By Alice Dell (3rd Yr LaTrobe Uni)
This year, 35 motorcyclists have lost their lives on Victorian roads. With warmer weather on the way, these numbers will likely increase if no change is made.
In hopes of doing so, the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) has joined the Department of Transport and Planning and the Victoria Police, to create Motorcyclist Awareness Month.
The campaign will be held every October, with this year being the launch.
The aim of the campaign is to spread awareness on road safety, encouraging motorists and motorcyclists to share the road cautiously.
While motorcyclists only make up four percent of registered vehicles, they account for 17 per cent of deaths and serious injuries, making them some of the most vulnerable road users.
TAC Head of Road Safety, Samantha Cockfield, says that 60 per cent of motorcyclist deaths involve other vehicles, which is why it is so important for drivers to ensure the roads are shared safely.
“Everyone needs to be aware of who they’re sharing the road with – motorcyclists are encouraged to wear appropriate protective gear, and drivers should double check for riders at intersections and when changing lanes.
“As the weather warms up and days get longer we tend to see an increase in the number of motorcyclists on our roads, however we can’t accept that more people will die as a result.” Ms Cockfield said.
Data collected from the TAC’s latest motorcycle safety survey shows that previous campaigns they have launched have made a significant impact on rider safety.
Head of Road Safety Victoria, Marcelo Vidales, says that the government will continue to invest in motorcycle safety programs, campaigns and infrastructure to guarantee this impact will be long term.
Motorcyclist Awareness Month will be led by the Motorcycling Community Engagement Panel (MCEP) and will consist of a number of events state-wide for all Victorians to attend.
MCEP member, Brian Rix, emphasises the importance of taking care on the roads, particularly around motorcyclists.
“Underneath that helmet is a much-loved son, daughter, mother, father or grandparent. Please be careful and share the road, particularly around motorcycles, to help everyone get home safely,” he says.