Caledon Enterprise

The Ontario Provincial Police want to clear up some myths when it comes to motorcycle fatalities on local roads, and it couldn’t come at a better time going into the last long weekend of summer.

Myth: Young, inexperienced motorcyclists are the most vulnerable, at-risk riders and account for the largest number of victims who die in motorcycle crashes in Ontario.   

Fact: From 2008 to 2014 (as of Aug. 18), only 16 of the 175 motorcyclists who have died on Ontario roads were under the age of 25.

The fact dispels the assumption that young people are most vulnerable when it comes to being behind the wheel, or in this case, handle bars.

According to the OPP, the age group with the highest rate of fatality is 45-54, which has resulted in 48 of the 175 victims. The second highest age group is the 55-64, with 39 victims. Combined, these two age groups account for almost half of the fatalities (87).    

Police are hoping motorcyclists and other drivers get the message and realize that anyone can become a victim, no matter your age. They also want all to realize they have a role to play in preventing further tragedies.

So far this year 26 people have lost their lives in motorcycle fatalities, including 25 riders and one passenger. With a couple months still left in the riding season, police are worried motorcycle deaths could reach a seven year high.

Here’s a run down of 175 OPP-investigated motorcycle fatalities from 2008 to 2014 (as of Aug. 18):

• 168 of the victims were the driver, seven were passengers.

•  156 of the victims were men, 19 were women.

Top contributing factors (on the part of the motorcyclist and/or other driver(s) included speed, loss of control, alcohol, fail to yield and inattention.

These are all factors that can be easily corrected and could end up saving someone’s life.

Another myth police are quick to clear up is that motorcyclists aren’t always at fault; other drivers play a role in motorcycle crashes too.

All drivers need to work together to ensure that everyone stays safe on the road and gets where they need to be.

As we head into the last long weekend of summer, remember to slow down, respect the road and the other drivers sharing it.