OPP want motorcyclists to remember 2020 was deadly as they prepare to ride this season

·2 min read
Ontario Provincial Police say they've already responded to four motorcycle fatalities on provincially patrolled roads in 2021.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images - image credit)
Ontario Provincial Police say they've already responded to four motorcycle fatalities on provincially patrolled roads in 2021. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images - image credit)

Ontario Provincial Police are out with a safety message for motorcyclists this long weekend and they're pointing to last year's statistics to drive their point across.

They say that in 2020, 42 motorcyclists were killed on provincially patrolled roads, with 37 of those crashes involving no other vehicle. Those numbers were up from 27 deaths the year before.

Already this year, police say they've responded to four deaths.

Dean Valentino is a motorcycle instructor in Windsor who has been riding bikes for 20 years.

"People see open roads and they think that they have the permission to go faster than they're capable of. There could be anything that gets in your way like a stone, a rock, a stick or animal, and you have to make an evasive move and that's always deadly," Valentino said.

He says curbs tend to be the number one place where motorcyclists get into trouble find themselves in trouble because they're going too fast.

Older drivers

OPP statistics show that nearly half of the deaths reported last year involved people between the ages of 55 - 74.

"You have to practice, you have to keep your skills up, your skills will diminish with age. We all know our fine motor functions change, our vision changes, our response changes as we age," Valentino said.

Valentino says although it may seem odd to drivers, he encourages riders to stay in the left wheel track as opposed to the right in order to be more visible to oncoming traffic.

He adds that in any incident he's had, it's been proper equipment that has saved him. He encourages others to invest in their safety as well.

"You save your skin, you can save your life with the proper gear. Visibility is so important, so have bright gear and more lighting on your motorcycle."

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month according to the Motorcycle and Moped Industry Council.

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