Letter: Guard rails a hazard for motorcyclists

Guard rails

I have a comment regarding the recent change being seen on Alberta’s highways to guard rails.

One considers rails to be designed to keep people safe. The traditional corrugated rails mounted to wooden or metal posts were quite effective and could help keep both four-wheel and two-wheel traffic pointed in the right direction without grievous harm to either.

Alberta Transportation has embarked on a program to change many former guard rails to cable barriers. These consist of five or six steel cables strung tightly between and fastened to multiple, approximately two-inch metal posts, each of which have at least two inches of sharp metal protruding from their top edge.

I’m not sure what the traffic engineers were thinking but while a four-wheeled vehicle may be directed more efficiently, the harm to a motorcyclist is likely to be much more serious, should contact be made.

Peter Kerklaan, Rocky Mountain House

New helmet law

I was very disturbed over the amendment to the motorcycle helmet law, which will exempt Sikhs as of April 19.

I have been a safety professional since the mid-1980s. Over the course of my career, I have conducted many investigation into incidents regarding the use of helmets and, to no surprise, found they saved many lives when worn.

By not wearing a motorcycle helmet, you are at great risk to personal injury.

If a non-helmeted rider should cause an innocent person loss of property, limb or life from a totally preventable incident I feel they should be accountable. Who should pay the costs of brain surgery, recovery, rehabilitation? What will happen to the cost of motorcycle insurance?

This exemption could have a ripple effect that will cost all Canadians without choice or the opportunity to vote on this matter.

Would the Sikhs be willing to forfeit medical coverage and pay for the emergency response, medical treatment and any and losses incurred to the travelling public that is proven to be caused by a rider exercising his helmet exemption right?

If a motorcycle was the only means of transportation I still would not agree with it, however, I could understand religious exemption as a valid debate. But there are other options for transportation that do not require the use of a helmet.

I want to be very clear all life has meaning to me; that is why I have a passion and drive for safety. So please do not read this and try to twist it into a racial thing on my part.

To me, racism is when you grant exemptions to one group, but prosecute the remainder of the population for doing the same.

If the government wants to allow the removal of the motorcycle helmet then that should be offered to all riders over legal age to make it the individual’s choice.

My choice will always be to wear a helmet.

Rick Cuerrier, Rocky Mountain House

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