IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING MOTORCYCLING in BC
I have been invited to the consultation meeting regarding these new proposals.
The Coalition and its members have been aware of the proposed changes sine 1999 when we sent out the proposal and asked for feedback. As you are well aware the helmet law and seating position has already come into law. For the past 3 years BCCOM has spoken with many members, clubs, safety instructors, dealers and the motorcycling population in general regarding the next set of laws to be implemented.
Please go to www.bccom-bc.com under BCCOM NEWS to read the proposal from the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles (OSMV). Please note there is also the Coroners “Death Review Panel on Motorcycle Fatalities” up there as well that is where these changes originated from. There is a list of questions on the last page of the OSMV’s proposal, please send your thoughts to email@example.com or if you have questions you may also call the office at 1 877 580-0111 or (604) 580-0111 I will not be checking forums etc. on this issue, if you want your voice heard either email us or call us
The following is what BCCOM has heard over the past 3 years and would like your input once again before I go to the consultation which is coming up shortly, sorry for the short notice but I just received this Friday. It is a lot of reading but this is important to motorcycling in this province so please be a part of the process.
The opinion we has gotten over the past 3 years is this:
98 hp Restriction
- Why would motorcycle riders be limited to a certain size bike when new drivers may drive any vehicle they want i.e. BMW’s, Audi’s, Mustang’s etc. While the OSMV points to costs of the vehicles it has been already proven during last years seizures of high horsepower vehicles involved in street racing displaying an L or N on the cars, they were not owned by them but by their parents.
-While stating that motorcycle deaths have doubled from 1996-2010 they fail to mention that the number of insured motorcycles on the road has doubled as well.
-The Coroners report recommendations regarding this are that “restrictions be imposed on the power of the motorcycle a rider can operate to specified classes based on the power of the motorcycle on which the rider takes their road test” which most people we have spoken with find fair and reasonable.
-We would question the statement “a number of industry representatives have recommended a flat 98 hp” do they represent the majority of dealers in the province? This would mean that if a man who was in his 50’s and had driven most of his life wanted to retire and buy a 2011 Gold Wing to go touring he would not be able to as it is 119 hp for a 2 year novice period.
-Most motorcyclists feel that without the proper skills reckless riding; speeding etc. can be a factor on any size motorcycle.
-While in 2010 speed was the number 2 cause of collisions number 1 would be inattentive car drivers. While speaking of rolling out a program directed towards them we have yet to see anything tangible in this regard.
Proposed Changes to the Graduated Licensing Program (GLP)
-Most motorcyclists have no problem with increasing the Learner Program from 30 days to 6 months, but feel the Novice period of an additional year too long.
- The majority of riders feel that the increased passenger restriction is unwarranted as riders feel the decision of when they are confident to take a passenger it not taken lightly and should not be part of the program.
-Every rider I spoke with agrees with the zero tolerance level for L riders but an N rider that has one beer with a friend should not be penalized.
-With the L and N signs it becomes a matter of space on the new plates that are now enforced.
-During the Coroners Review Panel the discussion around supervisors was directed towards the fact that often times the supervisors actually cause distraction. The coroners report recommendation was “That the role, definition and accountability of supervisors be reviewed and that an information package be created and made available to new rides to provide to their supervisors”.
-Many riders feel that perhaps the supervisor should have held their class 6 for a specific amount of time as opposed to an “age” of the rider i.e. a 25 year old could have their license for a month while a 21 year old could have held their license for up to 7 years, who would be the better supervisor?
Rider Training Enhancements
-While training is key it is impossible at this time to have “mandatory” training in BC as the schools are full and in the more remote parts of the provinces the distance and numbers of training schools would be insurmountable at this time.
-Incentives such as lower insurance premiums or shorter novice period would, we believe, encourage riders to take a course until there more schools available for the mandatory component.
Many motorcyclists may be inclined to brush these new proposals off as it does not affect them. I would beg to differ, the more restrictions there are the harder and less attractive motorcycling could become which will lessen our numbers. The goal should be increasing the number of motorcyclists so please send in your thoughts and feelings as these laws could change forever the face of motorcycling in the province of B.C.
Adele Tompkins, executive director
B.C. Coalition of Motorcyclists