Motorcycle Awareness is everyone’s responsibility

This post was written by Wendy on December 8, 2009
Posted Under: Featured

Excerpt from our column Let’s Ride, Wheels section of the Chronicle Herald, May 14, 2009

Over the past five years motorcycle registrations in Nova Scotia have increased by 48%, bringing about 13,000 more riders to our highways.

With increasing popularity in the recreational aspects of motorcycling and our ever-increasing gas prices, we can only expect more registrations in the future.

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Motorcyclists outside Province House as Motorcycle Awareness Month is proclaimed in Nova Scotia

Hence on May 1st, the Province of Nova Scotia and Safety Services Nova Scotia proclaimed the month of May to be Motorcycle Awareness Month. Through news releases and promotions locally, the hopes are to improve driver awareness of increased motorcycle traffic on Nova Scotian roads.

In 2007 there were 12 motorcycle fatalities in Nova Scotia, 8 of which were caused by car driver error. We must as both riders and drivers become more aware and vigilant on our highways, and stop this unnecessary loss of life and rider injury.

In Nova Scotia, concerned motorcyclists have joined together to assist injured riders and their families through the not-for-profit Bikers Down Society, 100% run by volunteers wishing to help their fellow riders.

This Society is committed to provide temporary financial assistance to motorcyclists and their families during times of financial and emotional stress as a result of a legitimate motorcycle accident.

Requirements for Assistance:

  • Must have a valid Nova Scotia Motorcycle license (5A)
  • Must show loss of income
  • Must not have been provided with assistance by Bikers Down Society within the last twelve months
  • Must provide police or accident report if applicable

The Bikers Down Society does not condone drinking and driving nor does it condone operating a motorcycle in a reckless or unsafe manner.  The Society reserves the right to refuse assistance if an accident was the result of intoxication or recklessness.

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Pictured left to right are Jimmie Swinamer and Pam Vickery of the Bikers Down Society and Nancy White and Ed Snow of Safety Services Nova Scotia.

Bikers In Need Top 15 Safety Tips:

  1. Good training is better than good luck. Take a class and/or practice your skills. Don’t depend on being lucky to survive.
  2. Don’t drink and ride. Even one drink can affect your riding ability.
  3. Don’t do drugs and ride. Even some prescription drugs can impair your riding ability.
  4. Don’t ride when fatigued. Fatigue can be just as dangerous when riding as alcohol and drugs.
  5. Wear all of your protective gear. When you fall, you will be glad you had it on.
  6. Maintain your motorcycle. Breakdowns can be costly and dangerous.
  7. Get a bike that you can handle and fits you. Start small and work your way up in size as your skill and riding ability improve.
  8. Practice your skills whenever you can. Find a vacant lot and work on your skills so they are second nature.
  9. Learn to ride on all types of roads and conditions. It will rain sometime in your riding career so be prepared for it. Gravel, sand, rain, grooved concrete, and blacktop all are different.
  10. Ride at your own skill and comfort level. Don’t take challenges or be pushed by others to ride above your level. That includes your husband and your friends!
  11. Bigger always wins. Don’t challenge anything with more wheels than you.
  12. Always leave yourself an out. Try to anticipate what could happen and be prepared for your escape.
  13. Don’t be afraid to slow down when you are in doubt. It is better to go slow than go down.
  14. When approaching an intersection look left, right, left. Remember the vehicle coming from your left will hit you first.
  15. Be Visible, See and Be Seen. There is no such thing as a safe intersection, don’t take them for granted.

For more information, to volunteer your time, or to make a donation, please contact:
Bikers Down Society
Toad Memorial Fund
86 Amaranth Crescent
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, B2W 4B9
Phone (902) 462-7466


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