How do you feel regarding penalizing off-road motorcyclists for following good motorcycle techniques (riding while standing on the foot pegs instead of sitting on the seat)? I'm not sure exactly what I am looking for as an answer. Perhaps your opinion or a notable situation or whether or not you would have enforced this?
I'm not sure but I feel the government has delivered a swift kick to the face of all Dual-sport riders in this province. Especially the responsible ones. I have "friends" who are not responsible. They would ride on a Forest Service Road without insurance, and just run from the police... I spend the money and am complete legit and am following good motorcycling practise, yet the government provides the authority to allow an officer to not only fine me, but confiscate my bike as I would most certainly stop for an officer.
Let's take a quick look at the law:
194 (1) A person must not operate a motorcycle on a highway unless seated astride the driver's seat of the motorcycle.
(2) A person, other than the operator, must not ride on a motorcycle on a highway unless
(a) the motorcycle is designed and equipped to carry more than one person,
(b) the other person rides
(i) astride the permanent and regular seat if designed for 2 persons, behind the operator,
(ii) astride another seat firmly attached to the motorcycle behind the seat occupied by the operator, or
(iii) on or in another seat firmly attached to one side of the motorcycle, and
(c) in the case of paragraph (b) (i) or (ii), the other person has both of his or her feet positioned on the foot pegs or floorboards of the motorcycle.
The law does not define the word "astride," so we must go to the dictionary for that:
|Adj.||1.||seated - (of persons) having the torso erect and legs bent with the body supported on the buttocks;|
Can the buttocks be supported without being in contact with the seat? Will the courts accept being astride the seat with feet on the pegs or boards and the buttocks being supported by the legs as long as they are bent to some degree?
Complicating the issue is that the only reference to a passenger on a motorcycle being seated is when using a sidecar, and then there is a choice, being on or in the seat, in all cases having their feet on the pegs or boards.
My take on the intent of the law is that it means for the riders to be astride the seat with both feet in contact with the foot pegs or boards at all times. Standing up would be acceptable if necessary, but doing acrobatics of some sort would be completely forbidden.
Will it work out that way? Time will tell what the courts will uphold and how the police choose to interpret what is required of them absent current case law to guide them.
My personal view would be to enforce in the manner I have just described as my take on the intent of the law.
I believe I read that at lest one higher positioned RCMP stated that yes should he have to stand on the pegs due to a road hazard that he would in fact stand up on the pegs. And yes I feel the spirit of the law is aimed at the stunter standing on the pegs doing a wheelie down the trans Canada highway. the letter of the law however still stands, no pun intended and a rider could after be standing on the pegs to negotiate gravel on a road have his bike impounded. So the spirit of the law may have not been breached but the letter of the law has been, and taken to the lowest common denominator the person behind the wheel of the Police Car that day.