The online petition many CMGers have signed recently may have little effect against Ontario’s proposed Bill 117 (which would prohibit kids under 14 from riding as motorcycle passengers) as it is not considered admissible as a bone-fide petition.
Suzuki Canada’s public relations and racing manager, Nathan Naslund, has suggested that a signed letter mailed to your MPP would be much more effective in getting this legislation put where it belongs, in the bottom of MPP Helena Jaczek’s bird cage.
Below is the template letter supplied by Nathan that you can cut-and-paste and mail out to your MPP. Please feel free to adjust it as you see fit as the more personal a letter the more effective it is.
Jolly good, giv’er then.
To: MPP (your MPP)
From: (your name)
Re: Helena Jaczek MPP for Markham — Private Members Bill 117
As a motorcyclist living and paying taxes in the province of Ontario, I do not support Bill 117, an Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act to prohibit riding a motorcycle with a child passenger under 14 years of age, introduced by Helena Jaczek, MPP for Markham, as a private members bill.
This proposed bill is not based on any scientific research and she did not even ask people who ride what they thought of this. Motorcycles in Canada are designed for the safe use of riders and passengers and this MPP is trying to take away my right to enjoy what I consider to be a great experience with my kids.
With the cost of fuel and the economic challenges families face every day there are thousands of people in Ontario now using motorcycles and scooters as economical means of transportation to commute to work, pick up kids and run errands. There needs to be serious consideration given to the damage Bill 117 can do to families who are already facing tough economic times.
Here is the quote from a letter sent by Raynald Marchand, General Manager of the Canada Safety Council, to Helena Jaczek, MPP Oak Ridges-Markham, the Premier, and the Minister of Transportation:
"It is the CSC’s position that there is no statistical evidence to support this legislation. … 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 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."
Bill 117 has created a lot of turmoil in the riding community. Family trips are in jeopardy and tourists from other provinces and states are wondering how they can plan trips across Canada if they have to detour around Ontario. So much for tourism in Ontario or for that matter so much for parents being able to decide what’s best for their own families.
I am asking you as my MPP to vote against Bill 117 on December 4, 2008 during private members business.