Hi Guys I hope you and your family and friends are all well and you are looking forward to some Christmas celebrations and to our great rides that Jef has arranged.
As I mentioned in my last report we had a priority item from the Australian Motorcycle Council National Conference to seek funding to hold a National Motorcycle Safety Forum. Last week it was announced that motorcycle safety will be the focus of next year’s National Road Safety Conference in Hobart. This is great news as it gives us the opportunity to push forward with the remaining issues raised at the National Motorcycle and Scooter Safety Summit held in Canberra and gets the relevant federal departments to commit to and see the actions proposed at the 2008 summit implemented. This opportunity is a direct result of the hard work done by Shaun Lennard the chair of the AMC and also by all the state representatives around Australia to get motorcycle safety firmly established as a priority issue with all state and federal governments. I will keep you posted on the progress in future safety reports.
As most of you would be aware by now the Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme launch date is to be announced soon ( it may have happened by the time you get this copy of The Edge) the word from the Department of Transport
is the end of December of the first couple of weeks into January. There will be a 12 month grace period for anyone who owns a 0 – 250cc motorbike that is banned from the LAMS list who only holds a RE license. This is to give these
people time to get there R class license or to sell that motorcycle. After the 12 months grace period it will be illegal to ride these motorcycles on the road. We will be adopting the National list of LAMS motorcycles if you wish to see the full list check out the following website www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/lams
I have had a few meetings over the last couple of months one of those was with the Ofce of Road Safety to discuss the motorcycle helmet certification, testing and labeling. They are about to change the requirement of the specific sticker
issued from Standards Australia (who no longer exist) to a list of approved certification bodies. We also covered the adoption of the NSW arrangement for helmet certification that restricts the importation of helmets from overseas we
opposed this move and they have now put the adoption of the NSW system on hold pending further investigation. What we want to see is helmets from overseas manufacturers that meet the USA, European or Japanese standards
(these standards are very similar to our Australian AS 1698) to be allowed to be sold in Australia providing they provide proof of testing and certification on a deemed to comply basis as is the case in New Zealand. This will make fee safety helmets available to us a reduced cost (we are paying about 60% more in Australia than they are overseas for the same helmet.
I had arranged a meeting last week at Parliament house with Hon Lisa Harvey Minister for Police and Road Safety. Unfortunately just as I got there all members of Parliament where called into the chamber for a vote, so I hope to
arrange another meeting in the near future now that parliament is not sitting. I did however have a very good meeting with her Chief of Staf and covered a whole range of issues including motorcycle helmets, rider and driver education, and training to mention a few. I also raised the idea of a Motorcycle and Scooter Safety Strategy with specific target reductions in fatal and serious motorcycle crashes. This strategy I believe should marry in to the existing Towards Zero strategy 2008-2020.
It is interesting that two of the issues that we are working on with government departments (the use of bus lanes in peak times and the issue of Lane filtering) are both part of trails in NSW and Victoria. The outcomes of these trails will help us to determine any safety implications for motorcyclist and determine the direction we take on these issues.
I recently received the motorcycle crash statistics (year to date) from the Police department and although we are having our worst year for some time as far as fatalities are concerned we seem to be getting better in some areas. The
number of serious injuries is well down on previous years by over 50%. and the best result for over 6 years This may be due to better motorcycle protective clothing The number of speed related fatal crashes is well down in rural areas
but are on the increase in the metro area as are the overall number of fatal crashes. So please take care on the roads and even on hot days try to wear the best protective clothing you can.
As always I will keep you informed on these and any other issues that arise through this newsletter and our website but feel free to contact me if you have any questions on rider issues.
Wishing all of you a merry and safe Christmas and a happy new year
RIDE LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT.