02/11/2014 01:11 EST | Updated 04/13/2014 05:59 EDT

Saskatchewan gives green light to tougher rules for new motorcycle riders

REGINA - The Saskatchewan government is giving the green light to recommendations aimed at improving motorcycle safety.

Saskatchewan Government Insurance says the province has approved all proposed changes put forward last week by a motorcycle review committee.

Changes that kick in this coming season include making new riders show that they can safely handle motorcycles before they get their licences.

As well, people who want motorcycle learner's permits must first hold a Class 5 driver's licence, the standard licence for operating a vehicle.

Other changes are to come in 2015 or later, including a requirement that all motorcycle riders and passengers wear eye protection.

There will also be stiffer penalties for all drivers and riders who make unsafe lane changes.

SGI president and CEO Andrew Cartmell says the company is confident the initiatives will enhance motorcycle safety.