Like many riders I am sure, I was dismayed at the $115 fine given to a Rocky Mountain House man who pulled a left hand turn in front of a rider that resulted in the rider's death.  Our justice system is broken. It has been for a long time, because the rule of law and justice are often at odds with each other.

Case in point - the Edmonton Motorcycle Only Noise Bylaw.  When Stuart Young won his case in court and the judge berated the lawyer representing the city for the evidentiary issues and then praised Stuart for his preparedness and told him he should become a lawyer, the city's council decided to file an appeal. Then they withdrew the appeal because of evidentiary issues. That appeal cost Stuart and a ton of riders who supported his fight close to $4,000 dollars and the city does NOT have to reimburse him. If it had gone all the way to trial and Stuart had won again his legal fees would have had to be paid by the city. What a morally wrong way to do things, but then the city's Motorcycle Only Noise Bylaw is also legally and morally wrong.  

I wished that all municipalities were like Calgary and willing to use the Noise Snare - a technology that nails ALL noise offenders equally!

Yes, our justice system is broken and I for one have no idea how to fix that but I do believe we have the ability as riders and tax payers to affect change that may one day start to impact the justice system.

How? Well, first off I think we need to take responsibility for our own actions. 
I feel we should all have to take a training course before we get on a bike. I feel that education should be the very first thing on our priority list and that we should just do it without being mandated to but then again we are dealing with human nature so maybe it should be mandatory..... 

I also believe that all of us should have to, at renewal time for our license, take a rules of the road exam - a written test to see if we remember what the rules of the road are. 
Too many people who hold a drivers license should not be on the roadways - again that is my humble opinion, I saw so many examples of that while on my 20,000 Km trek across this magnificent land.

I was told yesterday that a man in Grande Prairie AB got a $2,400 fine for using his cell phone while driving, he was charged with driving with undo care and attention so he will loose points too. Alberta's hands free/distracted driving law does not come in to effect until September 1st.  Obviously there was at least one police officer who decided to take a stand and use the laws that are on the books to make his point loud and clear and you can bet that this man will not use his cell while driving again. 

I do not see why we need more new laws - if the ones on the books were actually enforced I think more people would be paying attention to their driving.

Are stiffer fines the answer? I am not sure. 
I believe that education is the key to most of the challenges that are out there.  
Too many drivers seem to think they are more important than the next driver. 
They will cut you off, pass you on the right, tailgate - all in the name of getting 8' further ahead.

In writing this editorial, like every one that I write, I did some research and found a few good places for you to test your knowledge of the rules of the road.

Here are some of them:
Pass the Wheel:

Find a Driving School:

Canada Drivers Ed:

APNA Vancouver:

There are many more places on the internet where you can challenge your knowledge of the rules of the road and sign knowledge. 

Maybe we should just start challenging ourselves to be better drivers and riders.
But remember even when YOU know the rules of the road, unless you exhibit extreme caution at intersections and in other situations that arise - be prepared to be dead right as too many others out there have forgotten the rules of the road. 

Too many others out there feel they are more important than you are.
Apathy, self importance and ignorance are our WORST enemies...and I am not sure if there is a cure for any of those things other than education! I know people who flout the law and even when disqualified from driving get behind the wheel like it is their right. Fines and penalties do not always work.

Please - today as you ride, remember to ride like everyone around you is BLIND and can not see you. YOU and your knowledge and skill are your best offence when it come to being safe out there!

As always, I love it when you talk to me  - please share your thoughts and opinions on driver/rider safety and awareness...

In Other News:

In Dawson Creek BC driver error caused a crash on Alaska Avenue

In Kamloops BC things are gearing up for the Canadian HOG Rally

In Shediac NB the Motorcycle Rally is all set to go!

In Quebec there was a third fatal motorcycle crash in Montreal in one week

In Newfoundland an American Female Rider is thrilled to be able to continue her journey as good people help out.

And our very own Sea Dawg has a little Name the Water falls contest happening - can you tell him where this picture was taken?

To catch up on all of the news of the day that affects you as a motorcyclist visit our web site:

Have a safe and enjoyable weekend everyone, talk to you all again on Monday!
Belt Drive Betty

Post a Comment

  1. Anonymous5:39 PM

    I do believe education has a place, but mindless examinations never prove anything either. If I'm selling a vehicle, I know there's a part of my registration that I need to sign and hand over to the new owner. But, I'm going to fail because I don't know off the top of my head whether it's section 2 or section 3? I've never had more than a sip of alcohol in my life - but, I'm going to fail because I don't know if I'm going to lose my license for 3 months or 5 years when I drink? I may have known that rule 20 years ago to take the test, but it no longer applies to me, so why should I hold that drivel in my head? There are a whole pile of questions in these exams that are simply foolish. I took 3 of the sample exams just to check and passed them with flying colors, but to enforce exams like this annually when they're written by people who are a few bricks short of a load is just a waste of time. The rules should also change depending on the question. If you don't know what a stop sign means, that should be an automatic fail. Period. No more fails permitted.

  2. I generally do not post anonymous comments - I feel it is wrong that if you have an opinion you are not willing to stand behind it - but I wanted to answer you.

    Firstly if you drive or ride the rules of the road apply to you like it or not.

    I mentioned that I feel a refresher exam every 5 years when you are renewing your license should be administered because far too many people have forgotten the rules - the basics.

    Based on what I witnessed out there on the road - truck drivers should be required to do an extensive test after all its how they make their living and they should be professionals to do that job - sadly many, many are not - the things I witnessed out there are scary - and the attitude of many who drive is wrong - driving is NOT a right it is a privilege.