2015 Australian Motorcycle Council Annual Conference, Canberra, ACT
Motorcycle Riders Association of Western Australia Incorporated
At last month’s AGM the sitting Committee was reappointed unopposed the committee is
President – Dave Wright
Vice President – Jeff Mazey
Secretary – Lyn Simpson
Treasurer – Joanne Wells
This year in brief
- MOTORCYCLES IN BUS LANES
At a recent Motorcycle Safety Advisory Group (MSAG) meeting we had a review of the trial of motorcycle using priority bus lanes on Beaufort Street and South Street. There have not been any issues to date. The trial concludes in November and we will be pushing at that time that all priority bus lanes be available to motorcycle riders.
- GOVERNMENT REVIEW INTO MOTORCYCLE SAFETY
After last year’s horrific motorcycle fatalities and catastrophic injuries on WA roads our Minister for Road Safety Hon Liza Harvey called for a multi Government agency in depth investigation into the causal factors of all motorcycle fatalities and catastrophic injuries over the past ten years. Members on this group include Office of Road Safety, Main Roads Dept. Dept. of Transport, Police, and Insurance Commission. The data has now been collated from those crashes including data that was not available in previous studies such as past infringements of the people involved in the crashes of both car driver and motorcyclist, past licence suspensions and cancellations. How long the motorcyclist has held a motorcycle licence for and what class of licence and how long they have owned their motorcycle for. (This will help identify returning riders) this additional data along with the Main Roads Dept. and Police crash investigation and information from the Insurance Commission of W.A. This will give us a much better picture of motorcycle crashes in W.A. All of this data will be analysed by Curtin Monash Accident Research Centre and a report sent to the Office of the Commissioner for Road Safety. We expect this to be completed mid-August and then the Motorcycle Riders Association of WA along with MSAG will be involved in consultation with the Office of the Commissioner for Road Safety to look at what actions need to be taken to reduce the number of motorcycle crashes.
- LANE FILTERING
Also at a (MSAG) meeting I raised the issue of legalising motorcycle lane filtering similar to the situation in New South Wales, Queensland and soon to be introduced in Victoria. The rules in NSW are a motorcycle can move between slow moving and stationary vehicles at no more than 30 km hr. cannot pass next to the kerb, cannot lane filter in a school zone during school restriction hours, and cannot be used whilst on L or P plates. Passing at a speed exceeding 30km hr is classed as lane splitting and carries a heavy fine and 3 demerit points. I believe this will clarify the confusing regulations that we have in WA at the moment and make the regulations consistent across Australia. This issue has now been added as an agenda item to the next WA Road Safety Council meeting asking them to advocate to the Minister to consider permitting lane filtering in WA.
- MOTORCYCLE REP. ON ROAD SAFETY COUNCIL
The Browne Report into Road Safety Governance was completed last year and some of the recommendations from that report have been accepted by the Minister for Road Safety. The one that is of most interest to motorcycle riders is that there will be a motorcycle representative on the revamped WA Road Safety Council, it is anticipated that that representative will be the Motorcycle Riders Association of WA Inc. and we look forward to this as we have been pushing for a spot on the Road Safety Council on and off for about 8 years. Another important development is the appointment of a Road Safety Commissioner and the Office of Road Safety changing to the Office of the Commissioner for Road Safety from July 1st 2015. I will let you know how this all works but it does have the ability to improve motorcycle safety in WA.
- REVIEW OF PREVIOUS ACTIONS
It was decided at last month’s MSAG meeting that at the September meeting we would review all of the 50 completed actions from our previous forums to see if anything need refining or to be done again and any new actions added.
- NEW MRAWA WEBSITE
The Motorcycle Riders Association of WA (MRAWA) has a new website www.mrawa.org and is much easier to navigate around, we still have some safety videos and links to put up and this will be ongoing as new issues and safety materials and initiatives come along. Joining the MRAWA is also easier now as we have an online payment option through your credit or debit cards. Many issues are also covered on the MRAWA Facebook page.
- 2015 MOTORCYCLE SAFETY WEEK
This year’s Motorcycle Safety Week will run from October 30th – November 6th the launch will be the 2015 Perth Motorcycle and Scooter Show at Claremont Showgrounds, we will have our MRA rider safety stand for all 3 days and the charity ride to the show will be led by Danny Green and his campaign against coward one punch attacks. We will hold a ride your motorcycle to work day and breakfast in the city on Wednesday 4th November. We anticipate having a reserved area in the Perth CBD for motorcycles and are working with the Perth City Council on this with help from the RAC who will be sponsoring the breakfast. At the end of the week we will be hosting a motorcycle safety forum for all interested motorcyclist to attend. We will have guest speakers from the Main Roads Dept., Dept. of Transport taking on the current issues, and all attendees will have an opportunity to raise issues through group workshops. We will also have completed the motorcycle safety videos by then and will launch them along with other safety posters and literature. This is still a work in progress so I will keep you informed.
- ORS Motorcycle Safety Grant
I recently applied for a grant from the Office of Road Safety to cover our costs for Motorcycle Safety Week, the costs for the motorcycle safety stall at this year Perth Motorcycle and Scooter Show, the Christmas Charity Rides in Perth and Mandurah, the cost to run eight Ride Right Courses in metro and rural areas including Bunbury, Albany, Esperance, Kalgoorlie, Narrogin, Geraldton and two in Perth, to upgrade our website and to produce new rider safety literature and video. I am pleased to say that the grant has been approved in full.
- RAC WA Council Position
I have decided to stand for a position on the RAC Council this year, as I believe I can contribute to that organisation and help work towards a better road safety outcome for all Western Australians but with more emphasis on vulnerable road users.
- Perth City Congestion
I have been invited to become a member of the newly formed Perth Traffic Congestion Management Advisory Group. This is a very high level group with most of the people being heads of departments, MRD, Dept. of Transport, Dept. of Planning, Local Govt. assoc. etc. I brought up that if we are to reduce congestion we need to actively encourage the increased use of motorcycles and scooters, bus lane use being one option. We have 120,000 registered road motorcycles in WA and most are sitting in shed whilst people take their cars. Suggestions by me where to better use the existing infrastructure that taxpayer have paid for but is totally underutilised. I floated the idea of motorcycle being allowed to use the on road bicycle lines on the Tonkin, Reid and Roe highways as a starting point as I personally have never seen a bicycle in these lanes. (I am not talking about shared paths but dedicated bicycle lanes) the suggestion was noted and will be looked into the only voice in objection was from the Bike West representative (no surprise there) I also raise the point that if we are to get people to use their motorcycles and scooters to ease congestion we also need to make it safer for them and we need to drastically increase the parking for them. This issue is now being looked at by the Dept. of Planning. I made the suggestion that they take a look at adopting the Melbourne and Sydney Motorcycle Traffic Plans. I will let you know how it progresses.
- MOTORCYCLE SAFETY MEDIA CAMPAIGN
Some of you may have seen the motorcycle safety advertising on the TV and in the newspapers and social media run by the WA State Government through the Office of Road Safety One was to highlight the issue from the car driver’s perspective and three where from the rider’s perspective on road positioning and decision making. If you didn’t see them visit www.ors.wa.gov.au and look up motorcycle campaigns. I have had some discussions with the Office of Road Safety and we have agreed to make some short motorcycle safety videos focusing on road positioning and riding to be seen, we hope to have these completed by the end of October for the start of our Motorcycle Safety Week.
- Helmet Standards Forum
In January I attended the Standards Australia forum on motorcycle helmets in Sydney which was funded by the MRA WA and was brought about by a lot of complaints and confusion by both riders and the authorities over just what is a motorcycle helmet that is legal to sell and wear in Australia, which of the standards it complies with AS1698/1988 (Mandatory Standard) AS/NZS 1698/2006 (Voluntary Standard) how can it be made better and uniform across all Australian States. There were about 80 people in attendance from all groups and most States and one person there from Shark Helmets who was here for France. There were presentations from Standards Australia, ACCC, NSW Motorcycle Council, Chair of Helmets Committee CS-076 and many questions from and clarifications from the floor as well as the Panel. I believe that there was a strong feeling in the room from both riders, Government Agencies and Standards Australia that we need to work together to sort out the fragmented and confusing situation we now have and look at a new Australian Mandatory Standard that is consistent in every Australian State, allows the importation of helmets for overseas countries that have similar or safer standards to Australia without the requirement for retesting (European Standard ECE 22-05 was mentioned as a good Standard specifically designed for motorcycles.) To have a single sticker to show compliance to that standard applied within Australia and complete with the compliance folder from the compliance assessment body.
- Australasian Road Safety Conference
I attended the Australasian Road Safety Conference in Melbourne last November funded by RAC WA and one of the best meetings I had whilst over there was with Professor Christopher Hurren from Deakin University. He is currently heading up a team investigating the development and establishment of a star rating for protective motorcycle clothing, this work will sit alongside the great work done in this field by Liz De Rome and will incorporate a heat/cool factor. He has done some preliminary work on leg protection of regular jeans, Kevlar lined jeans and leather pants for abrasion protection (sliding down a sealed road) regular jeans will last only about half a second, Kevlar will last much longer but depends on the quality only one of the tested garments managed to reach the grade 3 European standard, leather pants exceeded the European standards. He has almost completed the testing of motorcycle gloves and is now looking for funding through the State Insurance Commissions to invest in the continued testing of jackets, pants, gloves, and boots which will reduce the number and severity of injuries and therefore claims lodged with the Insurance Commission’s and save us all excessive insurance premiums. In the long term he hopes that the ongoing testing will be funded through the motorcycle clothing industry in much the same way as the ANCAP star rating for cars. I just hope our Insurance Commission has the foresight to see the benefits in this research.
Motorcycle Riders Assoc. of W.A. Inc. (President/Road Safety and Research Officer)
Member W.A Motorcycle and Scooter Safety Advisory Group
Member W.A. Vulnerable Road User Advisory Group
Ulysses Club National Safety Committee (WA representative)
National Motorcycle Safety Consultative Committee (WA representative)
Member Australasian Collage of Road Safety
33900 – The Australian Road Safety Collaboration