New motorcycle safety laws effective June 1

BC introduces new laws for motorcyclists including mandatory certified helmets

  • Jun. 1, 2012 7:00 p.m.


As motorcyclists gear up for riding season, the Province is  reminding riders that new motorcycle safety regulations took effect on  June 1.

All motorcyclists and passengers in B.C. must wear a motorcycle helmet  that displays the proper industry safety certification label. Helmets  must comply with standards outlined by the United States Department of  Transportation (DOT), Snell Memorial Foundation 2005 or 2010, or United  Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE). Riders found violating  the new helmet laws will receive a $138 fine. New seating laws have also been put into place to protect both passengers and riders.

The Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles is working with  police and motorcyclists to ensure the new helmet and seating  regulations will be applied fairly and fines will be issued to riders  putting their safety at risk. Police also have educational material to  distribute to riders to inform them about the new laws.

New laws give riders more guidance for enjoying a safe journey.

However, about two-thirds of crashes between a motorcycle and another  vehicle are the fault of the other vehicle. To inform other drivers  about the vulnerabilities motorcyclists face and how to drive safely  around motorcycles, the superintendent of motor vehicles and ICBC have  partnered on an awareness campaign.

The awareness campaign focuses on road safety tips aimed at reducing  injuries and fatalities on B.C.’s roads. Important tips include:

1. Be aware – Check your mirrors frequently, be aware of road  conditions that pose hazards to motorcyclists and look carefully for  traffic at intersections. It can be difficult to judge the speed and  distance of a motorcyclist so be extra cautious, especially when  turning left.

2. Watch for clues – Watch for signs such as turn signals, shoulder  checks or leaning, signalling the rider may turn or change lanes.

3. Share the road – Motorcycles use a full lane. Leave at least three  seconds of following distance behind a motorcycle.

4. Be courteous – Acknowledge riders with a wave or eye contact. Give  riders the space they need to change lanes and never try to pass a  motorcycle using the same lane.

The province is also moving forward with a graduated licensing program  that includes power restrictions, following additional consultation to  determine the best model.



Government Communications and Public Engagement

Ministry of Justice