Motorcycle Awareness Month
September marks the start of the riding season for motorcyclists in New Zealand and motorists will see more motorcycles on the road from this point onwards. Over half of all motorcyclists get their bikes out of the garage and get back on the road in September - looking forward to a long summer of riding.
We are joining the Motorcycle Safety Advisory Council (MSAC) and ACC, to share messages to motorists and motorcyclists this month.
Our Road Safety Coordinator Krystal Jennings said “The Hurunui is a popular route for bikers, often coming through the Waimakariri district, along state highway one and then out onto state highway seven.” “We hope to raise awareness of how we all can stay safer by considering the increase of motorcycles on the road this month” she said.
MSAC Deputy Chair, Janice Millman said
there are three things motorists can do that “have the
potential to prevent a large number of motorcyclist injuries
on the road this month”:
Look twice before changing lanes
Look twice at intersections
Check your blind spots
“It might seem simple, but to a rider these small actions can make all the difference” she said.
MSAC and ACC are asking riders to check their bike is in good condition before getting back on the road. Motorcycles can develop mechanical issues from being stored in the garage or outside during winter. The easiest way to check is to get a trained mechanic to give your bike a basic maintenance check.
Riders should check their gear is still in tip-top condition and providing the right level of protection. MotoCAP (motocap.co.nz) is a free resource providing independent safety star ratings for motorcycle gear. “Wearing high quality motorcycle gear can reduce injury severity and improve recovery rates by 30%,” MSAC member Johan Bosch said.
Lastly, they recommend riders refresh their riding skills every year with a Ride Forever course. Ride Forever is a training programme for motorcyclists, developed by ACC. It provides coaching for riders of all skill levels and is available across the country.
Dave Keilty, ACC’s Injury Prevention Lead - Road, says “the increase in riders over summer sees the number of motorcycling injuries increasing. “We want riders to take a moment before getting back on the bike to refresh their skills with Ride Forever coaching.” ACC research shows riders who complete a Ride Forever course are 27% less likely to crash and submit a claim with ACC.
“In 2018, 52 riders, including 4 pillions were fatally injured on their motorbikes. ACC provided treatment, help and support for 7,673 riders after they’d been injured on a bike. Of those claims 4,013 were new claims made in 2018. The total cost of motorcycle-related claims in 2018 was $129 million. Added to this are the human costs to the rider, their families and their friends and other road users. We’d like to see those crash numbers decrease,” says Mr Keilty.