Police will be out in force over the Easter weekend which is traditionally one of the worst for road accidents as traffic volumes increase and riders have more time to go riding.
Take it easy and remember, in NSW, ACT and Western Australia, double demerit points apply over Easter.
Rather than preaching about speeding, being safe and taking responsibility for your actions, we’ve asked several motorcycle luminaries for their road safety tips and Easter messages.
Easter safety messages
Charley Boorman, motorcycle adventurer:
I’ve been riding motorbikes all my life. Over the years I’ve had a few spills and seen a few. One big lesson I’ve learnt is that it doesn’t matter how good you are or how careful you are, things can happen around you that you have little control over.
Training helps, because it’s not just about bike handling, it’s about mitigating risk, about reading the environment and expecting the unexpected. If I had a few tips to give they’d be – get some training, wear great gear, spend proper on a helmet and take it carefully – we all think we’re Mick Doohan or Chris Vermeulen – but we’re not. Have fun this Easter and keep the rubber side down!
(Charley is currently leading a ride across Tazzy and the High Country and then he’s off to Africa with his good mate Billy (Biketruck) to recce a route to Victoria Falls – you can go with him – find out more at www.compassexpeditions.com)
Australian Motorcycle Council Chairman Shaun Lennard:
Easter and motorcycles for me always brings back memories of Bathurst – my first Hobart to Bathurst (and back!) trip was as an 18-year-old on a Z500. 880km Melbourne to Bathurst on a mostly two-lane Hume Highway in Good Friday traffic is something I’ll remember forever!
Easter is one of the busiest times of the year on the road, and for many in the southern states, maybe a last chance to do a bit of a road trip before the cooler weather arrives. My riding message doesn’t change: take your time, be vigilant of other road users, and don’t push beyond your own limits. Have a great Easter!
Chris Vermeulen, 2003 World Supersport champion and MotoGP winner:
I think any time of the year it’s important to be safe of the roads and to enjoy motorcycling but Easter is one of the busiest times of the year for all road users so we all need to take more care than normal, be safe and not use the road as a race track. The weather can be unpredictable this time of the year too so as always ride to the conditions. Happy Easter, enjoy your ride and don’t eat too much chocolate!
Ulysses Club president Jen Woods:
Challenges on the road can occur more frequently at holiday time.
We remind everyone to be extra careful, to ride like the cars can’t see us, to take it slow, and to simply be extra vigilant of what other vehicles are doing.
There is a lot more traffic on the road, with drivers only focussed on “getting there”, wherever “there “ may be.
Most drivers and many riders are not used to the distances they may be travelling, and vehicles may be overloaded – the kids, the camping gear etc.
Riders might like to consider a better bike route than the shortest route, as it will likely have less traffic.
Most of all, enjoy the break, and ride to arrive safely.
RACQ Head of Technical and Safety Policy, Steve Spalding:
With a four-day Easter break there’s no better time to get the bike out on the open road and clear your mind. Just remember, wear proper riding gear, stay within your limits and keep a lookout for the unexpected.
I.C.Emergency USB inventor Tony Walton:
Staying safe isn’t easy when you’re on a bike. There are so many fools in ‘cages’ taking their annual Easter holidays and drive the family to the countryside.
Take a family in a car full of kids and distractions, throw in some alcohol and the result is accidents that are just waiting to happen. If you come off your ride and you’re injured, it’s vital to carry In Case of Emergency ID. At the very least the info should have who to contact, and their mobile phone number. You can simply write it down on a piece of paper and put it in your wallet. When I innovated the ICEmergency USB, I had riders in mind. Being a rider for over 40 years, it just seemed obvious. Since I launched it, the info on the usb has saved three Aussie’s lives.
I believe that every rider should have one. It’s an essential piece of safety equipment. It’s under $20 and carries a file with your name, phone number, emergency contacts phone numbers and lists medical conditions, medications, allergies etc. Click here to buy them through the Motorbike Writer online shop.
So if something happens, at least authorities can contact loved ones quickly.
World on Wheels director Denise Ferris:
On a motorcycle, safety comes first and then fun a very close second. There are three things that increase your chances of staying safe: being ‘awake’, always stay focused on where you are and what you are doing; wear protective gear, even when it’s inconvenient or too hot; finally your competency, learn to ride well, you will be a lot safer and have more fun !
If you’re a pillion, ensure that your rider has read this article, s/he has your future in their hands 🙂
Harley-Davidson Australia spokesman Adam Wright:
Harley-Davidson Australia would like to wish everyone a safe Easter break if you’re out and about on two wheels. Have fun and enjoy the unique freedom and adventure that motorcycling provides us. Remember Easter is a busy time of year for all road users so be aware and please ride safely.
BMW Motorrad Australia boss Andreas Lundgren:
I hope the Easter break provides you with riding memories for years to come. However please remember and take into account the additional volume of traffic on our roads during Easter when planning your trips. As always, please Stay safe when Making Life a Ride.
Motorcycle Council of NSW spokesman Guy Stanford:
“The centre line has an idiot on it, so stay away!”
Maurice Blackburn Laywers Principal Lawyer Malcolm Cumming:
Easter weekend is a great opportunity to get out on the bike and enjoy the twisting rural roads.
Riders should exercise caution. We too often see the result of road conditions safe for most road users but inherently dangerous for riders including the deliberate practice of leaving loose debris on the road following road resurfacing.
If you do encounter dangerous road conditions, do your fellow riders a favour and report it to the road authority.
Qride Senior Accredited Rider Trainer (Learn2ride) Brett Hoskin:
When planning a trip over Easter, select an alternate route than the obvious quickest route to avoid heavy or congested areas. The motivations of other drivers travelling from A to B might mean they are a little more relaxed as they are winding down and may not be paying the attention needed to manage a motorcyclist running through the twisties. Our level of risk will soar skywards if we do anything different on our motorcycle to what the average driver expects from the general flow of traffic. Rapid acceleration of the motorcycle is generally what catches other road users out.
Don’t be afraid to back off just a little to allow someone a lane change and be careful of riding in blind spots. If other road users can’t see you they can’t manage you.
Be seen and see others. Look, Slow down and move away from hazards.