So far this year, 26 motorcyclists have died on Victorian roads which is nine above the five-year average of 17 and 10 more than last year. Many more have been injured and there haas been a spate of hit-and-run accidents leaving riders dead or injured.
The state government’s summit on Friday will include experts from the TAC, VicRoads, VicPol, MUARC, RACV, Road Trauma Support Services Victoria and cycling and motorcycle advocates including the Victorian Motorcycle Council and the Motorcycle Expert Advisory Panel.
It will be hosted by Minister for Roads, Road Safety and the TAC Jaala Pulford and Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville.
Community roundtables will also be held across regional Victoria where road deaths have spiked at 72 compared with 41 in metropolitan Melbourne.
The summit will build on the $1.4 billion Towards Zero road safety strategy, Jaala says.
Inadequate crash data leading to bad policies and countermeasures;
Neglected roads left in dangerous condition by VicRoads; and
Incompetence in road management.
Spokesman Damien Codognotto says road authorities tend to blame the victims “rather than investigate and fix their own shortcomings”.
“The 2019 crash spike is not a spike in bad road user behaviour, it’s a failure in road safety policy and road management,” he says.
“Road authorities may divert attention from shortcomings in their systems with expensive media campaigns and/or road safety summits.”
The MRA is calling an independent office of road safety data, abolition of the motorcycle safety levy and a stop to the rollout of wire rope barriers with the funds saved used to repair neglected country roads.
“You can’t develop reliable road safety policies without reliable crash data collected in Australian conditions,” he says.
“Solving data problems is critical to motorcycle safety but the Victorian organisations dealing with our data do not want the public to think their systems are less than perfect.”
** Melbourne Statistical Division includes some rural roads
Note: Fatality data is compiled by the TAC from police reports supplied by Victoria Police. Fatality data is revised each day, with the exception of weekends and public holidays. Data is subject to revision as additional information about known accidents is received, and as new accident reports are received and processed.