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Safety focus during motorcycle month

Safety focus during motorcycle month

Motorcycle safety is at the heart of a month-long campaign underway in Central District.

The campaign has been run for the last two years and has been met with a very positive response from riders, most of whom are acting responsibly on the roads.

"We were really encouraged by the response we received over the last two years and feel it is a worthy initiative to continue,” says Senior Sergeant Kris Burbery, Officer in charge of Highway Patrol for Central District.

“This is not about targeting motorcyclists to issue infringement notices. Although we will deal with offences that we identify, the focus is very much on engaging with riders to raise awareness and remind them of their vulnerability.

"It is also about encouraging both car drivers and motorcycle riders to respect each other and be aware that they each have responsibilities that they need to uphold."

In 2011, motorcycle crashes contributed to 12 % of injury crashes within the Central Police District and there were 5 fatal crashes involving motorcycles.

"Our aim is to reduce those numbers, and this requires everyone's input," Mr Burbery says.

The 2012 Month of Motorcycles will run until 16 December. It will see Police proactively speaking to motorcycle and moped riders, with a focus on motorcycle condition, safety equipment, clothing, licences, rider behaviour and legal compliance.

Checkpoints will also be a part of the campaign, with the support of partner agencies such as ACC and Horizons Road Safe, where riders will be provided with road safety information packs.

During last year's campaign, 645 motorcyclists were spoken to, with the majority acting responsibly, Mr Burbery says. There were, however, 153 notices issued for speed related offences, while 29 riders were in breach of their licences and 19 had vehicle faults.

Mr Burbery says motorcyclists should also be aware that as of 1 October, new rules apply to the types of motorcycles learner and restricted licence holders can ride.

This is known as the Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme (LAMS), which identifies ranges of motorcycles appropriate for learners and restricted licence holders.

Previously it was required that such licence holders could only ride a motorcycle up to 250 cc.

LAMS looks at the power to weight ratio for the motorcycle and its rider, along with a maximum engine capacity.

There are some smaller size high performance motorcycles that are now prohibited.

More information about the scheme is available via the New Zealand Transport Agency website: www.nzta.govt.nz/licence/getting/docs/lams-faqs.pdf. Alternatively, motorcycle dealers have a full list of approved and prohibited motorcycles for those on learner or restricted licences.

Motorcycle safety tips:

• Have the appropriate licence and the correct size of motorcycle for it.
• Ensure your motorcycle is registered, warranted and in safe working condition.
• Wear the right safety clothing and footwear. No bare skin or jandals!
• Wear an approved safety helmet.
• If you are riding a motorcycle that was manufactured on or after 1 January, 1980, the headlight must be switched on at all times when on the road.
• Ensure you comply with any conditions of a graduated (learner or restricted) drivers' licence.

ENDS

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