Police call for changes to motorcycle helmet laws
Published: Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Police are calling on the provincial government to tighten up the motorcycle helmet law to prevent the use of flimsy "beanie" helmets that have claimed two lives in less than a week.
"We've had three accident in four days, two of them fatalities," said Surrey RCMP Cpl. Roger Morrow.
A man died on the Pattullo Bridge on Monday when he crashed his Harley-Davidson motorcycle after weaving in and out of traffic. The next day, another man was travelling on his motorcycle on No. 10 highway when he weaved in traffic and crashed into the rear of a tractor cutting grass at the side of the highway.
That man is in critical condition in hospital, Morrow said, adding both accidents involved motorcyclists wearing small, skull-cap "beanie" helmets, which are sold as a novelty item.
"They don't provide any protection at all," he said of the helmets. "They're illegal in Alberta. Our helmet laws are in need of attention."
RCMP and other police forces concerned about the number of fatalities involving beanie helmets have asked the government to review the helmet legislation, Morrow said.
"The legislation that's in place makes it difficult for enforcement," he explained.
He added that the traffic safety committee of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of POlice has asked the government to review the legislation with the aim of providing tougher penalties for those who favour wearing helmets that don't meet Canadian safety standards.