Daryl-Lynn Carlson
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Motorcycle deaths spur discussion across Canada | Canadian Insurance
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Motorcycle deaths spur discussion across Canada

Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation released a long-awaited study on motorcycle statistics for 2005 that shows a rise of 57 per cent in related deaths. Motorcyclists requiring hospital treatment rose 14 per cent that same year.

While nobody with the ministry could explain the reason for increase, riders between the ages of 45 and 65 were involved in the most number of injuries and fatalities.

The statistics begin on page 27 of a 105-page Ontario Road Safety Annual Report, which wasn’t released by the province until recently. The report also shows the overall number of fatalities declined for the third year running.

The Ontario report comes as Saskatchewan undertakes a major overhaul of its motorcycle licensing system. Saskatoon Police Chief Clive Weighill, who called for stricter licensing for motocycle riders this month is putting pressure on the Saskatchewan Government Insurance to introduce graduated licensing.

The province has proposed learners would have to take their road test within two years of writing a written test and taking a course, whereas now, a learners’ permit has no deadline and only a written exam is required.

Statistics on motorcycle crashes were also released by Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, showing that while riders account for only two per cent of drivers, they are 15 more times likely to be involved in a crash.

The ICBC blames the problem on rider inexperience; most of the crashes there involved riders between the ages of 16 and 25.

The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gathers statistics annually and has documented an increase each year for the past decade. It found that 47 per cent of riders were over the age of 40.