The latest statistics on motor vehicle incident deaths have been released and there are some positives to be found.
Unless you are motorcyclist. In that case, the news is pretty grim.
The BC Coroners Service updated its motorcycle-involved fatality report, which captures a rise in deaths involving motorcyclists.
In 2018, 16 per cent of the 314 deaths involved motorcycles or mopeds. This number is five-per-cent higher than the 11-per-cent average over the past decade.
In 2018 alone, there were 51 motorcyclist deaths. This is the highest annual total for the past decade and a 50-per-cent increase over 2017.
Burnaby had a nasty year on the roads for motorcyclists, with at least three fatalities known in 2018. In August, a 34-year-old man died after slamming his motorcycle into a tree on Griffiths Drive near 14th Avenue. On June 2, a 51-year-old man was thrown from his bike on Burnaby Mountain Parkway near Gaglardi Way and later died. A couple of weeks later, another man was killed on the Burnaby-New Westminster border after his motorcycle collided with a car on 10th Avenue near Fifth Street. On June 16, a 28-year-old man was seriously injured in a crash between his motorcycle and a Mini Cooper at Griffiths and 18th Avenue – near the site of August’s fatal crash.
“Police are taking this opportunity to remind motorcyclists to obey posted speed limits and always be prepared for the unexpected,” stated a Burnaby RCMP press release after the August 2018 crash.
With the weather warming up, more and more motorcyclists are hitting the road. They are urged to slow down and other drivers are urged to watch out for motorcycles on our roads.
In a little more positive news, the BC Coroners Service highlighted some easy ways people can reduce fatalities.
It just involves using some common sense.
The latest data showed that a lack of restraint use, along with drug and/or alcohol involvement, were contributory factors to recent motor vehicle incident deaths.
The data show 314 motor vehicle deaths in British Columbia in 2018, up from 299 in 2017, yet still below the annual average of 326 per year during the past decade.
One-third of the total number of deaths (34 per cent) between 2008 and the most recently available data available from 2016 resulted from incidents involving drugs and/or alcohol.
Between 2011 and 2016, 29 per cent of drivers and passengers who died were not wearing a restraint, which is defined as a seat belt or child car-seat straps.
During the past 10 years, more than two-thirds (69 per cent) of the decedents were male.
So, to recap.
Men, be smarter because a lot of you are dying on our roads.
Don’t be stupid by not using a restraint.
And don’t drink or do drugs if you are going to drive.