Parliamentary Secretary for Transport & Roads Stuart Ayres MP today announced the NSW Government is continuing its commitment to make roads safer for motorcyclists, with the Centre for Road Safety sponsoring this year’s Motorcycle Awareness Week, organised by the Motorcycle Council of New South Wales.
Mr Ayres said that with the number of motorcycles increasing on NSW roads, Motorcycle Awareness Week is an important opportunity to highlight safety issues faced by motorcycle riders and aims to ensure all road users are aware of their responsibilities.
“Motorcycles are increasing in numbers on our roads and over the past five years motorcycle registrations have increased by 35 per cent,” Mr Ayres said.
In comparison, over the same five-year period, the number of passenger vehicle registrations rose by just 11 per cent.
“With expensive petrol prices and congestion, getting around on a motorcycle is becoming more and more popular,” Mr Ayres said.
“However, with more motorcyclists on the road, the risk of more crashes involving motorcyclists is higher.
“Last year, motorcyclists were over-represented in road causalities on NSW roads. They represented less than four per cent of all registered motor vehicles, but accounted for 17 per cent of all road fatalities and 12 per cent of injuries,” Mr Ayres said.
While some of these crashes involve only a motorcycle, many are the result of a crash between a motorcycle and another vehicle.
“This is why it is so important for us to be involved in Motorcycle Awareness Week, as it provides an opportunity to raise motorcycle safety as an issue for the whole community,” Mr Ayres said.
“In March this year, the NSW Government released the Motorcycle Safety Strategy to help reduce death and injury among motorcyclists. We have also released guidelines that respond to safety requirements for motorcyclists.”
To mark Motorcycle Awareness Week, the Centre for Road Safety has released Making Roads More Motorcycle Friendly: a guide that addresses the needs of motorcyclists on NSW roads. The release of the guide delivers on recommendations made in the Motorcycle Safety Strategy.
“The Centre for Road Safety works with the motorcycle community and stakeholders who design, build and maintain roads, such as Roads and Maritime Services, local councils and other industry providers to make roads safer for motorcyclists,” Mr Ayres said.
“There are many things which can be done to improve the safety of roads for motorcyclists, including improved delineation, consistent road surfaces as well as making the roadside more forgiving in the event of a motorcycle crash.
“With the increase of motorcycles on our roads, the Making Roads More Motorcycle Friendly guide focuses on the safety needs of motorcyclists by identifying hazards for motorcycle riders and outlining strategies to minimise their risk-taking,” Mr Ayres said.
In conjunction with Motorcycle Awareness Week, the latest round of motorcycle helmet safety test results has been released.
The Consumer Rating and Assessment of Safety Helmets (CRASH) tests the level of protection and comfort of a range of motorcycle helmets, which can reduce the severity of injuries in the event of a crash. The new results are now live at www.crash.org.au.
Motorcycle Awareness Week also provides the motorcycling community with an opportunity to connect with other riders, learn about the latest safety equipment and raise awareness of the issues of motorcycle riders and their safety in all road users.
NSW Police also supports the campaign, with the Motorcycle Response Team attending the launch, including a range of educational displays as well as other features and stalls.
More information about motorcycle safety, recently refreshed to coincide with Motorcycle Awareness Week, can be found at www.roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au.