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.