The latest road safety campaign from ACT Policing has gained the support of the Motorcycle Riders Association ACT.
Both organisations are encouraging people on the road to be aware of their surroundings and considerate of others, which ideally should go without saying but sadly things don’t always work that way.
Each year an average of 13 people are killed and 700 people injured because of collisions on ACT roads. Last year 288 motorcycles were involved in reported collisions on ACT roads.
MRA ACT President Kathleen Parsons said sharing the road was a responsibility all road users shared.
“We can all contribute to sharing the road, whether we’re a pedestrian, drive a car or ride a motorcycle it’s simply a case of being more alert and careful,” Parsons said.
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“There has been an increased growth in the popularity of motorcycles and motor scooters over recent years yet since 2008 motorcycle fatalities equate for nearly a third of all ACT road fatalities.”
“This should concern us all as, regardless of fault riders are much more vulnerable in a crash than car drivers.
They have offered some advice to help drivers and motorcyclists get along better.
To Share the Road more co-operatively
— Maintain their bike, tyres and gear. Check brakes are working every time before you drive off. Check tyre pressure and tread at least once a week.
— Wear Australian Standards approved and fitted helmets and wear suitable protective clothing. It is against the law not to wear a helmet. Replace a dropped or damaged helmet.
— Ride at a safe speed. Adjust their speed down to suit conditions, especially for foggy, greasy roads.
— Obey all road rules. Being predictable and consistent will help other road users anticipate you’re riding position.
— Don’t drink and ride. A rider needs a clear head and sharp reflexes to keep safe.
— Use ‘roadcraft’ to build a ‘buffer zone’, and then ride within it, adjusting your speed and position to maintain that space.
— Ride to be seen, not in blind spots. Never assume that you have been seen.
— Give cars plenty of space – keep a three second gap. Increase the gap when the road surface and conditions limit braking efficiency.
— Use/flash lights to alert drivers if appropriate. Use your headlights when visibility is poor.
— Brief pillion’s on riding safely. Riders are responsible for their pillion’s safety.
— Look for motorists who aren’t looking. Always expect the unexpected and be prepared to stop – drivers don’t always look carefully for motor cyclists. (Don’t assume you have been seen. Do assume that the driver might proceed anyway).
— Be prepared to take evasive action at intersections. Many drivers do not look for motorcyclists at intersections, and often do not see them.
— Change lanes carefully – look (head check) and indicate. Look over shoulders as well as in mirrors.
— Always scan the traffic for motorbikes – front, rear, left, right – especially when changing lanes at intersections.
— Use your lights in poor visibility – it helps motorbike riders see you.
— Check your blind spot for motorbikes – look in mirrors and over your shoulder (headcheck)
— Be aware that motorbikes can accelerate quickly.
— Motorbike riders have a right to take up an entire lane. You must overtake a motorbike as you would overtake any other vehicle.
— Motorcyclists may manoeuvre within their lane to avoid loose surfaces, potholes, or oil and coolant dropped by other vehicles.
— They will also move within their lane away from risky conditions to increase their buffer zone.
— Give motorbikes plenty of room – in good driving conditions; keep a three second gap between you and the vehicle ahead.