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Infinite sadness.

We lost another motorcyclist this weekend to a head-on collision on the Malahat. The Malahat is the mountainous stretch of the Transcanada Highway that connects Victoria to Duncan.

It’s a stretch of road that has a good share of accidents. From a three-year old government document (looking at 2000 – 2004), there’s a average of 56 accidents per year, 26 with injuries, 26 with property damage only (PDO’s), and 1 fatality (found in Appendix B ).

While many Tweeters on Twitter were annoyed at the traffic hold-up due to a lack of alternative routes and the pathetic capacity of BC Ferries to deal with in increased surge of usage, we need to keep perspective here. A rider died that day. A rider died because another vehicle accidentally drifted over the centre-line due to what’s being coined a medical condition. This rider leaves behind family, friends and a long list of loved ones.

While a cement barrier may not have prevented an accident, it would have prevented one of the most lethal form, a head-on one.

Motorcyclists represent the most vulnerable category of vehicles on the road. When a four-wheeler gets into an accident, the odds of walking away are higher than when a two-wheeler goes down.

That heightened vulnerability has riders on high alert every time one of ours goes down.

This time, a group is reacting. They are calling on governments and the power-that-be to step up to the goddamn plate and improve road safety conditions wherever possible.

Improving safety is critical. Traffic on the Malahat continues to grow. Safety measures also need to grow.

Let’s protect both the riders from injury and the vehicle drivers from the misery of having caused the death of human being, a person who is loved by others.

If you are interested in participating in this event, please visit their Facebook Event page. And for those of you who can’t access it, below is a cut-and-paste so that you too have the details.

Riders for Safety

Our event is called ‘Riders for Safety’ – This way the safety message can include many things ie physical barriers, driver education, etc.

Alumni of Vancouver Island Safety Council have decided to send out an APB to all riders to collect at Ogden Point (the Cruise ship parking lot) on Saturday at 2:45 —

We have contacts with the Blue Knights of the Pacific Coast and are hoping to enlist participation/assistance from the police department and fire department… particularly the Malahat Fire Chief who stated expressly that there needs to be a concrete divider on the highway at that site…

We want to have signs on our backs saying who we are to loved ones (ie “Caution, Mother of Four) and do a ride through town and end up at the Legislature at 3:45 – to mark exactly one week since the accident happened.

We will be in full riding gear (scooters/motorcyclists, anyone who wants to show up and stand with us) and will remove our helmets for a minute of silent out of respect for the deceased and the other families involved who have to live with what has happened and who will no doubt be forgotten because all sympathy in the public will be with the departed rider.

It isn’t an “us and them” situation at all, it’s just that when accidents happen at notoriously dangerous sites, motorcyclists are worse off…”

We are voicing this message and moment of silence for ALL of the lives lost on the TCH – Malahat, motorcyclist and vehicle driver’s, we are all touched by the devastation on this road way. We will further our cause by having a calm attitude and having one message.

Ride on Victoria! Ride on!

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3 Responses to “Motorcyclists call for improved road safety in Victoria BC”

  1. on 31 Oct 2011 at 9:15 amLorna

    Great article and a great event.

  2. on 31 Oct 2011 at 11:08 pmDarlene

    Britt – this is a great blogpost. Thanks! You need a tweet button, i would have tweeted it!

  3. on 01 Nov 2011 at 7:06 amBritt

    Darlene, great suggestion, and DONE! Every column now has a Tweet This! button at both the beginning and end of each.

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