Welcome to a new year of striving to keep motorcyclists safe on our roads.
It has been a busy start to the year. In February we attended the Vulnerable Road Users Group meeting with the Road Safety Commission A few representatives from various Road User Groups have been selected to meet regularly to discus problems and work towards finding solutions to improve road safety for everyone in our community. We are lucky enough to be able to put three motorcycle representatives forward by flying under different banners. Dave Wright is going in under the Ulysses Club, Dale Hill under MRAWA and I am under WAWMR
At the meeting we discussed the progress of the Motorcycle Action Plan 2014 and inquired when we could expect to be able to use the Bus Lanes since the Trials had finished 22months ago with no incidents.
It was also raised that we are still awaiting to hear if lane filtering will be brought to legislation since the minister has signed off on it.
Also still outstanding from the Motorcycle Action Plan was action 21 regarding the licencing system. DOTWA is still working on this with RSC.
Government is in caretaker mode so it may be a while before we get more conclusive answers.
On the topic of the licencing system; We got into the MRAWA because we are passionate about educating riders to learn and maintain the necessary skills to stay uninjured and alive after their 25 minute test has been completed.
The licensing process, the standard of skills needed to pass, and the inconsistencies among the assessors and instructors needs to change. If we want to reduce the fatalities snd serious injuries for this and the next generation of motorcyclists then one step is to instill life-saving skills when they begin their training. In my personal opinion being able to execute three consecutive o-turns will never save a life. Hazard perception, defensive riding skills, total bike control, and riding within your bike’s and your own capabilities wiil, and is far more important than doing three circles. I would rather be using that time in lessons training people to negotiate a country corner than a 6 metre sidestreet to the point where they get dizzy
This week I had a client in test who did not return with his assessor, but almost 10 minutes after. He missed the turn-off through unclear instructions so he was abandoned to continue alone onto a highway and find his own way back to the test centre in an unfamiliar area. The assessor and the manager of the centre assured me that they had no Duty of Care to follow my client or escort him back to the centre safely as he is an adult and considered a licensed rider in test. Not their Duty of Care if he didn’t follow instructions? I argue that the rider is neither insured nor legal. This may happen to your spouse, child, friend or relative during their test. This is just one area that needs to be addressed. The licensing system needs a massive overhaul.
I sincerely hope that when the Department of Transport review and update their legislation and licensing procedures that they consult with actual motorcyclists before making decisions.
On a lighter note, we have the Motorcycle Safety Week planned for April. I’m sure this has been outlined in the President’s report.
I am still waiting to hear back from Serpentine/Jarrahdale Shire regarding follow-up meetings regarding safety audits and road maintenance programs within the area to hopefully reduce fatalities. We have had no luck getting a reply this year.
I will be unable to attend this month’s meeting due to other commitments so please stay safe everyone and I’ll see you soon
By Nicola Hill
Road Safety Officer