RCMP remind motorists to keep an eye out for motorcycles and scooters

Eyes peeled for motorcycles

With warm weather in the forecast for the weekend, BC RCMP traffic services are reminding motorists to keep an eye out for motorcyclists and scooters.

Kelowna and District Safety Council motorcycle training instructor, Bill Downey says that according to the Motorcycle Moped Industry Council of Canada, sales of new bikes are booming.

That means more riders on roadways around B.C.

RCMP Cpl. Brian Johannson says one of the most important considerations is gear, "always wear a government-approved helmet, eye protection and gloves while riding a motorcycle."

Motorcycle-specific protective clothing is also highly recommended and your gear should match your riding habits with on or off-road.

"You don't want to be out there in a t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops riding your motorcycle around," says Cpl. Johannson.

Taking extra measures to spot motorcycles and scooters is also key as it can be difficult to see motorcycles on the road because of their smaller size. Motorcyclists and scooter riders need to be aware of this and avoid riding in a vehicle's blind spot and keep a safe distance, with plenty of time to stop.

Riders should always stay within their ability limits and make sure to knock the rust off and build their skills back up in the early part of the riding season.

Downey tells Castanet, "motorcycles, ridden aggressively, rear-end other vehicles more often than the other way around."

The RCMP recommends registering for a government-approved motorcycle operating course to refresh your skills and stay up to date with the rules of the road.

Downey recommends working off the rust by riding your motorcycle in an empty parking lot, "what’s needed instead is some practice time to scrape off some rust, and re-familiarize ourselves with our control systems."

Drivers should be on the lookout for motorcycles during the summer months even if it's raining, that doesn't mean riders won't be on the roads. Cpl. Johannson says, "remember a motorcycle's single headlight can make them appear farther away in low-light conditions."

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