Motorcycle cop explains the deadly nature of Highway 3

“One of the worst and most dangerous highways is between Princeton and Manning Park.”

For many it’s an enjoyable hobby, for others it’s a passion and some people just see it as a mode of transportation.

But no matter how a person approaches motorcycle riding there is no denying the activity involves risk, and can be particularly dangerous on Princeton area roads.

This year Princeton police have investigated one fatal motorcycle accident and more than a dozen other crashes resulting in injuries, including three collisions with deer.

“One of the worst and most dangerous highways is [Highway 3] between Princeton and Manning Park,” according to RCMP Constable Dave Cramm, who specializes in motorcycle safety and incidents for the South Okanagan Traffic Division.

In a career spanning 27 years Cramm has investigated more than a hundred vehicle accidents – about ten per cent of those involving motorcycles.

“They are usually the most devastating,” he said.

According to ICBC, motorcycles account for two per cent of the registered vehicles in the province, but they represent 10 per cent of the fatalities on B.C. roads.

“The average age last year was 59, for riders crashing motorcycles,” said Cramm. “These are not guys who are driving like nuts, they are just out for a cruise.”

Related: Police seek witnesses in fatal motorcycle crash on Highway 3

Cramm has made an extensive study of crashes in the South Okanagan over the past several years and drawn conclusions about their causes.

The majority of motorcycle accidents that result in injury or death – in 2017 it was 42 per cent – are the result of improper steering that is related to a lack of rider training, he said.

Sometimes these accidents are erroneously put down to speed, but it isn’t necessarily the case.

“They just say the guy went into the corner too fast which isn’t untrue, but if he had the skills he probably could have handled the curve.”

Mastering counter steering and a bike’s unique brake system are essential for safety.

However not all riders learn those techniques.

A temporary learner’s permit – which carriers restrictions such as a speed limit and never riding alone – is issued after an applicant passes a written test.

Thirty days later that license can be upgraded following a successful parking lot test. Finally in another month a full motorcycle license is awarded after a road examination that tests the rider’s ability to maneuver in traffic.

“Admittedly you could go through the whole process and not have perfected the skills necessary to ride a motorcycle, yes,” said Cramm.

New riders “need to take a course and have someone teach them, and practice operating this unique vehicle.”

Related: Motorcycle deaths spike 50% since 2017

Four years ago Cramm was tasked with creating a program to reduce the number of accidents on area highways.

Since that time he has spoken to hundreds of riders alongside of the road, held skills challenges and made media presentations.

The efforts have proved successful.

“In 2014 we had approximately 50 crashes that were injuries or fatalities and as of last year we were down to 25.”

Related: Okanagan woman gets 14 days in jail for causing fiery crash that sent motorcycle rider to hospital for two months



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

Musical key of O Canada on Salmon Arm’s Treble Clef questioned

Writer says musical notes on public art sculpture in wrong key, contractor disagrees

Changes on the horizon for paint, pesticide recycling in Salmon Arm

Bill’s Bottle Depot no longer taking paint, pesticides or light bulbs after Dec. 29

Salmon Arm Golf Club sold to consolidator GolfNorth Properties

Decision to sell unanimously approved by club’s board of directors

Shuswap Community Foundation grants support youth projects

Karen Angove Endowment Fund to benefit Shuswap Area Family Emergency (SAFE) Society

Shuswap resident seeks return of jewelry box containing father’s cremated remains

Sicamous RCMP report handmade box was stolen from a storage locker

VIDEO: Kelowna brew pub opens new tasting room

Dan Taylor takes a tour of BNA’s renovated tasting room

Morning Start: The man who invented the Pringles can was buried in one

Your morning start for Friday, November 15, 2019

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

A Princeton couple recently took “the trip of a lifetime,” a two-week,… Continue reading

No new rules needed to ensure timely youth justice, Supreme Court says

Charter of Rights and Freedoms says someone charged with an offence has the right to be tried within a reasonable time

Okanagan man facing 18 charges after hidden camera found in winery washroom

The camera was found in a washroom at Summerhill Winery on Aug. 23

Seguin lifts surging Stars to 4-2 win over Canucks

Dallas is 6-0-1 in last seven outings

B.C. government working with RCMP to address $10 million in budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

Most Read