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Motorcycle Safety & Regulations in BC

Motorcycle rider

It’s summer, and for plenty of people, that’s the best time for motorcycle riding. Motorbike safety is especially important during this season. Motorbikes are involved in around 10 percent of traffic fatalities despite being just three percent of all insured vehicles. In addition to the usual safety rules, new regulations have been introduced for motorcyclists.

New Safety Regulations

Under these new regulations, all motorcyclists must wear helmets that meet safety standards. These standards must be those of the United Nations Economic Commission, the Snell Memorial Foundation 2005 or 2010, or the United States Department of Transportation. This means that novelty helmets or other headgear that does not meet those standards will no longer be permitted. Police will be allowed to inspect rider’s helmets for safety at the roadside if they think the helmet looks unsafe. Passengers will be required to keep their feet on pegs or footrests, and those who are unable to do so can no longer be motorbike passengers.

Other Safety Recommendations for Motorcyclists

The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia has some suggestions for motorcycle safety. ICBC suggests wearing gear that will protect a person in case of an accident. It also suggests riders practice core skills such as obstacle avoidance and emergency braking. Other safety recommendations are to avoid driver blind spots and watch drivers for clues about how they will behave. Riders should maintain a speed that is safe and use their signals.

Safety Recommendations for Other Vehicles

Unfortunately, other vehicles tend to be more at fault in motorcycle accidents than the motorcyclists themselves, and two of the leading causes of accidents are drivers failing to yield to motorcyclists who have the right of way and inattentive drivers. ICBC suggests drivers allow additional space when passing a motorcycle and yielding to motorcycles when in doubt about who has the right of way.

From 2015 to 2016, the number of motorcyclists injured in crashes increased to 1,600 from 1,500. Annually in British Columbia, there are on average more than 2,000 motorcycle accidents. The road safety manager for ICBC says these accidents increase in the summer when more motorcyclists take to the road, and on average, six motorcyclists are injured each day in British Columbia during June and July.

Motorcycle accidents can be severe. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident or have questions about personal injury, contact Dick Byl Law at 250-564-3400.


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