A police report that claims riders of high-powered motorbikes are over-represented in the crash statistics demonises riders as “thrill seekers” and is “absolutely meaningless”.
Victorian Motorcycle Council media spokesman John Eacott says the scant Victorian Police assessment of crash statistics is “akin to claiming that more blue cars crash than white cars”.
Victoria Police compiled crash data for the Melbourne News Ltd paper, Herald Sun, which showed that 27 out of 67 deaths in 2017 and 2018 involved bikes bigger than 1000cc. About 10% of crash police reports did not detail engine capacity.
Another 28 riders died in the 500-1000cc category while riders of bikes under 500cc had fewer deaths but sustained more injuries.
The crash data did not include any information about the increase in motorcycle licences or motorcycle registrations, although bikes under 500cc are 37% of registrations and 18% of fatals in 2017/18, according to VicRoads.
John also points out that there are no statistics kept in Victoria to equate accidents with the kilometres travelled by any type of bike.
“Riders don’t have the same level of physical protection as drivers and sadly they’ll always come off second best so it’s important they’re taking precautions like riding to conditions and wearing all their safety gear,” she says.
“It’s critical riders don’t ride beyond their capabilities because when things go wrong on the road, there’s little room for error.”
However, Ms Ritchie adds that drivers also must play a part in keeping motorcyclists safe.
“Motorists can make simple adjustments to their driving like taking the time to look specifically for motorcycles and being vigilant in checking their mirrors or over their shoulder when changing lanes. Those extra seconds looking could save a life.”