Motorcycle fatalities in NS show need for changes: advocacy group

Although police clocked him at 200 kph in a 60 zone, Jason Alan Dery has managed to hang on to his Ducati.
The Nova Scotia highways have been deadly for motorcyclists this year. Photo:
The Nova Scotia highways have been deadly for motorcyclists this year. Photo:

There have been eight motorcycle fatalities already in Nova Scotia this summer (according to their DOT), and a motorcycle advocacy group says this shows the government needs to change its safety campaign.

According to an article by the Canadian Press, Jimi Swinimer (president of the Bikers Down Society) believes the provincial government’s motorcycle safety campaign doesn’t work because it runs too early in the year. The government ran a safety campaign in Nova Scotia this year in the month of May, urging car drivers to watch out for motorcyclists.

Swinimer believes the campaign should run in June, because many riders aren’t on the roads earlier in the year because of the weather.

As well, he thinks the government needs more signs telling auto drivers to watch out for riders, as well as better training.


  1. As a tractor trailer driving instructor I note that everyone is quick to point a finger at cagers for being the cause of all the ills that befall motorcyclists. Maybe it’s time we looked at ourselves and took some responsibility for our own stupidity like the 3 gentlemen caught recently who lost their wheels (care of the OPP) because they were “cruising” in excess of 150 kph weaving in and out of traffic. Or the story of the idiot who had 3 consecutive rear enders and then blamed it on the cars for stopping when he least expected it. DUH!

    We are all aware that we ride with targets on our backs so why don’t we ride accordingly? I would hasten a guess that most of these riders were riding well beyond their abilities and probably weren’t paying attention. What I have seen most often is that stuipid begets stupid when a cager does something stupid and the offended rider has to ramp up the stupidity factor by trying to get even. 500lb bike versus 3000lb cage, HMM, I wonder who’s going to win that one.

    A poster isn’t the answer, on-going training is. How many of us have taken refresher courses or advanced riding courses since we got our licenses? I’ll bet the number is pretty low.

    Ride safe and ride well!

  2. Warning signs and awareness campaigns accomplish little. The people that need that message the most, pay the least attention to them. Ontario’s infernal “stunt driving” legislation doesn’t work, either – because the majority of serious crashes involve right-of-way violations at much lower speeds (read the Hurt report – old info, but it ought to be mostly still true today). Short of forcing car drivers to get a motorcycle license first – wishful thinking – what’s needed is for penalties in right-of-way crashes to be severe enough to get people’s attention. Kill someone else with your vehicle (doesn’t matter pedestrian or bicyclist or whatever) – your driver’s license is done. Seriously injure someone else with your vehicle – big fine, and if you want your driver’s license back, start over from square one as if you were a teenage unlicensed driver. Redo your driver instruction, read the handbook, redo the tests. It seems like a lot of people have forgotten the right-of-way rules. No, forcing them to re-read the book won’t force them to follow the rules, but we ought to at least make people know what the rules are.

  3. As a motorcycle instructor with the Canada Safety Council, the more training riders can get he better. It seems strange that we are willing to spend tens of thousands of $$$ on our bikes, but will not spend $100 – $200 on ourselves to improve our riding skills and become a more aware, skilled, and safer rider.
    As well, in NS but other provinces s well, the section in the learners manuals concerning motorcycles is by-passed and not used in testing if the applicant is only applying for a beginners drivers license. Perhaps all beginners drivers licences should test on motorcycle information as well. We are all life long learners and continued training only makes us better! Just a Few thoughts to start a conversation.

  4. Is there any statistical proof that public motorcycle warning signs improve motorcycle safety?

    I’ve seen the signs in Toronto, and always think, kudos to someone for getting that done, but — other than a seemingly nice idea, do they actually do anything?

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