With motorcycle season in full swing, it's the perfect time for riders to make sure their bikes are in good shape and they have the protective clothing needed to ride safely.
"There were 7 fatal collisions and 33 serious injury collisions in Nova Scotia RCMP territory in 2019," says Cst. Bruce Myers of the Nova Scotia RCMP. "Motorcycles don't offer the same protection as other vehicles so having a good helmet and protective clothing is very important."
Helmets and protective clothing
Helmets can guard against serious injury and death so it's important to know that you're wearing a good quality model. By law, motorists and passengers must always wear headgear approved or certified by one or more of the following agencies:
- British Standards Institute (BSI)
- United States of America Department of Transportation (DOT)
- Economic Commission for Europe (ECE)
- Snell Memorial Foundation (Snell)
Riders who choose not to wear a helmet could be fined $237.50 for a first offence.
If a rider is thrown from a motorcycle, they hit the ground and often skid long distances. Protective clothing can help shield riders by acting as a barrier between their body and the road. Wearing riding boots, a reflective riding jacket and pants can help a rider keep their skin intact during a collision.
Get your bike in shape for the season
Now is the perfect time to check your motorcycle's lights and tires. Lights can blow and tires can wear so it's important to continue checking these throughout the season. Damaged and worn-out parts should be replaced immediately.
As is the case with any motor vehicle, operating your motorcycle safely can help protect you and other road users. Some tips to keep in mind are:
- Travel at a safe speed.
- Only ride when sober, focussed and well-rested.
- Check your blind spot before changing lanes.
- Ensure left-turning motorists have stopped before entering an intersection.
- Focus on where you need to go rather than looking at what you want to avoid (the motorcycle may go where you look).
- Ride within your experience and skill level.
- Go with an experienced rider the first time you explore a new area.
Tips for other drivers
All motorists can help reduce motorcycle collisions. Those who share the road with motorcycles should keep their eyes on the road, check their blind spots and mirrors before changing lanes and give motorcycles space just like any other vehicle.
Police will be patrolling by motorcycle again this year to help protect Nova Scotia roadways.