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Matching Rider Skills To Their Bikes

Matching Rider Skills To Their Bikes


New Zealand Police National News Release
1:09pm 3 December 2008
http://www.police.govt.nz/news/release.html?id=4533

3 December 2008

The Coromandel and Hauraki Districts have spectacular views and vistas and one of the best ways to see the sights is by motorcycle but this terrain can be very unforgiving if you find yourself involved in a crash.

Police Eastern Waikato Area Commander, Inspector Glenn Dunbier, said over the past three years 50 per cent of New Zealand's ACC injury claims involving motorcycles originated from the Thames- Coromandel and Hauraki District Council areas.

"Over this period motorcycle injuries cost the country approximately $3.2 million dollars, and of that about $2.2 million dollars originated from claims in our area."

Analysis of the crashes shows that while some local residents were involved by and large most injury claimants came from Auckland, the Waikato or Bay of Plenty.

"Across the country more people are returning to riding motorcycles both as a more economical form of transport or as a lifestyle change," said Mr Dunbier.

"Anecdotally we know most of the crashes involved day trippers and people on bike runs visiting the Thames- Coromandel and Hauraki Districts."

One of the problems identified by crash investigators is that the cognitive skill level of the new or returning riders does not match the size and power of today's motorcycles.

"In other words, new bikes are too large and powerful for them to ride safely, particularly around the Coromandel's roads.

"Our environment is very unforgiving. Falling off a bike on a country road a rider may slide on to the grass verge and be relatively unscathed. But on Coromandel roads we have trees, bridges, dirt banks and seawalls which means our crashes usually result in serious injury or death" said Mr Dunbier.

To that end Eastern Waikato Police are working with partner agencies such as local governments, roading engineers and road safety educators to highlight the issue.

"And of course there'll be an enforcement element as we increase our presence placing emphasis on speed, alcohol and compliance of both vehicles and riders' licences.

"For a Police officer fatal crashes are one of the worst jobs to go to. Not only is there the trauma at the scene, but shocked witnesses to interview and grieving family to inform. This campaign is all about avoiding that and reducing our road trauma."

ends


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