New B.C. laws for motorcycles in effect

As part of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the Province of British Columbia is introducing new motorcycle safety regulations...

As part of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the Province of British Columbia is introducing new motorcycle safety regulations aimed at improving road safety and reducing motorcycle deaths, injuries and crashes.

While motorcycles are estimated to make up three per cent of insured vehicles in B.C., they also account for approximately 10 per cent of road fatalities.

As of June 1, novelty helmets (also known as skid lids, skull caps or beanies) will no longer be acceptable, as all motorcycle riders must wear helmets that meet safety industry standards. These helmets have a rigid head covering with a strong, stiff outer shell and a crushable liner.

Other new regulations include requiring all passengers — including children — to place their feet on foot pegs or floorboards. Children who are unable to reach foot rests will no longer be allowed to ride motorcycles as passengers.

Fines for all new helmet-related offences are $138, and fines for seating violations range from $109 to $121. Riders violating seating requirements will also have their motorcycles impounded.

Each year in B.C., there are about 2,200 crashes involving motorcyclists and roughly 42 rider deaths. Helmet laws have been found to reduce fatalities by as much as 37 per cent.