CTV Montreal has an interesting article today on the fact that the SAAQ - The Quebec Licence Bureau - will be slashing motorcycle registration fees.

Many of you might remember Operation Escargot, where in Quebec motorcyclists took to the streets slowing traffic to a snails pace to make their point - they were fed up with being raped.

Because of Operation Escargot, the SAAQ went to the round table with Eric Lessard of the Common Front of Motorcyclists and negotiated with the main motorcycle groups in the province.

Lessard went to the discussions armed with statistics that proved that crashes and claims had gone down 350% in spite of the number of motorcycles in that province doubling. While not everyone is happy with the reduction, saying it isn't enough - it sure is a move in the right direction!

You see what can happen people when we put our focus and effort on uniting behind one issue at a time?

This reduction would NEVER have happened if motorcyclists had not united behind this one cause with a common voice. I want to applaud the efforts of people like Lessard - we need more just like him in every province in this country!

New Brunswick is one province that really needs some serious reforms in the way they do things.
The department of Public Safety in New Brunswick is filled with all sorts of little quirks.

For example - if your neighbour does not like your motorcycle, he/she can sign a written complaint where in they feel your motorcycle has been modified. True or not, if they are willing to put their name to it, your motorcycle's registration will be stayed. In other words, when it comes for renewal you will have to produce an engineer's report at the cost of $1,000 on average in order to either prove it has not been modified or that the modifications are safe. Stunning huh!

And if you have a rigid framed motorcycle be warned. If Mr Hoar happens to be the engineer that you call from the list of qualified NB Engineers, you will PROBABLY NOT be successful in having your registration be renewed. This man reportedly hates rigids and believes they are unsafe, at least every article I have read regarding this topic that he has been mentioned in leans that way, so make sure you get an engineer who has no bias and only deals with the structural integrity.

Interestingly enough, New Brunswick is in the process of changing a whole ton about motorcycling. Some of it is very positive too. Last year a female lawyer who was jogging was struck and killed by an inexperienced motorcyclist riding his new to him motorcycle that had under inflated tires. That sparked demands from the deceased lawyer's family to see motorcycles have to be inspected for safety.

The coroner who investigated the death of Caroline Higgins had these recommendations to make:
* Introduce a motor vehicle inspection program for motorcycles
* Introduce a graduated driver's licence for new motorcycle drivers
* Include on-road testing for motorcycle licences
* Introduce mandatory driver education for motorcycle drivers

It is sad that someone had to die for these items to be discussed. It seems to be an epidemic in this country - we know that these things need to be addressed but we will wait for a high profile death or situation to happen before we will do anything - seems to be the mentality in our governments.

Sadly, the number of deaths of motorcyclists that are caused by left turning vehicles are not being addressed in any kind of real and meaningful manner. Neither is the fact that road repairs are being done in a manner so unsafe to motorcyclists as to be extremely scary and NO warning signs are placed.

This past weekend I went to Whitecourt AB for their 8th Annual Toy Run. On my way out, coming into Valleyview, there was a small construction zone. I geared down into first for the gravel section that was evident and was horrified by the drop from the pavement to the gravel - a good three inches - and ZERO warning that there was an uneven surface. Had I hit that section any harder than the 10KPH that I did, I might not have been able to manoeuvre through it.

I have put forth sign designs to our department of transportation representative here in Grande Prairie, Becky Oxton, however, she is no longer returning my emails or calls. She was supposed to investigate if the sign wording and colours were right and acceptable under the highway traffic act but as of this date, almost one full year later - NOTHING.

I guess this fall will see me going to the province because this is unacceptable in my humble opinion. The signs were to identify High Impact collision intersections - where left hand turns have been known to injure and kill riders of motorcycles and bicycles.  I will continue to push to see these signs go up in a pilot project - and hope that one day soon, signs like these will go up all over Canada in every city and community that has High Risk intersections for riders.

As riders, our insurance goes up because of the failure to observe the rules of the road - both on our part, but more often than not, on the part of the drivers of cars, pick-ups etc.  Perhaps we can get someone from the Insurance Institute of Canada to push this initiative.  I also want to start seeing far more signs in construction zones that inform riders of dangers like uneven roads, of pavement grooving and other construction zone dangers.

There is a TON of news from the weekend for you to catch up on...

In Japan, Yamaha is discontinuing the development of large cc motorcycles for it's domestic market.

In the US, Harley-Davidson is keeping a tight rein on motorcycle production.

Triumph is recalling some models from 2011 and 2012 for a potential stalling problem.

Also in the US, the man who killed 4 motorcyclists while reportedly hopped up on meth will be retried after a jury could not reach a decision.

In BC, a lawyer who used to work for the cops has been taken off of a case involving the Hells Angels.

In Ontario, the CMC's Cruise for Critters saw 55 riders sign up, which is more than there were last year when they raised $5,100.

In the Rider Down section of our site there are sadly a ton of crashes, injuries and deaths to report.

For all of the news that might affect your life as a rider, check out to get brought up to speed!

Have you gotten your photo in for our $25 RevZilla Gift Certificate? If not, you only have until Wednesday night to get in on this give away. For the details visit our Contest Page.

Well folks, I have to see if I can finish my video from the Whitecourt Toy Run today - I HATE WINDOWS and one day soon hope to be able to afford a MAC and good video editing software. I spent 15 hours trying to get my project to complete with no success so back to the drawing board with it today.

Please, if you are riding today, ride like everyone around you is blind, make sure your tires are properly inflated, and please, use respect with that right hand...

Belt Drive Betty
Editor of Canada's ONLY weekly Newspaper for the Riding Community -

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