Stolen motorcycles may continue to be shipped out of Australia at an alarming rate after the government rejected moves to help stop the illegal trade.
Half of the thousands of motorcycles stolen in Australia every year are never recovered, says Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party Senator for Victoria Senator Ricky Muir.
“I suspect many of these end up in shipping containers. That’s long been a view of many in the motorcycle industry,” he says.
Senator Muir says stolen motor vehicles are being exported with no checks and controls.
“How is it possible to export a motor vehicle without checking that it is not stolen?
“Vehicle theft impacts on all of us, including through higher insurance premiums.”
His motion called on the government to require all vehicle exporters to provide to the relevant authorities a clean Personal Property Securities Register report as a mandatory compliance component of the export process. It was defeated in the Senate.
The National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council (NMVTRC) estimates that 20 stolen passenger and light commercial vehicles leave Australia’s shores every week, never to be seen by their owners again.
Senator Muir suspects that stolen motorcycles are also being shipped overseas because of their higher frequency of theft.
In 2014/15, the number of motorcycles and scooters stolen was 8078.
“Motorcycles account for 3% of registrations, but 16% of all vehicle thefts,” he says.
“I plan to speak with the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council about their estimate of 20 stolen vehicles a week being exported. After that, I may bring this matter back to the chamber,” Senator Muir he said.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR BIKE
Buy a secure chain so you can chain your bike to an immovable object like a lamp post.
Use a secure disc lock with a reminder cord attached to your handlebars so you don’t ride off with it still in place.
Also, use the steering lock if your bike has one.
Even when parked in a secure location such as your garage, consider the extra security of using the steering lock, a disc lock or chain as well.
Pull out a spark plug or fuse, or have an immobiliser fitted.
Don’t park your bike in railway or shopping centre carparks as these are notorious for theft.
Park in a locked carpark. If you have to park in the open, leave it where you can see your bike or in view of a security camera.
Otherwise, keep your bike out of sight, maybe parking it behind your car. If parking in a garage, block the bike with your car and ensure the garage is locked.
When riding home, make sure you are not being followed.
Stay alert for suspicious vans or trucks driving around late at night. These are used to transport stolen motorcycles.
Put a cover over your bike. It might slow down thieves and prevent theft of accessories. But make sure it isn’t a flashy lone with the brand name of the bike on it. That only entices thieves.
When riding in a group, park your bikes together.
Consider marking your bike in a unique way that could aid in recovery and therefore dissuade thieves.
At hotels or public parking spaces, try to park in view of parking lot security cameras.
If you park your motorcycle outside your house, consider installing a motion sensor light near the bike.
Install a motorcycle alarm and/or a hidden kill switch.
Buy a GPS tracking system that can track and deliver your bike’s speed, location, and direction.