Selective Traffic Enforcement

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The Selected Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) for the month of July will focus on motorcycles. Motorcycles are less safe than cars and must be operated with great caution. Because of their low crash protection and high performance capabilities, motorcycles are more likely to be involved in a severe collision. Between 2004 and 2008 there was an average of 831 injury collisions in our province each year involving motorcycles. This is an increase from the 2002 – 2006 average of 743 injury collisions a year. This statistic is especially alarming since Albertans typically only ride their motorcycles about six months of the year.

The younger the motorcyclist, the higher the collision rate. Younger operators lack experience and have an invincibility or “no fear” attitude. Sport bikes are involved in the vast majority of motorcycle collisions because of their high performance capabilities and because they are usually operated by young males.

A SNELL or DOT approved helmet is required for the driver and passenger on a motorcycle. Even a properly secured helmet can come off in the event of a crash. Motorcyclists are also encouraged to wear the proper protective clothing when riding. Even if the proper equipment is worn, the risk of injury remains high. Head injury is a leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes. Fact is, a rider without a helmet is 40% more likely to incur a fatal injury in a crash than a helmeted rider.

Throughout the month of July, officers will be ensuring that operators and passengers are wearing proper helmets and that the operator has a valid Class 6 license. This is the class of license required to operate a motorcycle in the province of Alberta. Wearing an illegal helmet could result in a $155 fine and not having the proper class of license could result in a $310 fine.