In the wake of Austroads neglecting to mention motorcycles in two recent important reports that impact dramatically on riders’ safety, MotorbikeWriter has drafted a petition to the board chairman.
Australian Motorcycle Council chairman Shaun Lennard says he is “surprised” that Austroads – the leading transport and traffic authority in Australia and New Zealand – has motorcycles in its blind spot.
“We have written submissions to the Senate Road Safety Inquiry pointing out our concern that Austroads takes no notice of motorcycles,” he says.
“It’s quite surprising because most of the Austroads members in the last five or six years have been quite proactive in motorcycle safety, yet Austroads have produced these reports with no reference to motorcycles.”
The latest significant reports to omit references to motorcycles are the “Investigation of Key Crash Types: Rear-end Crashes in Urban and Rural Environments” and “Level of Service Metrics (for Network Operations)” which determines road planning.
Shaun says the former is particularly significant because three jurisdictions in Australia now have lane filtering which is considered to mitigate rear-ender crashes.
“Yet lane filtering didn’t even get a mention,” he says. “Is this an example of bureaucracy being too big and one hand not knowing what the other is doing?”
Shaun says the only mention of motorcycles was in a few graphs, yet neither the body of the report nor the recommendations/conclusions referenced motorcycles.
“Given that the report has a fair bit of detail, when it talks about the types of vehicles it is a real oversight to not acknowledge that there is a significant issue involving motorcycles as well.
“This is yet another example of a government report that fails to even recognise motorcycles and their issues.”
Shaun says he will draw this to the attention of the Senate Road Safety Committee whose report is due in September.
Meanwhile, Austroads chair Peter Duncan, Chair, the Chief Executive of Roads and Maritime Services New South Wales, will receive an email notification each time someone signs our petition.
Here is the wording of the petition to Austroads:
Stop ignoring motorcycle riders. Acknowledge that we are a vulnerable road use, that we require special consideration in road safety and transport issues and hold a significant key to solving many transport and traffic issues.
Two recent major Austroads reports have failed to mention motorcycles. This is not the first time and we fear may not be the last.
Motorcycle riders are among the most vulnerable road users and even minor accidents can have major life-threatening repercussions. Despite rear-enders being a major issue for riders, motorcycles were not mentioned in the recent Investigation of Key Crash Types: Rear-end Crashes in Urban and Rural Environments report. This comes as lane filtering – long believed to offer a reduction in motorcycle rear-ender crashes – is now offered in three jurisdictions of Australia, but did not rate one mention in the report.
Motorcycles are also a unique vehicle as they are very small, yet they have the ability to travel on every road surface in Australia and New Zealand. They also have dramatically different dynamic demands and abilities, making them a unique vehicle with special needs in regards road surfaces, road rules, etc. Yet motorcycles were not mentioned in the Level of Service Metrics (for Network Operations) report.
Finally, motorcycles offer solutions to some of the most pressing issues facing Austroads such as congestion, parking and traffic flow. If Austroads is serious about considering the future of transport and traffic in Australia and New Zealand, it must recognise, acknowledge and foster the attributes of motorcycles.
This is from the Austroads website:
Austroads is the association of Australasian road transport and traffic agencies.
Its purpose is to improve Australian and New Zealand transport outcomes by:
- providing expert technical input to national road and transport policy development
- improving the practices and capability of road agencies
- promoting operational consistency by road agencies.
Austroads members are collectively responsible for the management of over 900,000 kilometres of roads valued at more than $200 billion representing the single largest community asset in Australia and New Zealand. Each year in excess of $18 billion is spent on roads across Australia and New Zealand.
- Roads and Maritime Services New South Wales
- Roads Corporation Victoria
- Department of Transport and Main Roads Queensland
- Main Roads Western Australia
- Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure South Australia
- Department of State Growth Tasmania
- Department of Transport Northern Territory
- Territory and Municipal Services Directorate Australian Capital Territory
- Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
- Australian Local Government Association
- New Zealand Transport Agency
- Austroads conducts strategic research which helps road agencies address current and emerging issues
- Austroads publishes Guides to promote a nationally consistent approach to the design, maintenance and operation of road networks.
- Austroads facilitates the sharing of knowledge by widely disseminating research outputs, conducting seminars, and promoting the use of Austroads work.
- Austroads conducts business activities on behalf of Australasian road agencies.
- Austroads fosters international collaboration by engaging with and supporting international road organisations.
- Austroads is governed by a board, comprising the chief executive, or their nominee, from each member organisation. The board meets at least three times each year and has responsibility for providing clear policy and strategic direction. It also monitors the performance of Austroads against strategic objectives and approves the annual work plan and budget. A Communiqué is published after each meeting.
- Peter Duncan, Chair, Chief Executive, Roads and Maritime Services New South Wales
- Clare Gardiner-Barnes, Deputy Chair, Chief Executive, Department of Transport Northern Territory
- Allan Frost, Group Manager, Organisational Support, New Zealand Transport Agency
- Peter Todd, Chief Operating Officer, Roads Corporation Victoria (VicRoads)
- Stephen Troughton, Managing Director, Main Roads Western Australia
- Shane Gregory, General Manager, Transport Service Infrastructure Division Department of State Growth Tasmania
- Tony Gill, Director Roads, Territory and Municipal Services Directorate Australian Capital Territory
- Neil Scales, Director General, Department of Transport and Main Roads Queensland
- Paul Gelston, Director, Road and Traffic Management, Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure South Australia
- Andrew Jaggers, Executive Director, Nation Building – Infrastructure Investment Division, Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
- Adrian Beresford-Wylie, Chief Executive, Australian Local Government Association