Kelowna and District Safety Council emphasizes rider responsibility in motorcycle safety

Onus on riders & drivers

Motorcycles have been back out on the streets and highways for several weeks now, but with the busy summer driving season fast approaching, the Kelowna & District Safety Council is stepping up awareness.

“The motorcyclist who sets aside self-control, gets involved in alcohol or drugs, [or] gets involved in riding over speed in dangerous roadways, is going to get hurt. That’s a fact,” points out longtime instructor Bill Downie.

He wants to bust the myth that it’s up to other drivers to keep bikers safe, noting that studies out of the U.S. found in many crash cases involving motorcycles, the rider failed to stop or lost control.

“We do have to look at ourselves,” said Downie.

“We have to understand that motorcycle serious injury and fatality crashes relate to a lack of control by the rider, a lack of safe traffic control by the ministries involved and a loss of control. Really importantly, a loss of control.

“Many, many crashes that cost people’s lives are not multi-vehicle crashes, they are single-vehicle crashes. And they are much, much more deadly than multi-vehicle crashes.”

Downie adds that the Southern Interior is one of the most dangerous parts of the province, accounting for 36 per cent of motorcycle fatalities with only 16 per cent of B.C.’s population.

“Constant learning, lifetime learning is crucial for motorcyclists in particular because we are so much at risk.”

That’s where the safety council comes in.

It is offering 12 road ready training courses this year, like the one it held over the weekend in the parking lot of Rutland Senior Secondary.

You can find out more or sign up through the KDSC website.

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