July 24, 2024

Motorcycle Fatalities on the up

Concerns Raised Over Increase in Motorcycle Fatalities in 2015.

Concerns have been raised again over the extraordinary rate of motorcycle fatalities in Australia, particularly Queensland.

A report posted in Queensland in recent days’ states that over 22% of the fatalities on Queensland roads in 2015 were either a motorcycle rider, a pillion passenger or the person was struck by a motorcycle.

That is despite motorcycles being less than 5% of the registered road fleet.

The statistics for Queensland are particularly concerning, but the trend is similar across the country.

Overall, the road toll trend has shown a gradual decrease over the last 30 years, with fatalities falling from 32.14 fatalities per 100,000 population in 1974 to 4.72 fatalities per 100,000 in 2015.

But the upward trend in motorcycle fatalities is raising great concerns with government and road safety experts.

Queensland Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports, Mark Bailey has outlined several changes aimed at reducing Queensland’s road toll.

Among the measures are changes to the motorcycle licensing system in Queensland for 2016.

“Of great concern this year has been the number of motorcycle fatalities,” Mr Bailey said. “It often involves a single motorcycle and no other vehicle.”

“Motorcycle riders will need to have longer at each level before they progress to more powerful bikes. That is to get the experience, so we can drive the motorcycle road toll down.”

Legislation alone will not solve the problem. Rider education, both in riding skills and road craft, is essential to keeping riders safe on our roads.

Working directly with rider groups has been proven to be successful in the past. A community run initiative in Queensland in 2009 not only reduced fatalities from 17 to 2 over 2 years, but also won accolades with road safety organisations around the country. A lack of funding saw the unfortunate end to the successful campaign.

A similar project is being launched again, this time on a national basis.

As the project takes form we will keep riders informed of how they can be involved.

Steve McDowall