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April 2014

What a tragic start to the year with 15 motorcycle fatalities so far this year. Last year we had a improvement in the number of motorcyclist fatalities (25 in total for 2013) this was the best result for almost 10 tears but still too many. The majority of the fatal and serious injuries so far this year have been car versus motorcycle in built up urban areas and at intersections. This is by far the most common type of crash not only for motorcyclists but for all road users, but when it involves a rider the consequences are usually far more serious than just a bent door. The point I am trying to make is car drivers pull out in front of other cars, trucks and sometimes even trains so they will pull out in front of us. I do not believe that anyone does this on purpose, but we all make mistakes, the trick it to anticipate there mistakes-

Always assume that other road users have not seen you. Always position yourself on the road so that you can be seen by other road users and not in their blind spots or you are hidden behind the car or truck you are following. Work on the face in the mirror – if you can’t see their face in their mirror then they can’t see you. Be aware of power poles, bus stops, vegetation, even people standing on corners that can shield you from the view of other traffic. Remember that we are relatively small objects in the road environment and can be easily lost behind other objects. If you are in any doubt at all that a vehicle has not seen you then I would recommend that you flash you lights a couple of time on high beam. Finally slowdown in traffic other road users have a hard time spotting motorcycles if we suddenly appear from other vehicles. Ride defensively, there are places to speed and race but built up busy roads is not the place. I have seen far too many families and friends have their lives shattered after the loss of someone they loved die in a senseless crash on our roads. Ride to Survive.   

I have covered this issue before but I am still asked if lane splitting and filtering is permitted in WA. One of the issues raised during discussions with the Minister for Transport was allowing motorcycle lane filtering. This has been taken off the list because lane filtering is allowed in Western Australia within certain limitations (surrounding traffic must be stationary, signalling is still required and must be done safely.

Here is the related regulation for overtaking. You will note that reg 122(1) stipulates a moving vehicle so when the vehicles are stationary that reg doesn’t apply.

  1. Overtaking

(1)     When overtaking a moving vehicle, a driver of a vehicle (other than a bicycle) shall, except as provided in subregulations (2) and (3), pass to the right of that vehicle, at a safe distance.

Points: 2 Modified penalties: 2 PU

(2)     Where a carriageway is a one‑way carriageway, or has 2 or more marked lanes for vehicles travelling in the same direction, a driver may overtake and pass in another marked lane to the left of a vehicle, if conditions permit him or her to do so with safety.

Lane splitting – travelling between two lanes of moving traffic is illegal in WA

As an update on the trial of motorcycles using priority bus lanes that we have been working on for a while now, I can let you know that there has been some progress. I have had a progress report from the Public Transport Authority that the Main Roads Dept. has produced and had the signage approved for motorcycles to be allowed in priority bus lanes. They are now monitoring all priority bus lanes to select the best two or three for the trial once this is done a start date for the trial will be announced. As reported before this has been given the go ahead by the WA Road Safety Council, the Minister for Transport and the Minister for Police and Road Safety. I will keep you updated with progress on this issue.

I intend to run a few more Ride Right Motorcycle Skills Enhancement courses during the coming year and will advertise them on the MRA website and in the WA newspapers. For a look at some of the skills covered at the course check out the video called Rider Risk Video you will find this at www.mccofnsw.org.au with the link on the left side of the home page. This video has chapters on Risk Management, Braking, Counter steering, Protective Clothing, Crash Scene First Aid, Pillion Passengers, Cornering, Crash Scenarios, Reading Road Users and Group Riding. The video was produced by the NSW Motorcycle Council with funds from the NSW government and I believe is an excellent training tool for all riders, new and experienced. We now have a link on our website to the Rider Risk Videos.

Also on our website we now have the link to a new service from The Consumer Rating and Assessment of Safety Helmets (CRASH) for motorcycle helmet selection that gives most helmets a star rating from 1-5 stars go to www.crash.org next time before you buy a new helmet to see how it has been rated.

That is about it from me, as always please feel free to contact me on these or any other issue you feel needs looking at.

Dave Wright

Email- davmar08@bigpond.com Phone 0418 954 424


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