May is motorcycle safety awareness month: Manitoba Public Insurance

Whether on two, three or four wheels, all road users have the right to be safe on our public roadways, which is why Manitoba Public Insurance is again recognizing motorcycle safety awareness month, and encouraging all road users to share the road responsibly.

In an effort to heighten road safety awareness between drivers of vehicles and motorcyclists, Manitoba’s public auto insurer recently launched its annual “Look Twice” campaign.

“With the motorcycle riding season now in full swing, it’s important that motorists remember to watch carefully for motorcyclists, particularly when making lane changes or left turns at intersections,” said Ward Keith, vice-president Business Development & Communications, Manitoba Public Insurance. “Motorcyclists can also do their part by riding defensively, using safety equipment, and wearing reflective gear to be as visible as possible.

“While May is motorcycle safety awareness month, safety on our roadways should be a priority throughout the entire motorcycle riding season,” added Keith. “It’s another way we can change the conversation about traffic safety in our province and create a culture where all road users have mutual respect for each other. For drivers this means acknowledging that motorcyclists have every right to use our roads safely, as do cyclists and pedestrians.”

Last year in Manitoba, seven motorcyclists were killed on public roadways. This riding season, the goal is clear – to reduce that number to zero. This is a goal shared by the Coalition of Manitoba Motorcycle Groups (CMMG), which annually stages its motorcycle safety awareness rally on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislature.

“Motorcycle safety is everyone’s responsibility,” said CMMG President Rod Wetteland. “Riding and driving Manitoba roads is not an entitlement, it’s a privilege. Road safety depends on all of us, not just the other guy.

“That’s not just a motorcycle in your mirror: it’s a mother, father, daughter, sister, brother, grandmother or grandfather. It’s up to all of us that they get home safely.”

Safety Tips

For motorcyclists:

  • Wear the right gear, including an approved safety helmet, eye protection, jacket, pants and boots.
  • Try to be highly visible whenever possible by wearing bright or fluorescent colours such as yellow, red or orange to enhance visibility.
  • Ride with your headlight on and in a position on the roadway where you are visible to motorists and out of their blind spots.

For drivers:

  • Always look twice when changing lanes and at intersections to be sure there isn’t a motorcycle or moped in the blind spot.
  • Watch for signals. It may be hard to see a motorcycle or moped’s turning signal so watch for other signs like shoulder checking which can indicate the rider is planning to change lanes or turn.
  • Keep your distance. Motorcycles and mopeds may stop faster than other vehicles. Maintain a following distance of at least four seconds and increase this distance at night or when it’s raining.
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