Safety Services Manitoba’s motorcycle training course hones defensive driving skills for new and experienced riders to help them stay safe on the road.
Winnipeg – Eighty-four down, 2,000 to go. Safety Services Manitoba wrapped up its first week of motorcycle training on Sunday, with students completing the final skills test to receive their full motorcycle licence.
Motorcycles are growing in popularity in Canada, and as more motorcycles hit the road, more riders are involved in collisions. In 2009 motorcyclists made up 8.8 per cent of road fatalities in Canada, up from 5.9 per cent in 2002 according to Transport Canada’s Canadian Motor Vehicle Traffic Collision Statistics.
“Motorcycle riders are becoming more likely to be involved in fatal collisions, at the same time that total vehicle collisions are decreasing,” says Judy Murphy, President and CEO of Safety Services Manitoba. “That’s a really worrying trend, and it’s why we place a huge emphasis on safety and driving defensively in our motorcycle training.”
Safety Services Manitoba (SSM) provides all motorcycle training for new and experienced riders across the province. The organization trained 2,069 motorcycle riders in 2011 and expects to train the same number or more this year.
“Our training educates riders about the risks and how to manage them,” says Murphy. “For instance motorcycles are smaller than cars, so they can be harder to see on the road. You also don’t have the physical protection of a car – you’re not enclosed, there are no seatbelts or airbags.”
SSM offers a 21 hour course for new riders and an eight hour course for new and experienced riders. Last year, when Manitoba Public Insurance began licensing three-wheeled motorcycles, SSM introduced a new training course for the three-wheeled vehicle.
“Three-wheeled bikes have more balance than traditional two-wheeled motorcycles, but the other risks remain,” says Murphy. “As the sole provider of motorcycle training in the province, we have to make sure all riders have the skills to stay safe on the road.”