A motorbike involved in a motor vehicle incident lays on Boleskine Road at 1:13 p.m. on Monday afternoon. File photo

Editorial: Tragedy strikes again with motorbike crash

Monday’s fatal crash on Boleskine Road proved again there’s little room for error on motorcycles.

With the death of 58-year-old Rodger Hargreaves, a teacher from North Saanich, we lost a father, a brother, an educator, a friend and a valuable member of the community.

Hargreaves died after his bike collided head on with a left-turning truck at about 12:30 p.m.

It comes one day after another left-turning vehicle clipped a motorbike at Douglas and Cloverdale, which sent two to hospital on Sunday with non-life threatening injuries.

It also comes nearly one year to the day from Saanich’s last motorbike tragedy, another left turn. That crash was on a weekday, Wednesday, Sept. 14, at about 9 a.m. A 34-year-old woman was riding her motorbike southbound. She collided into a SUV turning left off of Shelbourne Street onto McRae Avenue and came off her bike, collided with a pole, and suffered fatal injuries.

Motorbikes are a part of the road, especially in the dry season, and are in fact a better option for the environment with a smaller carbon footprint compared to a car. As the population increases, so does the number of motorbikes.

According to Transport Canada, licensced motorcycles in our country has grown incrementally each year from 311,000 in 1999 to to 709,000 in 2015, the latest year of recorded stats.

Congruently, motorcyclist fatalities are on the rise in Canada with 938 from 2011 to 2015, with 200 in that last year.

That includes an annual average of 32 motorcycle deaths in B.C. alone.

What better time to look at ourselves as drivers, motorbike riders, cyclists and pedestrians. We all have a responsibility on the road to look out for each other as much as for ourselves.

And it’s a painful reminder that while the cause of this crash was likely preventable, crashes are going to happen. They are statistically proven. They are not accidents.

Before you get on your bike, motorbike, or in you car today, ask yourself, where am I going? As one old-timer put it, everyone’s in a rush to get nowhere. When we get home, do we recount all the time we saved by cutting a corner, by catching a late yellow, or by sneaking in a left turn?

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