 262 times more likely to have been injured as passengers in passenger vehicles than to have been injured as passengers on motorcycles."
And MMIC president Bob Ramsay makes his own point about the law in this CTV News clip.
Bill 117 is a private member’s bill launched by Helena Jaczek, MPP for Oak Ridges-Markham. It goes to second reading on Dec. 4, and into debate after that if it’s not stopped dead in its tracks.
CMG readers are invited to sign a petition against the bill.