In Saskatchewan, Riders Against Government Exploitation, (R.A.G.E.) have a battle ahead of them with a government that appears to be continually putting them off and or "lying" to them.

The minister responsible for SGI, Saskatchewan Government Insurance, Donna Harpauer, seems to be invisible and yet, Saskatchewan has the highest motor vehicle accident and death rate in Canada.

According to Don Fuller, strategist for R.A.G.E. the issues that R.A.G.E. will be addressing at the upcoming Rate Proposal Hearings are:

1) Opposing the 2014 (6.4%) rate increase for Motorcycles

2) Opposing SGIs continued practice of increasing insurance rates for all vehicles not just motorcycles.

- RAGE has proposed SGI stop increasing license plate rates across the entire Saskatchewan motoring public.

- RAGE has proposed SGI begin focusing on a "real long-term solution" to the escalating accident, injury and death rates in this province.

- R.A.G.E. does not agree with implementing increase after increase in order cover the costs associated with high-risk drivers behavior.

- It is RAGE's position that individuals responsible for the escalating costs of licensing in this province need to held accountable for their behavior.

Note: The personal injury insurance component is not in here as SGI has already identified a full-scale review is happening in 2014. The issue of personal insurance will be addressed by R.A.GE. in that venue where are efforts will have greater impact.

R.A.G.E. has some fundamental and core issues they will be raising at the upcoming Rate Proposal Hearings:

License Demerits
- Raise demerits on high-risk drivers "driver's license" not the license plate.

- Raise the dollar value on the demerit points to where they are more in line with today’s costs, and present a real consequence for high-risk driving behavior.

- Extend the time-frame of the demerit fee from "one-time" to multi-year.

License Suspension
- Reduce the number of demerits an individual can accumulate on their driver's license before their license is suspended.

- Demerits and fines associated with driving demerits must remain in effect through-out the term of a suspension.

Criminal Charges
- Review the criteria for criminal charges related accidents, injury and high-risk behavior causing death.

Law Enforcement
- Request law enforcement be more diligent in assessing fault and charging individuals "at" the "scene", as well as filling out accent reports in full.

- Police services informed R.A.G.E. that police officers seldom assess fault or charge individuals at the scene unless alcohol is involved.

- Accident reports are seldom filled in with all the information needed for any type of full-scale causation study (i.e.: Hurt Report).

These issues affect all drivers not just motorcyclists and it is imperative that all Saskatchewan drivers and riders get out to these meetings and show the government that they want REAL CHANGE not rate increases.

There are many issues involved in seeing accident and injury rates go down in Saskatchewan, and R.A.G.E, as part of the Motorcycle Review Committee put many suggestions forward.

There is now a second group that has formed in Saskatchewan to see the way SGI does things changed, but they are calling for privatization of insurance for motorcyclists and others.

It will be a tough battle to get an insurance company to come into a province where there are only 30,000 registered motorcycles but it might be possible if all 1,114,170 people in the province opted for privatization. Would rates actually go down in a province with a small population?
I ask that question because after all, private companies are about profit just as much as any government insurance is!

R.A.G.E. isn't against privatization, but sees the issue of driver behaviour as the single issue that will reduce crashes and injury in the immediate future.  Privatization is something that has been talked about in Saskatchewan since the 80's but it will not happen unless the people are truly persistent and unified.

Remember, Lobbying for Change takes four things:

1 - Determination and the will of the people to see change happen.

2 - Letters, phone calls, emails and attendance at hearings

3 - Patience, because the wheels of government turn slowly, especially when the bureaucracy is affected. Changing the way things are done involves the changing of systems and mind sets!

4 - Persistence - never let up the pressure.

DATES for Rate Review Meetings ARE:

REGINA -- April 7, 7:30 p.m. at the Delta Regina

SASKATOON -- April 9, 7:30 p.m. at the Delta Bessborough

You'll have a chance to ask SGI questions and express your views on the rate proposal. 

What are your thoughts on this subject?

There's lots of other news in the news feeds this morning, check it out at where our work is keeping you informed!

I hope everyone who subscribes to the Busted Knuckle Chronicles is enjoying their newspaper today!

If you are fortunate enough to be riding today, please ride like everyone around you is blind and cannot see you.

Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider

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  1. Good article but I have some questions, important ones:

    1. If RAGE is an organization that is the voice of all motorcyclists in Sk. why do they not listen to their paid members, why do they ban paid members from their facebook page when tough questions are asked?

    When RAGE started they had a huge following, almost 5000, now they have less than 300. I was one of the many supporters and a paid member of RAGE and believed in what they were doing, but why now the disrespect for all the people that made them what they once were and why do they not follow the rules of a lobbying non-profit group. Why is a non paying member, non executive the spokesmen for RAGE, someone who has blatenantly stated that he does not care about paid members only supporters. I believe we need a unified voice in SK. but we need one that respects riders and listens to what the members want,give us that and the supporters will be back, being condesending, thinking you are better than your members is not the way to gain confidence, until that happens RAGE is on it's own and will never get anything done. They should also quit saying they are the voice of all of SK, motorcyclists....

    I am almost positive you will not let this get posted, honest opinions don't seem to be wanted.

  2. I allow most posts on my page, even when I don't agree with them as is the case here. I generally don't publish anonymous posts though.

    As far as your comments regarding RAGE, I am not privy to all of the dealings here but I do know that they are working as hard as they know how to. I know that some of the comments that I had seen that were taken down were rather unproductive and in some cases downright abusive. These people are all volunteers, shouldering a heavy load. It's not easy dealing with government, trying to get your organizational stuff going and lobbying at the same time. There is going to be an AGM sooner that the allotted 18 month provision for a first time group from what I understand, and while not perfect - they are doing their best.

    As I said, I know they are working at it, is it perfect? No, could it be better, it will with time - and support, and patience. But not everyone is willing to give a new group the chance to truly get on their feet...

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