Toronto

Think safety, police tell motorcyclists as they return to the open road

Provincial police are urging motorcyclists to think safety as they return to the road now that spring is here.

'Try to ride predictably,' says Sgt. Dan Hunter of Ontario Provincial Police

Ontario Provincial Police say motorcyclists should be mindful of sand in intersections, salt on roadways, and water, particularly on off-ramps in the early morning or late in the day.

Provincial police are urging motorcyclists to think safety as they return to the road now that spring is here.

Sgt. Dan Hunter, of the Ontario Provincial Police, said in a message on Twitter that motorcyclists should be mindful of sand in intersections, salt on roadways, and water, particularly on off-ramps in the early morning or late in the day.

When moving from light to shade, riders need to be on alert, he said.

Hunter said car and truck drivers are being reintroduced to motorcycles on the road after months of winter and they might not be as aware of motorcycles as they should be. Riders should not assume that other drivers can see them, he said.

"Try not to hide in their blind spots. Try to ride predictably. That's your best way to stay safe by riding early season," Hunter said at Toronto's Spring Motorcycle Show at the International Centre on Sunday.

His comments come after a motorcyclist, Denis Joseph Cadieux, 60, of Ottawa, died in hospital after a single vehicle crash in Ottawa shortly after 2 p.m. on Saturday. 

OPP said the crash occurred on the Highway 416 southbound off-ramp at Hunt Club Road.

According to police, he had just exited the highway on his motorcycle when it left the ramp, entered a ditch and hit a culvert. Cadieux was thrown from the motorcycle.

He was pronounced dead in hospital.

Middle-aged men dying in motorcycle crashes

In 2017, the province recorded 48 deaths, a record number, as a result of collisions involving motorcycles. The number dropped in 2018. 

The OPP says there are demographic trends at play because about half of all people who died in Ontario motorcycle crashes in 2017 were men between the age of 45 and 65. 

As for other safety tips for motorcyclists, police recommend that riders:

  • Be seen at intersections. 
  • Always ride at a speed appropriate for the road and for weather conditions because speeding and loss of control are major causes of motorcycle crashes.
  • Always wear an approved motorcycle helmet and bright, high-quality protective gear to make you more visible to other motorists.

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