Austroads again ignores motorcyclists

Austroads crash report on rear-enders first aid licence checks

The leading transport and traffic authority in Australia, Austroads, has again neglected motorcyclists in its latest report on rear-ender crashes.

In the 129-page report titled Investigation of Key Crash Types: Rear-end Crashes in Urban and Rural Environments, there is not one mention of the word “motorcycle”. Zip, zero, nada, nought!

This is despite the fact that rear-enders are statistically the most common form of crash involving a motorcycle.

This follows the release in February of an 87-page Austroads report on the framework for road planning which also totally neglects motorcycle riders.

The “Level of Service Metrics (for Network Operations)” report was designed to take in “the perspectives of different road users”, yet missed out one single reference to motorcycles.


The latest report from Austroads, which is the Association of Australian and New Zealand Road Transport and Traffic Authorities, is titled Investigation of Key Crash Types: Rear-end Crashes in Urban and Rural Environments.

Austroads report

The report collates research into factors contributing to the incidence and severity of rear-end crashes in urban and rural environments in Australia and New Zealand and identifies a number of possible pertinent mitigation measures.

The researchers analysed crash data from 2006-2010 and inspected key crash sites.

The report then recommends ways to reduce the incidence and severity of rear-end crashes.

The National Road Safety Strategy has identified intersection crashes as one of the most frequent crash types occurring on Australian roads, so it seems surprising that they haven’t mentioned motorcycles as most rear-enders with bikes happen at traffic lights.

However, there is some good news as some of the recommendations could have beneficial ramifications for riders. They include higher friction surfaces at intersections, making intersections more visible, roundabouts to replace traffic lights and better co-ordination of traffic lights and the time on red and yellow.

A worrying recommendation, though, is “reviewing the appropriateness of speed limits based on visibility and crash history”. You know what that usually means? Lower speed limits!


  1. Hi Mark

    I have driven cars all my life. For a significant period I have also ridden a cycle for training purposes for triathlon and competing at a club level. I have ridden motorbikes also for a number of years. I was knocked off my motorcycle last week at a roundabout. I was on the roundabout travelling no more than 10-15Km as I was turning. The car that struck me was stopped at the roundabout and accelerated into the roundabout because, as he later told the police, he did not see me due to the sun in his eyes. He recieved a ticket for killing my bike and injuring me. The point I am trying to make is this. You can be the most careful rider out there and the roads can be good and the area well sign posted but nothing can prepare you for a less than careful driver. Bikes of all kinds (motorised and non-motorised) will always be treated as second class road users becuase we are in the minority. If you ride you need to be more careful and aware of your surroundings then anyone else on the road and that is the real message. Trust no one. Not even the car stopped to let you go on your way. As for any government agency recognising us as a group, good luck with that. We all know we should be treated better but we wont be. I applaud your efforts but there is only so much you should expect from these groups.

  2. Mark,

    You may need to edit your article as we did receive a reply to a query regarding this on their Austroads Facebook page. The reply is…..

    “Section 3.4.2 of the report has four charts that show the vehicle types involved in rear-end crashes. It shows that, depending on the environment, motorcycle riders make up 0.5% to 2.2% of vehicles involved in rear end crashes.”

    Searching the document however does NOT make any reference to the words “motorcycle”, “motor cycle” or as used in the document chart “M.cycle”.


    Dale Grimwood
    NSW Police Sgt (Retired)

    1. Hi Dale,
      Thanks for sharing that.
      Yes rear-enders may not be a big proportion of all crashes, but it is a significant issue for riders and yet there has been no discussion at all in the report.
      There is not one mention of motorcycles in the whole report. Not one conclusion or recommendation that affects riders.
      Why is no further mention made other than a small entry in the graphs?
      The AMC has spoken up on this issue and a further story is coming tomorrow morning.
      This is not the first time Austroads has put motorcycles in its blind spot and surely won’t be the last.

      1. G’day Mark

        I noticed the lack of any reference when I read the report. I have asked them why on their Facebook page, but am still awaiting a reply.

        I shall not hold my breath….



  3. I think it is very intentional that Motorcycles are left out of these types of reports. As the the costs associated with mitigating these issues would be higher and as such the government directs them to ignore Riders.

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