This riding season, more motorcyclists and scooter riders than ever before will find themselves captivated by their rear-view mirrors as they’re forced to merely hope the approaching vehicle is being driven by someone that is actually driving... not texting, calling, eating, or otherwise distracted.
But that shouldn’t be the case. We need to convince our legislators that legalizing lane filtering isn’t a matter of convenience, but rather one of life or death... because we all know that it’s only a matter of time before 2017 claims the life of a rider in an accident that would have been easily avoided were they allowed to lane filter. And there’s no better time to flex our citizen’s muscles that during an election cycle.
So we all need to email our MLAs. If you don’t know who your MLA is, follow this link: https://www.leg.bc.ca/learn-about-u..., enter your postal code, and send them a quick email. Don’t know what to say? Well, here’s a letter you can use...
Dear Mr/Mrs. (MLA’s name)
According to ICBC statistics, distracted driving now poses a greater risk to fellow road users than does drunk driving. It killed 19 more people than drunk driving in 2015. Furthermore, according to a report from ICBC, distracted driving had been credited for massive increases in rear-end collisions; so many in fact that ICBC has looked to hike rates to fund the 2,000 to 4,000 additional injury claims stemming from this increase. And unfortunately, the situation remains unchanged, as distracted driving rates continue to climb even in the face of heavier fines.
One of the most at-risk groups who are falling victim to this rise in rear-end collisions are motorcyclists. In 2015, over 1,500 riders were injured in accidents and 32 were killed. Oftentimes the injuries mimic those of a struck pedestrian, with traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and broken pelvis’ being not uncommon. More severe rear-end collisions such as those perpetrated by distracted drivers can easily prove deadly for motorcyclists who end up fatally pinned between the car behind and the car ahead.
That’s not a comfortable thought, nor is it a comfortable position to be in for British Columbia’s riders; that’s why I urge you to consider following in the footsteps of most European and Australian jurisdictions by legalizing lane filtering. This practice entails allowing motorcyclists to occupy the space between lanes of slow-moving (25 kph or less) or stopped traffic. It will reduce injuries and save lives by moving riders out of that dangerous position at the tail end of stopped traffic.
A study conducted by UC Berkeley in 2015 found that motorcyclists who didn’t lane filter were twice as likely to get rear-ended. Furthermore, this study found that motorcyclists involved in accidents while lane filtering were less likely to suffer severe injuries than those that did not; finding lane filtering motorcyclists “were notably less likely to suffer head injury (9.1% vs 16.5%), torso injury (18.6% vs 27.3%), or fatal injury (1.4% vs 3.1%) than other motorcyclists.”
I would be happy to discuss the matter further with you, and hope you will consider the over 300,000 riders in BC during the upcoming election, because we need your help.