The launch of Motorcycle Awareness Month shows motorcycle safety is a priority for all New Zealanders, says Motorcycle Safety Advisory Council (MSAC) Chair Mark Gilbert.

According to the Motorcycle Safety Advisory Council there are more motorcycles, and more motorcycle crashes on the road than ever before. We are all affected – whether it is as a rider, another road user, or as a friend or family member of a motorcyclist. As a community whenever we hit the headlines, we mourn. As a result the MSAC have launched New Zealand Motorcycle Awareness Month to raise the profile of motorcycling and motorcyclists around the country.

“The announcement of a month dedicated to increasing the awareness of motorcycling and motorcycle safety recognises this. It is a great step forward and we welcome it, particularly as it involves a number of ACC-led initiatives dedicated to improving motorcycle safety.

“MSAC is playing its part through the launch of our Ride and Decide initiative which will bring everyone involved in motorcycle safety together to share knowledge and collaborate. We are looking for solutions. 

“We hope that by bringing influencers and decision-makers into one room so we can start thinking about motorcycle safety as a crucial aspect of road safety. We want to work together to promote greater understanding and better planning for motorcycle safety.” 

“All riders can commit to safety by signing up for a Ride Forever course. The courses are heavily subsidised by ACC and emphasise increasing skills to get the most out of your ride. And if you are taking your bike out of storage, give it a once over to make sure it’s road ready. 

“For other road users, we join ACC in asking motorists to look twice for motorcycles. We can easily be missed – with dire consequences.

“This is crucial. Motorcycle crashes are not only costing us in lives, but the real cost to ACC is $114m and growing. Based on what ACC shared in the last levy consultation round, 16% of the Motor Vehicle Account’s severe injuries involved motorcyclists. Last year was a tragic one for motorcycle safety with 52 motorcyclists killed on our roads. Due to the number and severity of these injuries, MSAC has been working with the government on motorcyclists behalf to input into the Safer Journeys Action Plan, agreeing to use the MSL to fund the Ride Forever programme and is now inviting motorcyclists to share their thoughts on safety with their fellow riders.

“This year we are seeing an improvement, but we want to keep up this momentum and make sure motorcycle safety remains in the spotlight. If we all consider motorcyclists and what it takes to be a safe rider this month, I believe we can make this happen.