Despite daily reminders to Ontarians to stay home and avoid non-essential travel, a number of recent motorcycle sightings on Ontario Provincial Police-(OPP)-patrolled roads suggests that some motorcyclists may not be taking the message seriously.
With warmer temperatures in store, the OPP is issuing a reminder about the unique risks posed to this vulnerable road user class, which may include additional risks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the 27 motorcyclists who died on OPP-patrolled roads last year (2019), 10 of them were reported as being not at fault at the time of the incident. Unfortunately, over the past five years (2015-2019), 178 motorcyclists died in preventable collisions, many of whom were also reportedly not at fault.
This data sends a clear message to drivers of other vehicles about the need to be extra vigilant when sharing the road with motorcyclists. As motorcycles are not as visible as other vehicles, all motor vehicle drivers need to be mindful of this when changing lanes, turning and merging into traffic.
Motorcyclists can enhance their safety by:
- wearing highly visible clothing
- properly positioning their motorcycle on roadways
- reducing low light and night riding
- not taking chances or making risky maneuvers
- riding at the appropriate speed and never in excess of the posted limit
- never riding after consuming alcohol or drugs
“Just because motorcycle season is here, it does not change the obligation we all have right now to stay at home as much as possible. For those who do use motorcycles for essential travel, the last thing they should do is take extra risks because of lighter traffic or out of worry that they may not get much recreational riding in this season. As we all try to get through the tough weeks ahead, we expect no less than safe, defensive driving on the part of Ontario motorcyclists and other drivers.” – OPP Chief Superintendent Rohan Thompson, Commander, Highway Safety Division
Motorcycle Safety in the Spring (Canadian Safety Council)