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October 2016

Well it’s been a very productive time since I last reported.

Firstly on my pet project with Serpentine / Jarrahdale Shire;

  • The Shire has agreed to have a road safety audit to be conducted on a motorcycle by Dave, and not in a car like originally planned.
  • Businesses will be sought to add to a Motorcycle Friendly tourist route. WALGA has kindly offered to supply each business with a “start up pack” ie a stand with visor spray and paper towels to set up somewhere at their premises to encourage motorcycle patronage.
  • Identify motorcycle popular routes to be fed into road hierarchy for high priority regular maintenance program.
  • To check where run off crash funding pool is.
  • The Shire will organise an item for Council to take to Zone regarding funding pool for motorcycle routes.

In summary, the Shire are very supportive of making the region safer for motorcycle riders. With the help of WALGA, they will source funding for various ideas that will help improve roads in an aim to reduce road trauma. Next meeting is October 26th.

Secondly we were very lucky to have an opportunity to attend a two day Safe System Infrastructure Workshop conducted by Austroads,

This workshop was full of road designers, planners, engineers and such from Main Roads and various shires. The overall point of the workshop was to challenge those who make the decisions regarding making and maintaining our road infrastructures to change how they address the problem of reducing fatal and serious injuries on our roads.

Instead of waiting for an accident to happen, then fix that area in the same way its always been fixed, why not be pro-active and innovative and do things differently before there is a fatal or serious injury! The guidelines that have always been in place may need to be challenged and changed!

My favorite quote was . . .”aim to make roads more forgiving to human error”. 90% of accidents can be attributed to human error. Can we take death and serious injury out of any event by changing the infrastructure? For example : making the clear zones on the side of the road a little larger if possible but more importantly smoother to prevent road run-offs being flipped into roll-overs. Can we introduce wide centre line marking? Or fully controlled right turns at lights? Or safety humps approaching busy intersections to reduce speed? Will rumble strips and audio edge lining help to wash off speed approaching an intersection? There was discussion about wire-rope and other barriers in respect to the motorcyclist.

It is a fact that no matter what, people WILL make mistakes. This concept sets up a system where if, in a case of an accident, how can the roads reduce the severity of the injury to the road user? This question is tackled by adopting a shared responsibility attitude incorporating roads, vehicle safety, road users (people) and speed, with an element of post crash care consideration.

The “victim-blaming” mentality needs to be taken out of the equation and replaced with “How did each component of the system attribute to the SEVERITY of the crash? ”

A very informative workshop, at which Dave Wright, Dale Hill and myself made sure that motorcyclists were considered throughout the discussions.

Last but not least, we are setting up a safety sub-committee to be held monthly in the hour prior to each MRAWA meeting. Once up and running we can add further meetings if needed.

Motorcycle Safety week is almost upon us. There is a full week of events, starting with the Motorcycle Safety Forum. I am looking forward to seeing what has been achieved since last year’s forum and discussing what still needs to be addressed.

I think that’s enough from me.

Nicola Hill

Road Safety Officer


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