Alberta’s short, warm winter brought on an early spring. So far it’s been a very warm spring at that. With all the snow gone so early, the roads are clear and the conditions have been nearly perfect for the extra early start that motorcyclists have been enjoying. So what does this mean for the rest of motorists? In 2014, there were zero motorcycle fatalities in Edmonton. In 2015, that number jumped to six. This year we are already sitting at two motorcycle accidents that resulted in fatalities. That’s scary. A large number of these motorcycle accidents are a result of what is called the “left turn scenario” which basically means a motorist turns left at an intersection into a passing motorcycle. Most drivers involved in these accidents say they just didn’t see the motorcycle.
Guy Fraser is an Edmonton motorcycle rider who was involved in a left turn accident in 2010 on Whyte Avenue. The accident left Guy with a pulverized ankle bone, a severe compound fracture of his femur, four broken ribs, and a separated shoulder. Guy had his left leg amputated just below the knee, but he was lucky to be alive. “If it wasn’t for most of my gear I probably wouldn’t have survived. But just the shear impact… When you hit get hit by a car like that, it doesn’t matter how much gear you wear, it’s gonna cause serious injury,” Guy said.
With that being said, motorcyclists need to ensure they are dressed appropriately for riding. Proper equipment includes but isn’t limited to:
- A helmet. (This one is a given, it’s the law.)
- A leather MOTORCYCLE jacket. Not just the average leather jacket.
- Motorcycle gloves
- Leather pants. (Jeans under the leather pants also helps.)
- Proper riding boots
Basically you want to ensure you don’t have any exposed skin, because your skin doesn’t slide very well on pavement in the event of an accident.
Across Canada the month of May is “Motorcycle Awareness Month.” Except, for some reason, in Alberta. In Alberta motorcycle month isn’t until July. That doesn’t make a lot of sense. That means half of the summer has already passed before there is any information from our province regarding motorcycle safety. That’s one of the reasons Liane Langlois started the Alberta Motorcycle Safety Society.
The Alberta Motorcycle Safety Society focuses on safety, education, awareness for Alberta motorcyclists. Liane started the group in February, 2016. She said “This is my biggest passion. I want my people to be safe, and that’s responsibility hedged on both sides, both drivers and riders. We need to work together and everybody’s attitudes need to change so that hopefully we can start lowering the statistics.”
So drivers and riders across Alberta, please pay attention. Let’s get those numbers back to zero. For more information on the Alberta Motorcycle Safety Society click the link, or visit their Facebook page. Below are some pictures of Guy Fraser, his trike, and some of his protective equipment.