British Columbia Safety Council

British Columbia Safety Council

May 13, 2009 16:54 ET

British Columbia Safety Council: Stay Alert...Stay Alive

Alert Drivers and Skilled Motorcyclists Save Lives!

RICHMOND, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 13, 2009) - The arrival of spring brings warmer weather, playoff hockey and the re-appearance of thousands of motorcyclists on the streets and highways of British Columbia. May is Motorcycle Safety and Awareness month and the BC Safety Council is urging all motorists to safely "Share the Road" with motorcycles and to be extra alert when driving to help keep motorcyclists safe.

Motorists are not accustomed to the motorcyclist's presence after the winter season and so, are not looking for them in traffic. Motorcyclists themselves are rusty after a winter away from riding and not sharp in their interactions with other vehicles. Both need to look out for each other and adjust their driving style to preserve safety margins.

The BC Safety Council's Executive Director Bryan Lowes, a 45-year motorcycle veteran, calls on all drivers and riders to look for each other in traffic. "We need to watch for each other out there because there is no second chance to avoid collisions - and riders of all two-wheelers are more vulnerable to mistakes," says Lowes.

Motorists should be aware of the fact that motorcycles appear to be further away than they really are and can appear to be approaching more slowly than they really are. Drivers should give riders a break by looking for them in traffic, then waiting and yielding before proceeding when there is any doubt about safety.

Riders need to be aware that drivers of other vehicles may misjudge their range and approach speed and to be prepared for another vehicle turning across their path or pulling out in front of them. They must approach intersections with caution and not assume other drivers see them or will yield the right-of-way.

In recent years, the toll of collisions on motorcyclists has been severe, going up instead of down - contrary to general traffic safety trends. With higher fuel, prices and the need to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions BC will see steadily increasing numbers of motorcycles and scooters on the road. The need for best safety practices will only increase.

The Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles and The Coroners Service of British Columbia are currently co-sponsoring a multi-partner review of motorcycle safety in British Columbia. The Safety Council is looking forward to this review and intends to work for full cooperation of the motorcycle industry and community towards improved rider safety.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

May is Motorcycle Safety and Awareness month and the BC Safety Council is urging all motorists to safely "Share the Road" with motorcycles and to be extra alert when driving to help keep motorcyclists safe. Motorcyclists are reminded to make themselves visible to other motorists in case other drivers are not looking out for them.

BC Safety Council Motorcycle information and news releases are available at www.safetycouncil.bc.ca.

Contact Information