Sharing The Road This Summer

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    Motorcycle enthusiasts wait all winter for the weather to warm up and the ice on the roads to melt so they can pull their much loved bikes out of the garages and take to the open road. Chestermere has its fair share of motorbike lovers so it’s important that we all learn how to share the road to keep each other safe.

    In Alberta, between 2010 and 2014, 3,323 motorcycles were involved in casualty collisions. These collisions resulted in 153 deaths and 3,440 injuries.

    “Road users can all play a part in motorcycle safety, by knowing the rules and being aware. Drivers can take care when travelling near them, especially when turning in front of one. At the same time, motorcyclists need to be aware of the road environment too and exercise caution and ride defensively.,” said Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation.

    Alberta Transportation provided the following tips on motorcycle safety:

    • Motorcycles are less stable and less visible than cars and often have high-performance capabilities. When motorcycles crash, their riders lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle, so they are more likely to be injured or killed.
    • More than two-thirds of collisions involving a motorcycle resulted in death or injury. This compares with approximately one in 10 for all collisions.
    • In Alberta, wearing a helmet is the law when you are on a motorcycle. Head injury is a leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes.  A rider with a helmet is 37 per cent less likely to incur a fatal injury in a crash than a rider without a helmet.
    • Replace a helmet that has been damaged and avoid buying a used one. A used helmet may have been involved in a crash and could be damaged in ways that are not obvious.
    • Wearing comfortable and weather-appropriate gear provides the best comfort and allows riders to stay alert and maintain their ability to react.
    • Motorcycles equipped with an Antilock Braking System (ABS) help reduce fatalities and reduce stopping distances on wet and dry surfaces.
    • Motorcycles demand a high degree of skill. Proper training and preparation are essential to a safe trip.
    • Impairment and riding do not mix.
    • Riding a motorcycle requires balance, vision, reflexes and judgment – all of which are adversely affected by alcohol and drugs.

    Just last week, a fatal accident served as an important reminder of motorcycle safety. On Thursday July 7th around 10pm, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) paramedics from Calgary and Cochrane responded to Lochend Road approximately 10 kilometres north of Big Hill Springs Road.

    EMS arrived on scene to discover that two motorcycles had been involved – the first rider struck a deer and was pronounced dead on scene and the second rider lost control of his motorcycle trying to avoid the first collision and was taken to hospital in stable condition.

    “Motorcyclists – your safety starts with you. Take rider training, always wear the appropriate gear and stay out of vehicles’ blind spots.”, says Mark Dobbelsteyn, Program Director – Traffic Safety, Alberta Safety Council.