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February 2014

Hi Guys I hope and your loved ones had a safe Christmas and New Year.

We have had a bad finish to 2013 and start to 2014 with a spate of motorcycle rider fatalities. Their always seems to be a spike in crashes at this time of year, so I just ask that you take extra care and try to anticipate the actions of everyone on the road and ride defensively.

After a break of 6 months due to W.A. Government funding cuts we held our Motorcycle and Scooter Safety Advisory Group (MSSAG) meeting on February 5th. This very important group was in danger of oblivion but has been saved by the RAC WA agreeing to host and pay for the full time position of Vulnerable Road User Officer. We have continued with meetings during the MSSAG break with the Office of Road Safety, Main Roads Dept. WA, WA Police and WA Department of Transport in an attempt to keep the work progressing during the break.

From last week’s meeting the work being progressed is –

  • The addition of a specific motorcycle safety addendum to the WA Towards Zero Road Safety Strategy 2012 -2020 (first draft completed by WA Office of Road Safety).
  • The investigation of a specific motorcycle Black Spot and Black length criteria to give access to black spot funding for areas of roads that would not necessarily have qualified for funding under the existing criteria.
  • The trail of a Motorcycle Safety Manager within WA Main Roads Dept. has been completed and that position is now permanent.
  • As part of our bi monthly meetings we are given the WA Main Roads crash investigation results of all motorcycle fatalities during the past two months. This has been the case for the last year and the results in the majority of cases points to rider error.
  • Motorcycle helmets must now be worn by conditional licence holders on quad bike while on public roads.

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

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.

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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