December marks the official start of summer, and with the longer days and the warmer weather, also comes 50% more motorcycles on New Zealand roads.
Motorcyclists are over represented in crash statistics in New Zealand, with riders being 21 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured than car drivers, over the same distance travelled.
“However, since 2015 we’ve seen the number of motorcycle crashes resulting in death on the decline, with 39 so far this year (with one month to go) compared to 47 in 2016 says Motorcycle Safety Advisory Council (MSAC) Chair Mark Gilbert.
“If we want to keep on this downward trend, motorcycle safety must remain top of mind during these summer months.”
“MSAC and ACC have a joint commitment to motorcycle safety as outlined in our Motorcycle Safety Strategy. The priority focus areas are improving rider skills, encouraging the uptake of ‘bike technologies that make riders safer (such as ABS), educating riders on the right gear for the situation and the importance of ‘all the gear, all the time (ATGATT)’ and working with NZTA and local authorities on improving road design and maintenance to make high-risk routes more motorcycle friendly.”
All riders can commit to safety by taking a Ride Forever course. “The courses are heavily subsidised by ACC and emphasise increasing and refining skills to get the most out of your ride. The courses take place on road to give riders the confidence to ride safely in real life conditions.
“And just as important is ensuring your ‘bike is ride-ready. Whether it’s coming out of storage after the winter or you’ve been riding it year round, motorcycle maintenance is a key component of keeping safe on the road. Participating retailers around New Zealand are offering free 10 point safety checks until 18 December and we encourage you to get your ‘bike checked. Rideforever.co.nz has more details.
“Other road users also have a responsibility and we join ACC in asking motorists to look twice for motorcycles. We can easily be missed – with sometimes fatal consequences.
“We see the downward trend in motorcycle deaths as being directly related to the attitudes and mindsets of all road users. We are hopeful that by keeping motorcycle safety in the spotlight, we will continue to see a decrease in crashes and fatalities.”