Motorcycle fatalities up 60 per cent from last year say OPP

In about half the deaths the rider was not at fault

The Ontario Provincial Police is sounding the alarm about a spike in motorcycle fatalities. Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said there has been a 60 per cent increase compared to last year.

“24 more cyclists are dead already this year in collisions. In about half those collisions the motorcyclist was not at fault.”

He said three riders were killed on OPP-patrolled roads last weekend.

“We often think motorcyclists are driving aggressively and speeding, and we do get those complaints and we do see those behaviours, but many other riders are out there for the thrill and the joy of the experience of riding a motorcycle.”

Schmidt said motorcycles don’t have the airbags, the safety cages, the comforts and the safety measures that are on a passenger vehicle. He wants motorists to make sure that they are aware of motorcyclists around them.

“Be aware of your surroundings. You need to use your mirrors. Shoulder check and double check to make sure any movement is done safely. We don’t want to see this trend continue with the increasing number of fatalities that we are seeing. They are absolutely preventable.”

This don’t mean riders are off the hook when it comes to safety and responsibility.

“Make sure you have a properly fitted and secure helmet,” said Schmidt. “If you come off that machine, even with a helmet and your full leathers on, you are still going to get banged up pretty good. Depending on your speed and traffic around you, the potential for fatal injuries is absolutely real.”