An Island motorcycle enthusiast would like to see P.E.I. follow the lead of other provinces and make it harder to get a licence to drive the bikes.
'They're fun, but dangerous machines.' — Jerome Martin
Saskatchewan made changes last year, and B.C. is in the middle of making new rules. New Brunswick police are calling for changes there. Jerome Martin of Summerside has been riding for more than 30 years, and he told CBC News Wednesday it is far too easy to get a bike licence on the Island.
"You just get a bike today, and they just give you a permit and you're allowed to drive on the road. You're not prepared for it," said Martin.
"A motorcycle compared to four wheels, it's totally different. They're fun, but dangerous machines."
To get a class 6 license on P.E.I., drivers have to apply for a beginner's permit, which allows them to drive for 30 days under certain restrictions. Then, they take a road test. There is no mandatory training for new riders, but there is an optional two-day course you can take at the cost of about $400.
Accident rate declining
Doug MacEwen, safety coordinator with provincial highway safety, said in the last few years there's been a big increase in the number of motorcycles on the road, but he noted the number of motorcycle accidents has not gone up and he called that proof the province's licence requirements are strong enough.
MacEwen is concerned about the implications of mandatory training.
"You get into quite a situation when you make something mandatory," he said.
"A person may have operated and motorcycles for years around a farm or in the back 40 and comes to get their licence, when you tell that person they have to take a mandatory [course]. Like, people do have rights and there's certainly both sides to the equation,"
MacEwen said the province is reviewing the way it licenses motorcycle riders.