Despite motorcycle riders calling for more driver training and awareness of riders, authorities continue to resist for a variety of reasons.
Riders believe better trained drivers would be more aware of them and rules such as lane filtering, making their ride safer.
However, politicians and authorities usually reject driver training as being expensive, promoting hooning and unfair for people in remote areas who would have difficulty accessing further training.
Longtime rider advocate John Nelson points out other erroneous arguments in the article “The effectiveness of driver training as a road safety measure” by former VicRoads officer Ron Christie which appeared in the RACV magazine Royal Auto.
Basically it says that there is no empirical evidence that advanced training reduces crashes or makes drivers better or changes their behaviour. You can read the full report here.
Since there is no research into how motorcycle awareness and education about lane filtering affects drivers, there is also no evidence that shows it doesn’t affect behaviour and skills.
John says motorcycle awareness should be trialled it to see if it does have benefits.
Driver training agenda
“I am sure (Ron) was paid a handsome sum for this article to support the VicRoads agenda and silence and oppose advocacy of driver education,” he says.
“He had his finger in the pie with the statement that Vicroads will not do anything that could be construed as encouraging motorcycles. He hates bikes and change.
“There is a big difference between driver training and driver education. We are all taught the three Rs in schools. Why not driver education?
“Attitudes, discipline, behaviour and knowledge are not taught to those who want to drive. All they are taught is to pass the license test.”
John points out that teachers are required to have a university degree before teaching kids, but parents and driver instructors aren’t.
“The government seems hell bent on enforcement and revenue over education,” he says.
“If a lot more road users behaved and complied with speed limits and other popular traffic offences there would be a short fall in the Victorian Budget.
“Victoria has factored in $400 million into the ‘19-‘20 budget. If there is a major drop in traffic related revenue the government would look at other means of raising that short fall. It is a vicious circle.”