Road safety an issue after 3 crashes with motorcycles in a week | CBC News

2022-09-24 20:48:36 By : Ms. Bella wu

He's only been riding his motorcycle for a few months, but Marshall McNaughton has already seen how dangerous it can be.

"A lot of people are distracted and are just trying to go to work," he says.

"They're not thinking about the big picture. They just look at you as an object. When I'm going to work or just go for a little ride, you have to keep your head on a swivel because people are very dangerous."

McNaughton has seen things that people do behind the wheel.

"They're on their phones, changing the music, they're doing random tasks," he said.

"A lot of people drive like idiots."

Motorcycle and road safety has been an increasingly high profile issue in recent months, and this week, crashes involving motorcycles came to the forefront. There have been three collisions involving motorcycles, and in one, the driver was killed.

The fatal crash Tuesay was between a Chrysler PT Cruiser and a motorcycle in the 8800 block of Howard Avenue in LaSalle, according to LaSalle police. The road was closed for almost seven hours.

Then two incidents occurred in Windsor on Thursday, the first early morning at the roundabout connecting Sandwich Street, Riverside Drive, University Avenue, and Rosedale Avenue. Only a motorcycle was involved in that collision.

The second incident was on the corner of Drouillard Road and Tecumseh Road on Thursday afternoon.

Both riders suffered serious injuries.

In light of the three crashes, Windsor police are reminding drivers to take caution when watching out for motorcyclists.

"There are steps drivers can take to make sure we keep motorcyclists safe," said Const. Talya Natyshak in a statement.

"First and foremost, drivers need to remain focused on their driving with no distractions. Also, drivers need to look out for motorcycles which can be more easily hidden in blind spots or masked more easily by other objects in our environment."

"A motorcycle's speed is harder to judge, so always assume it is closer than it appears."

Even Windsor residents who do not ride motorcycles are asking drivers to exercise caution when approaching motorcycles.

"Pay more attention and slow down," William O'Brien, son of Tim O'Brien, who was injured in the collision at Drouillard and Tecumseh.

Road safety in general has gotten more air time lately. One resident, for example, has started a petition to improve the safety of an intersection he sees as troublesome. He even set up a camera and analyzed five days of footage of vehicles passing through the intersection of Gladstone Avenue and Richmond Street.

"In those five days, there are dozens and dozens of near misses and cars honking their horns," said Drew Hyttenrauch.

The intersection has houses on every corner, creating poor visibility and sight lines for motorists. Additionally, there are only stop signs for motorists travelling on Richmond Street.

Hyttenrauch's petition has currently gathered over 570 signatures. He said the solution to improving safety at that intersection is simple.

"All that needs to be done is [to add] an additional stop sign and an all-way stop."

While car drivers are often in the crosshairs when it comes to accidents involving motorcycles, there are things motorcyclists can do to stay safe, including dressing properly.

"That means full-face helmets, leather gloves, tough outer wear. It means good boots," said Don Redekop, president of Learning Curves Foundation, a motorcycle safety training company.

Redekop also suggests motorcyclists wear brighter and more visible colours and try to avoid heavy traffic. He said the idea is to avoid "blending into the background."

McNaughton has all sorts of protective gear so that he stays safe, but he also has another tip for motorcycle riders.

"Make sure you are able to drive," he said. "You're not tired, you're obviously not intoxicated and you have a clear mindset. You're not mad or anything."

"You should enjoy the ride."

With files from Dale Molnar

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