Report: Quebec government wants licencing crackdown

Quebec’s provincial transportation minister is hoping to tighten the laws around motorcycle licences, says a report from CTV News.

According to CTV, Transport Minister François Bonnardel wants to introduce a zero-tolerance for blood alcohol content while riding a motorcycle on a beginner’s licence, same as already applies for a car beginner’s licence.

Few motorcyclists would take issue with that, but CTV also reports the government wants to ban drivers with four or more penalty points on their licence from acquiring a motorcycle beginner’s licence.

To justify the moves, Bonnardel is citing an investigation by the Expert Committee on Motorcycle Safety (whoever that may be) into 182 crashes between the 2013 and 2016 riding seasons, which resulted in 189 fatalities.

23 thoughts on “Report: Quebec government wants licencing crackdown”

  1. I’m very disappointed by the lack of quality to this post and it seems to be a theme every time Québec motorcycle laws are concerned on this website, no research is done as if it was the intention to make people angry against the province and its government.

    First of all here’s the government’s official communication on the subject:

    Here’s the abridged version of the report on the subject:

    Here’s the report:

    Now that I’ve done your job…

    The transport minister has had a motorcycle license for about 30 years now so it’s pretty hard to say he’s biased against motorcyclists.

    And since most users on here don’t speak french, here’s what’s going on:

    Two thirds of motorcyclists who died in motorcycle accidents from 2013 to 2016 had accumulated penalty points during the past 10 years. Half these incidents had only one vehicle involved, the motorcycle. Nearly 60% of the cases involved riders with less than 2 years of experience. The most common causes based on police reports were speed, not respecting priorities and distraction.

    Let me remind people that Québec’s government also covers the people directly in any road accidents, only the vehicles are covered by private insurance, that means a much bigger incentive for the government to increase safety.

    A year ago the law was changed so people with beginner license can now ride as soon as they pass their closed circuit exam, as a result the price for the license plate on sports bikes will go up 13% this year (from 1550 to 1750) as they represent a disproportionate amount of accidents (25% when only 4.5% of registered motorcycles are sports bikes) and now people can ride them unsupervised when they only have about 16 hours of experience on the road during classes. The number of accidents (and by consequence the amount the government had to pay sport bike riders) went way up during the last year as a result of the new law.

    The next step that’s under study at the moment is to have a system like is used in Europe where people can’t ride whatever type of motorcycle they want after passing their exam but will instead be required to get experience on less powerful machines first to then be allowed to ride sports bikes.

  2. The province has always shunned bikes, and this is more proof of that. Someone can lose 4 out of 15 demerit points for just one moderate infraction, and that’s in a car, no less. That’s in no way representative of a someone with poor riding or driving habits. I’m curious to see how it will affect new-rider registration this year, but my guess is it won’t be good. On the one hand, the Government frees up licensing by lifting the accompanied rider clause for new riders; on the other hand it prevents potential new riders from getting a licence with this ludicrous law, which from what I gathered from a news story on TV, is getting some support from certain motorcycle associations. Someone might have to wait up to two years before being able to apply for a license, if the demerit points are fresh.

    1. Go read the report before saying it’s ridiculous:

      Beginners and people with penalty points are overly represented in fatal crashes (60% were beginners, 67% had penalty points on their license during the last 10 years)

      4 points and more means a pretty major infraction, we’re talking 40 over in a 60kph or less zone and 46 over in zones with speed limit over 60kph.

    2. Yeah I’m directly affected by that. I’m mid-30 y/o and I got my apprentice license in summer 2018. In spring 2019, got 2 speeding tickets with my car in 2 weeks while returning home after work. So now I have 5 points on my driving license until spring 2021. I was supposed to do my on road test this spring to obtain my probatory license. I guess with that new rule I won’t be able to ride this year. Now I’m considering selling my bike…

  3. I was living, riding in Toronto for the past 12 years, free parking anywhere for motorcycles. 90$ every 5 years for driver license. 42$ license plate (sticker) yearly. Back to Quebec in 2019 realizing we cant even ride and park a motorcycle in old Quebec, cant park on Grand Allee. 160$ each year for my driver license and ridiculous price for my license plate. I won’t stay here much longer in a province hating motorcycles. Yes it is better elsewhere.

    1. Funny you don’t mention private insurance though, people always love to bash Québec for how much it costs to register a vehicle but at the same time as a package the people I know who moved from Ontario to Québec all ended up saving money and don’t have to hire lawyers to get paid if they get in an accident.

        1. No, but I hate when people bash my province while being uninformed, especially when the right information takes 30 seconds to find.

          1. No one is bashing your province. La Belle Province has a long history of deterring people from riding motorcycles. I’ve travelled the world, and Quebec is the only place I’ve ever seen that prevents motorcycles from circulating as freely as automobiles, despite most of the people who ride those bikes also drive cars. Riding a bike apparently makes you an instant delinquent.

            The province’s accident rate per capita is no higher than average than anywhere else in North America, yet the province’s ministry of transport believe it has to take draconian measures to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. And the death rate, while not really improving, has remained the same for many, many years, always around 50-ish annually. No, I haven’t seen the numbers since the accompanied-rider law was lifted. Can it be improved? Probably. But preventing law abiding people from being able to even take a riding course is so ludicrous it would be funny if it weren’t happening in the real world.

            Keep believing that preventing people who’ve accumulated 4 demerit points from learning to ride will lower the death rate, and when it doesn’t and eventually gets reduced to 2 or 1 demerit point, well, I hope you are a supremely obedient road user. And thanks for the links, I will look at them very carefully.

      1. $1,750 just for the mandatory insurance for a sport bike. And that doesn’t cover the bike, just the rider, so I get to pay for more insurance on top of that. Pretty sure I could insure a sportbike here in Ontario for less than that. But then I’m an older, responsible rider with a good driving record. Sounds like your system is subsidizing the young riders with the premiums of older riders.

        If you like that system you’re welcome to it, but I don’t think I’d be interested.

        1. The people I know with sports bike in Ontario pay more than that for their private insurance, you could call to get a quote just for fun.

  4. How does this rate compare to other provinces I wonder? And is 189 the number of motorcyclist fatalities or does that include fatalities from passenger vehicles involved in those 182 crashes?

    1. 50% only involved the motorcyle, 189 riding victims, 182 accidents (so some involved passengers), the potential victims inside cars aren’t counted.

      1. Saving people from themselves. How deep does that rabbit hole go?
        You may be fine with that philosophy, but I prefer to make my own choices, live my own life, and accept the consequences. It’s called freedom.

        1. In a system with universally healthcare you don’t pay for the consequences alone, everyone does. Even without universal healthcare if you crash because you’re acting recklessly then everyone’s premium goes up because motorcyclist represent a higher risk for insurance companies.

          1. You are correct that everyone pays. That is part of what makes up a country – for better or worse, we are in this together. Each one of us take risks each and every day. How long before the government decides how many more things are too dangerous to allow its citizens to participate in? Should the skiers who choose to ski the double black diamond runs be singled out and treated unfairly because there is a greater chance they will be injured?

            This is a very slippery slope (no pun intended). You may be fine with such restrictions, but it seems to me to be chipping away at the “freedom to choose” for the residents of La Belle Province.

            I’ll leave a quote I believe sums up my thoughts quite well:

            “I refuse to believe in a risk free society where the thrill of living is traded for the safety of existence.” — Nick Ienatsch

    1. 182 crashes involved 189 victims who died with 60% of them being on their beginner’s license (so probably close to 20 years old)

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