Motorcycle crashes are on the rise and drivers are being advised to be extra careful with the arrival of warmer weather and more bikes on the road. (File photo - Western News)

Motorcycle crashes are on the rise and drivers are being advised to be extra careful with the arrival of warmer weather and more bikes on the road. (File photo - Western News)

Okanagan group urging drivers to watch for motorcyclists

Warmer weather means more motorcycles on the road and drivers are urged to be vigilant

Spring has sprung and the Okanagan Motorcycle Riders Association is advising drivers to keep an eye for increased two and three wheel traffic on the roads.

According to OMRA, motorcycle fatalities are on the rise.

“Motorcycling is a passion,” said Tom Cook, OMRA president in a club news release. “It’s a sport, a hobby, an efficient means of transportation, and it is our vision for all motorcyclists to be able to safely experience the sheer joy and sense of freedom that only motorcycling can offer.

“We encourage motorcyclists to wear full protective riding gear every time they get on their motorcycle and be visible and fully prepared for the responsibility of riding, so you can make arriving alive your greatest priority.”

He added motorcycle safety needs to be a greater priority issue on the streets and highways and “road culture” needs to change.

“We would also like to remind drivers that safety and common courtesy on the roads is everyone’s responsibility and ask that all motorists fully commit to the task of driving, and to put away the distractions, because the consequences of distracted driving or inattentiveness are potentially deadly for not just motorcycles, but everyone sharing our roads,” he said.

He also quoted figures showing that in the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia most recent motorcycle crash statistics for 2017 reported in the Southern Interior there were 440 incidents, 340 injuries, and 11 fatalities involving motorcycles.

READ ALSO: B.C. man dies in motorcycle crash in Okanagan

The Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada reported that there are close to one million motorcyclists riding across Canada and motorcycling is a vital part of our Canadian experience and an important form of transportation and recreation.

May is motorcycle safety awareness month.

OMRA was established by enthusiasts to promote the safe operation of motorcycles, fellowship among riders and is a non-profit group that raises and donates thousands of dollars annually in the South Okanagan.

READ ALSO: Truck and motorcycle collide in Penticton

The association meets the first Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Eagles Lodge in Penticton at 1197 Main St. and new members are welcome.

For more information, www.okanaganmotorcycleriders.com.


 

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Increasing numbers of motorcycle riders are now on the road with the arrival of warmer weather. (File photo - Western News)

Increasing numbers of motorcycle riders are now on the road with the arrival of warmer weather. (File photo - Western News)