1. #1
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    Unhappy This Is Specific To Vancouver Island

    But I think the sentiment in the message stands no matter where you are:

    Rash of fatal motorcycle crashes worries police. Calls made for mandatory instruction as number of licensed riders skyrockets

    Rob Shaw, Times Colonist. Published: Friday, July 20, 2007

    Police forces on Vancouver Island say they are troubled by a recent spike in the number of fatal motorcycle crashes.

    There have been at least 10 such crashes since January, compared to four all of last year.

    Six involved high speeds, including an 18-year-old man who gunned his Kawasaki sport bike up to 200 km/h on the Gold River Highway near Campbell River July 1 before hitting a rock wall.

    We're well on track to set a new record" for motorcycle fatalities, said Staff Sgt. Ted Smith, who heads the RCMP's Island traffic squad. "And we'll raise the bar to a point where it's just very, very troubling."

    The RCMP compiled statistics on nine fatal accidents. A tenth, in which a 40-year-old man died after driving off a road in Saanich on April 3 while speeding, was not included.

    Alcohol was a factor in two crashes in Bowser and Sooke.

    Two others occurred when vehicles made left turns in front of oncoming bikes in North Saanich and Nanaimo, prompting police to again warn drivers to be aware of motorcycles.

    Eight of the 10 crashes were deemed to be the riders' fault.

    While young bikers driving too aggressively are part of the problem, there are also a large number of baby boomers dusting off the licences they acquired years ago without brushing up on their skills, said Const. Dave Hay, a motorcycle rider, instructor and a member of the RCMP South Island Traffic Services.

    "The newer riders are actually skilled," said Hay.

    "The older riders getting back into it are not aware of the skills. In the old days you just sent your money in and got your licence."

    It's not just the young people riding "crotch rockets" in shorts and sandals that's the problem, said Tom Skirrow, president of the Vancouver Island chapter of the Association for Injured Motorcyclists, a non-profit group that helps injured bikers after a crash.

    "What's happening is there's an awful lot of inexperienced riders getting overpowered motorcycles and the government is just handing out these crackerjack licences.

    "Part of the problem is 80 per cent of people out there on a motorcycle have never had instruction of any kind. There's more and more people taking safety courses for cars, but it's still a small number for motorcycles. It's really necessary. It should be compulsory."

    There are more than 65,000 licensed motorcycle riders in B.C., up 16,000 from 2001, said ICBC spokeswoman Tamara McLean. While new drivers must go through a graduated licensing program, including classroom and road testing, there is no requirement for those with old licences to undergo refresher courses, she said.

    And ICBC has no immediate plans to restrict riders to specific motorcycles, McLean said.

    Police and bikers both acknowledge it can be a tough sell to convince some people to slow down. They admit it's often the freedom and the adrenaline rush that attracts people to motorcycles in the first place.

    And some in the motorcycle community react angrily to news stories they perceive as painting all motorcycle riders as reckless, untrained yahoos on two wheels.

    But Hay said those who see the fallout from the fatalities can't stay silent.

    "I've gone to the houses and done the next-of-kins in some of these people," said Hay.

    "And I tell you, it just rips your heart out.

    "The rider was a really nice person and they are gone and the family is left [with] this incredible hole for the rest of their lives. ... Sure, it wasn't a conscious decision to crash, but the bike doesn't accidentally hit up to 200 kilometres an hour."

    rfshaw@tc.canwest.com Times Colonist (Victoria) 2007
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

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    Rick.. it's everywhere!

    The street I live on is off of Concord Road, which has a 30 MPH speed limit. There is this kid on a "Kawazukionda" going at least 70+ on the road every time he rides the damn thing. I can't tell what brand it is, he's driving too damn fast.

    We call riders like that two names: organ donors and road pizza.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    We have a road in the smokie mountains between TN. and NC. called the dragon. 3 deaths in 2 days.
    GFD748 First in... Last out.. Everyone goes home.... Do the best job you can and do it safely

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    Not only Vancouver Island, we responded to a MVA yesterday in which two bikers were killed. They crossed the centre line and ran into a Suburban. Closed the Trans Canada highway for 5 hours.
    "My friends, watch out for the little fellow with an idea." - Tommy Douglas 1961.

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    Sounds a lot like Ontario as of late. Not so much with motorcycles, but every vehicle in general driving way too aggressive.
    Last edited by ndvfdff33; 07-20-2007 at 09:22 PM.
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    It was a couple weeks ago this kid was driving an ATV up and down the hill across from my house, crossing a very busy street. He wasn't even looking as he flew down the hill, and back up it. I was expecting at any time to hear the horrible sound of braking before the accident. And you get a car going about 45 (in a 25 mph zone mind you) hitting a kid on an ATV, and you might as well forget the EMTs cause that kid's dead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GFD748 View Post
    We have a road in the smokie mountains between TN. and NC. called the dragon. 3 deaths in 2 days.
    I've heard of this place. I have a lady friend who rides with a retired motor cop. She showed me a short video of the two of them riding down this thing. Every so often I could hear metal grinding. Finally I asked if that was a foot peg grinding. She said "Yes". I proceeded to tell her what I thought of her "Safe Driving" friend.

    Gonz, when I was about 10, the neigbourhood I lived in received a very large upgrade from rural to suburbia in about 10 months. When they widened our street, we started having problems much like you describe. My neighbour finally got mad and started putting out really large rocks, I mean really large rocks, it took two men to roll them into place, in the middle of the road. They were staggered so that you couldnt just weave in and out like a slolom because they were oddly spaced. There were no accidents, but there sure were a lot of skid marks in the road for a while. I think Len only put up about 4 or maybe 6 - that was about all that the new development dug up, apparently it was enough though.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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