British Columbia has issued a notice of
changes to the Motor Vehicle Act that will affect motorcyclists.
The notice appeared this week and
states that "in response to a growing number of motorcyclists in
B.C., and a corresponding rise in the number of fatalities, all
motorcycle drivers and their passengers will be required to wear a
helmet that meets certified safety-industry standards."
Riders will be responsible for making
sure their under-16 passengers wear approved helmets, and police will
be entitled to seize helmets that don’t meet the standards.
"Inexperience is a high-risk factor
for new riders while learning," the notice says, "so they will be
restricted to less powerful motorcycles." The particulars of that
will be decided later.
The notice also states that passengers
must be able to get their feet onto the footpegs or floorboards of
the motorcycle they’re riding on.
A review of motorcycle crashes in
British Columbia actually found that the fatality rate had dropped,
but the total number of fatalities had risen, between 1999 (41,000
riders, 27 fatalities) and 2008 (80,000/49). "New riders in the
16-25 age groupare the most at risk with a fatality rate that is 13
times higher than older riders," the notice says.