Rider safety linked to criminal behaviour

WA Police Minister Liza Harvey with Road Safety Commissioner Kim Papalia and WA MRA president Dave Wright - criminal

It seems riders will continue to be treated as criminals in the name of road safety and research, after the latest study includes questions on criminal behaviour.

The current West Australian government study into motorcycle safety asks questions about criminal behaviour which is not included in any road safety survey of other motorists as far as we can attest.

It follows a 2015 Queensland University of Technology study which found repeat high-speed offenders are more likely to hold a motorcycle licence and have a criminal history.

It also follows the discovery that of the 25 motorcycle deaths in Victoria so far this year, there is a disproportionately high rate of unlicensed riders and stolen bikes involved.

And the WA survey and study of the road toll from 2010-15 has found that “a significant proportion” of riders involved in crashes were unlicensed, driving out of class, 20% had excessive alcohol in their system and most riders killed had accumulated infringements.

Now that links have been “discovered” between criminal behaviour and the motorcycle toll, it seems inevitable that more attention will be diverted to research and policing of criminal activity of riders.

In fact, WA Police are setting up a section to specifically target motorcyclists.

WA Motorcycle Riders Association president Dave Wright says the WA Government Review into Motorcycle Safety conducted an in-depth study of the people involved in fatal and serious motorcycle crashes including their traffic infringements.

“They also expanded that to include criminal records as there seemed to be a growing trend of the riders’ involvement in long-term criminal behaviour and this was thought to follow through to their riding behaviour,” he says.

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Riding in Perth

“Really, (they were) looking if there was a large representation of riders involved in crashes who don’t care about the law or rules and will break them regardless of what any safety measures put in place. This was done so that the police could identify this group of people and use targeted approaches.

“In my role in reviewing all fatal and serious motorcycle crashes in WA there does seem a number of crashes that fall into this basket.”

In the wake of the survey, the WA Government is proposing a zero BAC limit for a learner rider, tougher alcohol restrictions for probationary riders, improved public awareness campaigns, enhanced training and the introduction of competency-based practical assessments, instead of the current “error-based” test, where riders are marked down for mistakes.

Dave says the majority of the review’s recommendations are “common sense” and he expected they would have the support of a “vast majority” of riders.

5 Comments

  1. this should be scrutinized further and drill down and categorized not being painted by the same brush.
    so this says that because I ride motorcycle I am criminal, but if a get into my car I am all good. Sorry but this is just wrong ( not for a lack of a better word)
    How many crashes were result of stolen motorbike? Wet weather? Car driver not looking? Sand on the road or blue metal?
    Com’n do better job than this

    Maybe they should do same analysis with car accidents? Hang on there too many of them for work to be done.

    And “driving out of class”…No you don’t drive bike but you ride it? get the terminology right…

  2. The WA review also neatly ignores the fact that 80% of serious accidents occur in metropolitan Perth and 75% of those are in peak hour traffic. The research summaries want people to believe weather and road conditions were fine and dry with no indications of fault in the accidents. All up it looks like very poor accident scene data collection by the WA police

    The whole report is is very poor and seems like an extremely sloppy rushed piece of rubbish

  3. How does:

    …”the WA survey and study of the road toll from 2010-15 has found that “a significant proportion” of riders involved in crashes were unlicensed, driving out of class”…

    …”there was a large representation of riders involved in crashes who don’t care about the law or rules and will break them regardless of what any safety measures put in place.”…

    Leads to:

    …”In the wake of the survey, the WA Government is proposing a … enhanced training and the introduction of competency-based practical assessments”…

    I’m having trouble following the logical chain of reasoning here. If the problem exists with UN-licensed riders and STOLEN bikes, how will increasing the training for probationary riders reduce the number of unlicensed riders who steal bikes and don’t care about the law?

  4. Sorry but “driving out of class” unlicenced and stolen bikes
    this would infer a large proportion of fatalities are actually
    made up of car drivers and thieves .Warped logic
    If a group of 14 year olds steal a car and wrap it around a tree
    killing themselves. Thats an “accident”? Really
    If you dont have a motorcycle licence you are not a motorcyclist
    Do these stats include off road unregistered trail bikes
    and quads as well?

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