A high incidence of motorcycle fatalities and injuries in Queensland has prompted the RACQ to issue a double-sided flyer about the shared duty of road safety.
It’s a welcome relief from education programs or advertising campaigns that only point the finger at riders.
Motorcyclists have long called for drivers to be educated about them.
By the same token, there are many riders who do not do the right thing or understand the point of view of the driver.
Thankfully, the RACQ has identified the shared duty of road safety with their “share the road” flyer, similar to one they produced about cyclists.
The motorcyclist side is titled “What riders can do to help stay safe” and the other side says “What drivers can do to help keep motorcyclists safe”.
Road toll stats
RACQ technical and safety officer and fellow rider Steve Spalding says there were two more motorcycle fatalities at the weekend.
“Riders represent 28 of the 103 deaths so far this year which is 25% of the toll and that is far too high,” he says.
“The figures are 12% up over 2016 YTD and 15% higher than the rolling five-year average for motorcycle fatalities.
“Without trying to alienate one particular group, we want all motorists to understand the different perspectives on road safety.
“We prepared the list of advice by drawing on the views of experienced riders as well as trying to identifying recurring themes from research into serious motorcycle crashes.”
The RACQ plans to distribute the flyers at various community and motoring events including the annual Motorfest on July 9, 2017, at Eagle Farm Racecourse, which attracts tens of thousands of motorists; drivers and riders alike.
Here is the RACQ advice for riders:
- Wear good quality safety gear;
- Make sure others san see you;
- Ride to the conditions;
- Ride defensively;
- Upskill and improve your riding; and
- Know your riding limitations.
About the only thing that could cause concern is the visibility issue, but the RACQ has never sought to mandate hi-vis vests or jackets.
There are things you can do to be seen without having to wear bright clothing such as changing position in your lane to alert drivers and not riding in blind spots.
The RACQ advice for drivers is actually more detailed:
- Give space. Look out for motorcyclists by giving them space and indicating, especially when approaching intersections, turning or changing lanes.
- Don’t drive tried – stay focussed. If you are tired, distracted, or driving impaired, the consequences are far worse if you crash into a motorcycle.
- Watch out. Remember, motorcyclists can get lost in your blind spots and obscured by other vehicles.
- Drive to the conditions. In bad weather and on wet roads, give a rider more space by not following too closely.
It would have been good for them to include the fact that drivers should look out for riders legally filtering, although the first piece of advice about giving space does make that suggestion.
There is more that can be said, but it would be lost on a flyer which needs to be succinct.
It’s not the ultimate in motorist education on the subject, but it’s a good start.
Wouldn’t it be great if some of the points could be advertised on billboards?
We remember a billboard in the 1980s pointing out to drivers that riders weaving on the road were avoiding potholes and manhole covers and should be given space.
That’s the sort of advertising that would help.
We also think this would be a good sign to erect on busy commuter roads.