MONTREAL—With motorcycles hitting the road this spring, the SAAQ has a motorcycle safety campaign ready to help reduce accidents. The automotive safety board is also planning to change the way drivers earn a license.

Francois Gutras loves to get out on his motorcycle. But last August he was sideswiped by a car running a red light.

“I had four fractures. I'm really lucky to be here,” said Gutras. “At the beginning of the season, like right now, cars don't see us so it’s really dangerous.”

The motorcycle driver now wears reflective clothing, especially when riders are more at risk during the spring. The SAAQ is now asking riders to be more visible and minding motorists to be cautious.

The SAAQ is also recommending that any driver with four demerit points on their license be denied the chance to take the test.

“We plan to teach more emergency motorcycle driving techniques to new riders,” said Mario Vaillancourt, a spokesman for the SAAQ.

The agency is recommending that eye protection be made mandatory and is changing some rules on how to get a licence.

Under current Quebec law, motorcyclists with a learners permit can only ride with another fully-licenced rider while they prepare for their road test. The SAAQ is recommending doing away with the rule, saying many driving instructors told them the program wasn't working.

The SAAQ also recommends not allowing any driver with four demerit points on their drivers license from taking the test.

Joe Italiano has been a motorcycle and driving instructor for 36 years. He agrees with the SAAQ’s recommendation to eliminate the accompanying rider for learners. He says it should be replaced with more mandatory training hours.

“I would increase the four hours on the road maybe to six hours, maybe even eight hours before they attempt a road test,” said Italiano.

There is no timeline for implementing all the changes, but it seems certain that they won’t be in effect for this season.