B.C. has introduced new motorcycle safety regulations that will ban novelty helmets and require all riders to wear protective headgear that meet international safety standards.

Motorcyclists found wearing so-called skull caps and beanie helmets that don't met the new regulations will be fined $138, said Minister of Justice and Attorney General Shirley Bond.

"Helmets must have a rigid head covering and a strong, stiff, outer shell. I know that some riders will bristle but it's time for them to hang up their beanies," said Bond."

The new helmet laws are part of a number of new safety regulations aimed at minimizing the number of motorcycle injuries and deaths in B.C. — including new rules for passengers and licence plates.


As of June 1, 2012, the helmet on the left will be illegal in B.C., while the two on the right will be allowed within the new regulations as they offer better protection for riders. (Jeff Davies/CBC)

The new regulations, which come into effect June 1, also say all passengers must be able to reach foot pegs or floorboards and children who cannot reach the foot rests will not be allowed to ride as passengers.

"While B.C. already has mandatory helmet and seating laws, these new standards provide even more guidance to help riders — who are more vulnerable to injury and death than other road users — enjoy a safe journey," said Bond.

Denise Lodge, who lost her son to a motorcycle crash, welcomes the new rules.

"Since March 3, 2005, in memory of my son Corey, I've been actively advocating changes to legislation, the culture, attitude, belief and behaviour to ensure other young riders don't needlessly lose their lives," said Lodge.

According to the Ministry of Justice, there are about 42 rider deaths in B.C. every year, and more than 200 motorcyclists have died since 2007.

"So in the memory of our sons...and all of the voices that are unable to speak, we thank you," said Lodge.