The Department of Public Safety is bringing in rules for new motorcycle riders next spring that will include a graduated licence system and a mandatory safety course.
As the temperature increases in New Brunswick so does the number of motorcycles on the province’s roads.
Public Safety Minister Bruce Northrup introduced changes this spring that are designed to keep those motorcyclists safe. The new rules were among a series of bills that were passed on Wednesday when the legislative assembly adjourned for the summer.
Saint John Police Sgt. Jeff Lafrance said new motorcyclists are rarely educated enough and he believes these changes are long overdue.
"The probably biggest concern, as a motorcyclist, [is] that you don't have that ability to learn, even in a course, you've got to get out on the street and practice that so there's certainly a need for this licensing"
The new graduated licence system will start on April 1, 2015. The rules are similar to those imposed on people who are getting an automobile licence for the first time:
● motorcyclists must maintain zero per cent blood alcohol content
● motorcyclists may not have any passengers
● motorcyclists may not ride between sunset and sunrise
● motorcyclists must remain in the graduated licence category for at least 12 months.
The province’s public safety minister said in April the changes should "increase safety for novice motorcycle riders and increase overall road safety.”
Bill Walker, the president and chief executive officer of Safety Services New Brunswick, has been offering an optional motorcycle safety course for beginners.
He said the new system being adopted by the provincial government is “cutting edge.”
“It's some of the strongest legislation that we've seen,” Walker said.
“I think it'll be interesting to see how things go over the next couple of years. We believe that training is very important, and will save lives.”
Walker said it is important for motorcyclists to find ways to gain experience before they start riding.
Current bikers, or those getting their licence this summer, will be grandfathered into the new system.
The provincial government also adopted new regulations for helmets and motorcycle tires.
Riders will be forced to have helmets that meet international standards.
Further, motorcycle tires will have to meet minimum standards.
The new helmet and tire standards will come into force on Aug. 1, 2014.