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Limit bike engines to 50cc and save lives

February 7, 2013

Dear Sir

With my view that one road fatality is one too many, the fact that we have had 135 road fatalities between 2000 and 2012 is (or should be) extremely alarming. Keeping in mind that 83 percent of those fatalities were motorcycle riders or passengers, I believe that we should focus on how to reduce these tragedies.

We know that bad choices made by riders can increase their chances of having an accident (eg alcohol use, reckless driving) or once they have had an accident, increase their chances of severe injury/ death (eg improperly fastening helmet straps). However, there is one choice that we can ensure is no longer an option. It is the option to ride at unnecessary and excessive speeds of 80, 90 or even 100kmh.

I recommend that the maximum engine capacity of Bermuda’s bikes be limited to 50cc. A 50cc bike can reach speeds in the region of 60 to 70 kmh which is plenty fast enough. In fact, it’s nearly twice the legal speed limit!

There will be those that disagree on the grounds that 50cc bikes are too slow and will only go 35 kmh up hills. Remember, that’s the speed limit! We must also remember that the difference in speed of 30kmh or more between a 50cc bike and a 150cc bike might be the difference between an injury and death.

I encourage the Road Safety Council, Minister of Transport and members of the general public to consider the benefits of this option.

Obviously, it is not something that can happen overnight. This change would mean that bike retailers would have to phase out their stocks of bikes greater than 50cc and thereafter only bring in 50cc bikes. In time though, it will have the desired effect of phasing out these faster bikes.

As far as motorbikes are concerned, 50cc bikes are a necessity, 150cc bikes are a luxury. Let’s save lives.


Hamilton Parish

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Published February 11, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated February 10, 2013 at 5:01 pm)

Limit bike engines to 50cc and save lives

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