As warmer days arrive, more Islanders are enjoying P.E.I. roads on their motorcycles, and law enforcement officers will be conducting special traffic checks throughout May to ensure motorcycle riders and drivers are driving safe.
Scott Lundrigan, P.E.I. Crime Stoppers co-ordinator and a retired police officer who rode a motorcycle on patrol, has seen too many motorcycle collisions and has some safety advice for motorcycle operators.
“From personal experience, I know that proper safety gear can make the difference between a collision you walk away from and one that lands you in the hospital or worse,” said Lundrigan. “Eye protection prevents momentary blinding, protective clothing protects you from serious scrapes if your bike slides and everyone knows that a helmet can save your life.”
Riders should make sure their motorcycle is in good working condition and have an up-to-date motorcycle inspection to ensure good tire condition and braking/steering/suspension components.
Always ride closer to the centre line, rather than the middle of the road and shoulder, so you can see oncoming traffic more easily and they can see you. In addition, pay attention to the road, never drive while impaired or distracted, ride according to skill and ability and consider taking a motorcycle safety course to learn more about safe riding.
“While it is crucial that riders drive defensively, other drivers have an equal responsibility for the safety of everyone on the road,” said Lundrigan.
“Making a complete stop at intersections or when entering the road is a crucial safety practice. Motorcycles are small and can be easily missed in a car’s blind spots so it’s important to check twice for motorcycles.”
Safety tips for drivers include when making a left turn, be patient and make sure there is not a motorcycle behind a string of cars. Don't crowd a motorcycle from the rear, as most motorcycles can brake faster than a car. Even a small collision with a motorcycle could result in life changing injuries or death for the rider.
“Whether on a motorcycle or in a car, the biggest safety tips are always the same – follow the rules of the road, never drive distracted or while impaired by drugs or alcohol and slow down.” said Lundrigan. “Motorcycle riders – and all drivers - are reminded they are required to have valid driver licences, registration and insurance before enjoying Island roads.”