IN THIS REPORT –
- Motorcycle Fatalities – is 2016 going to be our worst year yet?
- Motorcycle Safety Week
- Australian Motorcycle Council AMC
- Australasian Road Safety Conference
With the great riding weather we are experiencing at the moment there are obviously a lot more motorbike out on the roads than usual and we have just experienced a jump in the number of motorcycle crashes and tragically also the number of motorcycle rider fatalities.
At the time of writing this we had 3 rider fatal crashes in two days and that brought our total so far this year to 28 compared to 22 for 2015 and we are heading to have a worst year than 2014 when 44 riders lost their lives on our roads.
This is 28 individuals that are no longer a part of our motorcycle community and this is of course a huge tragedy for their family and friends who will not ever really get over the loss.
I plead with all riders to take extra care on our roads and place yourself in the safest and most visible position on the road that you can. Car drivers may have become less motorcycle aware during the winter when there are less motorcycles on the road and may not be looking for you properly. For those of us that have just got the bike out for the first time in a while due to the weather we have had, I suggest that we use extra care and take it easy until our riding skills kick back into gear as riding requires constant practice to be a safe rider.
Please take it steady for a while.
Motorcycle Safety Week
By the time you receive this newsletter the 2016 Motorcycle Safety Week will have finished and the details of the events will be covered more in the December issue of the Edge, I can however give you some details of where we are so far.
We launch Motorcycle Safety Week with a motorcycle safety Forum on Saturday 22nd October at Tuart Hill (thank you to the City of Stirling for providing us once again with a great venue for the forum.
This year we have the Deputy Premier and Road Safety Minister Hon. Lisa Harvey opening the week and giving a presentation at the forum, we also have presentations from the Road Safety Commission and have representatives from all the relevant Government agencies. The theme of the forum is the new WA Government Motorcycle Safety strategy (did they get it right? What else can be done? What is the progress of the issues?)
To date we have about 30 people attending with a good mix between motorcycle riders, motorcycle industry, and government agencies. I found it encouraging that some of the suggestions for the riders at last year’s forum made it into the Motorcycle Safety Strategy (just goes to show that the Government does listen to us and sometimes thinks we know what we are talking about
On Sunday 23rd October we have our free Ride Right Course at Mirrabooka (once again a big thank you to the City of Stirling for funding this course) so far we have about 20 registered for the course. The course is a theory riding course and is designed to develop and expand on the mental skills required for safe riding.
Wednesday 26th October is the Ride your motorcycle to work day. Si I hope you all did, as this get the message to the general public and the government that we are hear and are not going away so we need to be considered in your decisions on road use and safety.
Sunday 30th is the On Yer Bike rider training and Rider Down First Aid Course at Armadale, once again we all need extra training to be safer riders and we all need first aid training for when it goes wrong and we need to help a mate.
I would like to thank the Road Safety Commission for providing funding so that we could get an extra 5000 copies of our booklet Make Yourself Visible, without this funding we would not have been able to distribute this booklet for Motorcycle Safety Week.
Australasian Road Safety Conference
I was in Canberra last month attending the Australasian Road Safety Conference. This is by far the biggest road safety conference held in our region and there was over 600 people attending it this year.
I have been attending these conferences for the past 6 years and the information gathered over the 3 days of the conference is invaluable to the MRA as it gives us a better insight as to what research and trials are being conducted in Australia, New Zealand, and further afield.
This year there was over 20 presentations that were motorcycle specific and many more that I saw as important to us such as driver distraction, safety barriers, etc.
One presentation that I found interesting was on the motorcycle safety rub rail that can be fitted to new and existing w beam roadside barriers. There has always been a reluctance to use these as they were never tested for car and motorcycle use. They now have been tested and two of the rails passed the test for cars and motorcycle riders who may hit them if off the bike and sliding into the rail. This now means that the road authorities can use them without any restrictions.
There is way too much to cover here and I won’t even attempt to try and give detail on the over 200 presentations given at the conference, you can however look up the individual presentations on the website. www.australasianroadsafetyconference.com.au
Australian Motorcycle Council AGM
Following from the Australasian Road Safety Conference in Canberra I flew to Darwin to attend the 2016 AMC annual conference thanks to funding from the Ulysses Club. I was there representing both the Ulysses Club and the MRA WA.
We had Delegates representing all the major motorcycle organisations from all Australian states and territories.
The new AMC Committee is
Chairman – Shaun Lennard
Vice Chairman – Phil McClelland
Treasurer – Brian Wood
Secretary – Anastasia Ampt
Executive – Peter Baulch
Executive – John Encott
Each state and territory representative gave a report on the progress of actions in their jurisdictions we also had presentations from Maurice Blackburn Lawyers on the seemingly unending drama that surrounds cameras on helmets in QLD, NSW and Victoria.
We heard from Rhys Griffith of The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries Motorcycle Division on the sales of the different styles of motorcycles being sold in Aust. (road bikes leads the way but there is a big drop in scooter sales over the past few years)
He also confirmed that ABS will be mandated for all motorcycles over 175cc in Europe in 2017 and in Australia in 2019.
We had reports from the protective clothing committee which was that a star rating for protective clothing is now ready to go subject to funding from all states.
Helmet Committee report shows that there is still a problem in some states in regard to ongoing compliance required by the wearer as well as at the point of sale. A condition that cannot be met as riders do not have the information required to comply.
Infrastructure Committee report that there is now a Austroads research repot into Infrastructure Improvements to Reduce Motorcycle Casualties (report AP-R515-16)
The report recommends several changes to the guidelines for motorcycle infrastructure and notes that motorcycles are not covered in most situations. This is a 244 page report and although I have read it from cover to cover there is one recommendation in it that I think is encouraging it is – Motorcyclists should be recognised as a unique road user group and have specific needs with regards to road infrastructure.
There was also a very good discussion on the new Victorian Graduated Rider Training and Licencing requirements that came into force during this year, and is supported and highly thought of be the Victorian Motorcycle Council and is being looked at and possible adopted by NSW and Queensland, and could make its way to other states and territories in the future. We were informed that they have a $50 riding test in the Northern Territory that is just a balance test and no more after which you can go riding by yourself after answering a few questions.
We also discussed the not fault insurance for road users in each state and territory. The cost and just what you are covered for varies hugely in each state and no two are the same and most have an upper limit that will be paid to an individual as opposed to a system that has a whole of life cover. One thing that did come out of the statistics and data is that 50% of all catastrophically injured people on our roads are motorcyclists, we need to be mindful that there could be a push at some point in the future to increase the additional premiums paid by motorcyclists.
We also discussed the future directions for the AMC.
Senate inquiry into Road Safety
Austroads, contacts and motorcycle standards
That’s about it from me for now, please ride safe.