B.C. aims at fatalities


A graduated-licensing program and
different-coloured licence plates for new motorcycle riders were two
of the recommendations by a British Columbia "death panel" review
this week.

The B.C. Coroners Service review
focussed on tougher rules for new riders and making other drivers pay
attention to motorcycles on the road.

Solicitor General Kash Heed, who is also
the province’s public safety minister, announced the recommendations.
"It’s clear that with more riders on the road, motorcycle safety
is an area where improvements need to be made," said Heed.

There were 286 motorcycle-related
deaths reported from 2000 to 2007, an increase in the fatality rate
that prompted the chief coroner of British Columbia to convene a
"death review panel" in November 2008.

The panel made nine recommendations:
require any street helmet to be certified by DOT, Snell, BSI, CSA, or
ECE; make eye protection mandatory — meaning anything from
sunglasses to a face shield; establish a graduated-licence program
for new riders, even if they already have an auto driver’s licence —
and with respect to that one, make a new rider wait longer before
taking the skills test, set a zero blood-alcohol limit for them,
tighten controls on new riders who have less than eight years of
experience driving cars, change the colour of licence plates used by
learners, and tie the power of the bike a new rider can use to the power
of bike used to take the road test.

More of the nine recommendations: limit
MP3 player and phone use to a single earpiece; improve the class 5
(car driver) training process to better teach car drivers how to
properly observe motorcycles on the road; re-evaluate training
schools and instructors; teach riders the importance of wearing full gear during the learning phase; improve the collection of
data in motorcycle collision investigations; and finally, "That the
role, definition and accountability of supervisors be reviewed and
that an information package be created and made available to new
riders to provide to their supervisors."

A statistical review was carried out on
all 286 deaths and a more in-depth analysis was conducted on six of
the cases. Panel members included representatives from the BCCS,
police, ICBC, OSMV, B.C. Coalition of Motorcyclists, B.C. and Canada
safety councils, Motorcycle and Moped Industry Council, B.C. training
institutions and the riding community.

To see the recommendations, go to the
B.C. government website.


  1. I think having to do a graduated licensing program for a motorcycle, AFTER you have already completed the CLASS 5 GRADUATED LICENSING PROGRAM is BS!!! If you HAVEN’T completed the class 5 program then YES u should have to do it for a motorbike license but not if you already have completed it!! Ecspecially when mopeds don’t even need a license or training, and god i have seen more inexperienced ppl buy mopeds, scooters etc and are more dangerous then any other vechile driving, inc drunk ppl! No word of a lie! If you have the proper motorcycle training then the CC of a bike shouldnt matter!!!

  2. I used to live in BC and learned to ride while I was there. I would also like to see anyone trying for a class 5 license to have to learn the basics of handling and theory of 2 wheeled powered vehicles. They can ride a powered bicycle or moped without any license and operate a scooter with just a class 5 and no training. This has to be addressed NOW, and ensure people who are doing anything other than walking know how to do what they are doing!

    ‘Bye for now

  3. I think it’s about time with more and faster bikes on the road. You now can walk in and buy any size bike as long as you have the money. They won’t let you test drive them because they know you are way over your head and that bike likely won’t be coming back in one piece. When I took my test in 1968 on a 650 Triumph he told me to follow him on my bike while he gave a car drivers test to a lady. When we got back he said I guess your alright and gave me the endorsement on my car license. When I look back I wasn’t that skilled and learned as I went along with a lot of luck and many close calls.

  4. “Have any of you been caught in wet conditions at night on a full windshield bike? Eye protection = no vision in those conditions.”

    What are you talking about?

  5. All looks good Except the ear piece proposed regs.Riding without a windshield requires ear protection plugs ur you will be deaf in 10 years.I do not use a i-pod anyways, but do use ear protection,even when I use a full face helmetas as most do not mask the high DB wind noise.So using two ear buds playing music to me is the riders choice.As a rider I am conxtantly observing my surrondings front ,side and back all the time,because if you do not,You put your life at risk.Without any ear plugs or buds the wind noise drowns out most ttraffic noise anyways.

  6. I’ll all for improved new rider training, but you guys are way too quick to say “sure, give us more laws, the gvmnt knows best after all.”

    For example, what findings led to the call for full eye protection or no ear buds? Have any of you been caught in wet conditions at night on a full windshield bike? Eye protection = no vision in those conditions. And how does listening to my i-pod at a moderate volume or listening to my GPS directions make me a danger on the roads?

    Sheesh. Frig’n Canadians accept anything their government tells ’em…

  7. The story is not quite correct – the fatality RATE has actually decreased over the period from 6.6 to 6.2 deaths per thousand, but the # has increased from 27 in 1999 to 49 in 07 as the # of riders has risen from 41,100 to 79,600. Changes such as proposed are long overdue in BC, especially re our idiotic helmet situation. The BC Coalition of Motorcyclists response to these proposals was pathetic, as noted in an earlier comment. Their response to the proposed bike weight/horsepower limitation for new riders was laughable – they thought it meant RIDER weight and therefore not practical!

  8. damm good idea, lets do it.. new riders should be limited to 250cc for the first year. More m/c training in auto clases, the ‘door-slammers have to learn to be more aware of riders. And get rid of those “P-pot head holders”

  9. The bozos(es?) at BCCOM, when asked for their input to these new rules, basically said, “Leave us alone, its all the car drivers’ fault.”

    These are the same folks who campaigned against standardized helmet specifications which allows those little black plastic yamulkas to be legally used in BC.

    Persoanlly, I’m all for these new rules and regs.

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