To say that the past year has been impactful for everyone is an understatement. One of the positive outcomes of the rollercoaster ride of living in a pandemic is that we have come to recognize that, now more than ever, we truly are all in this together. Just as the pandemic has made us aware that we all have our part to play in keeping ourselves and each other safe, the same applies to motorcycling, both on- and off-road.
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in Canada and the United States. The Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC) annual safety campaign message for 2021 is “Watch Out For Each Other”. We all have a responsibility to help keep each other safe on our roads and out on the trails.
MCC Chair Chris Bourque says “For the past five years our message to riders and drivers is that motorcycle safety is everyone’s responsibility. For 2021 we encourage all on road and off-road users to Watch Out For Each Other. Rather than adding to people’s sense of anxiety and feeling like we are being told what to do, we simply ask that everyone doubles down on being safe.”
Chris has a great point. Nobody wants to end up in the emergency room, but right now it’s more important than ever to do everything possible to avoid burdening our healthcare systems with a preventable injury.
As always, motorists are reminded to Watch Out for motorcycles on the road. May is the start of peak riding season and there are more motorcycles on our city streets, country roads, and highways. Take a second look to better judge the speed and distance of a motorcyclist in your vicinity. Always check mirrors and blind spots, especially before turning or changing lanes. Allow extra room to avoid cutting off a motorcyclist and allow extra space when driving behind a motorcycle.
Riders can look for ways to Watch Out For Each Other too. Motorcycling has enjoyed a significant increase in popularity as people look for ways to get fresh air, exercise, and a sense of freedom. There has been an uptick in commuting by motorcycle as it is a practical and environmentally responsible form of transportation. As of March 2021, MMIC, the Motorcycle and Moped Industry Council, reports double- and triple-digit year-over-year sales growth in Canada across all types of bikes, including Street, Dual Purpose, Competition, Off-Road Recreational, Mini Bikes and Scooters. So far this year motorcycle sales are up almost 75%.
There are many new riders experiencing the pleasures of motorcycling right across the country. If you’re an experienced rider, you can Watch Out for new riders by encouraging them to ride safely, ride within their skill limits, and according to the road conditions. Encourage them to wear “ATGATT” (All the gear, all the time). And don’t forget to direct them to the MCC website for great information and resources for Canadian motorcyclists.
We are all in this together. Let’s Watch Out For Each Other.