We are pleased to report a significant improvement in the motorcycle crash rate in the South Okanagan Similkameen in 2015.
There was an alarming trend of an increasing number of fatal and injury motorcycle crashes in 2013 and 2014 that was identified. That trend continued into the spring of 2015.
South Okanagan Traffic Services wanted to bring this issue to the attention of the public as well as provide an educational component.
The trend was discussed with motorcycle shops throughout the central and South Okanagan. Some of the activities provided were a proactive motorcycle skills demonstration in Penticton this past spring.
Reserve Cst. Dave Cramm, with South Okanagan Traffic Services, conducted roadside safety talks with hundreds of motorcyclists throughout the South Okanagan Similkameen.
Cramm is a motorcycle instructor. The general public may have seen him riding a police motorcycle this past year. The feedback from motorcyclists has been overwhelmingly positive.
In 2014 there were four fatal and 39 injury motorcycle crashes in the South Okanagan Similkameen.
In 2015 there was one fatal and 28 injury motorcycle crashes.
This was a 75 per cent reduction in fatals, and an overall reduction in crashes of 33 per cent. Given that some motorcyclists have a passenger, this translates into at least three people alive and at least 11 people uninjured. We will continue these motorcycle safety efforts in 2016.
By Sgt. Harold Hallett, South Okanagan Traffic Services