Canadian Underwriter

Vulnerable road users focus of Saskatchewan’s traffic safety spotlight in April

April 6, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter

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Vulnerable road users, which includes pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists, is the traffic safety spotlight for the month of April, Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) said on Wednesday.

iStock_000022693360_MediumPolice in the province will be paying particular attention to vehicles not yielding to pedestrians, making unsafe lane changes around motorcycles and driving without due care and attention around bicycles and motorcycles. Police will also be watching for motorcyclists not wearing the proper gear, bicyclists not following the rules of the road and jaywalking pedestrians, SGI said in a press release.

Vulnerable road users are at a higher risk of injury in a collision than people in passenger vehicles (due to the lack of occupant protection). In 2014, 18 pedestrians, two bicyclists and three motorcyclists were killed in collisions in Saskatchewan, and 593 more were injured. Earl Cameron, vice president of SGI’s Auto Fund, added in the release that vulnerable road users’ relatively smaller size makes it harder for vehicles to see.

The focus on vulnerable road users comes at the same time as SGI implemented a Reduced No Fault coverage for motorcycle owners. The third option for coverage offers a basic package of injury benefits at a lower cost, since there are fewer benefits, SGI noted on Tuesday. Motorcycle owners now have the choice between Reduced No Fault coverage and the two options that existed previously – the full package of No Fault injury coverage or Tort coverage.

The Reduced No Fault coverage was announced in May 2015 and implemented on April 1.

To be eligible for, and to select the new coverage, the rider must:

  • be the registered owner of the motorcycle;
  • hold a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s licence;
  • visit a motor licence issuer to sign a declaration form stating they understand the reduced coverage and wish to switch from No Fault to Reduced No Fault injury coverage;
  • sign a separate declaration for each motorcycle they own, if they own more than one bike and wish to switch coverage on other bikes; and
  • have a parent or guardian sign the declaration, if the owner is under 18 years old.

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