Opposition urges more safety measures for motor cyclists

The Opposition has called on the Carpenter Government to initiate programs that will better address the issue of safety for motor cyclists.

Shadow Road Safety Minister John McGrath wants motor cyclists to have a more defined representation on the Road Safety Council.

Mr McGrath also called for better motor cycle training and an education program aimed at encouraging other motorists to take greater caution with respect to motor cyclists and encouraging motor cyclists to maximise their visibility on the road.

“Motor cyclists are over represented in the road toll,” Mr McGrath said.

“Motor cyclists represent six per cent of the road users in Western Australia but last year nearly 15 per cent of the fatalities on WA roads – 35 of the 235 deaths – were people on motor cycles.”

Mr McGrath said motor cyclists were represented on the Road Safety Council by the RAC but car drivers made up approximately 98 per cent of that body’s 650,000 members.

“Motor cyclists believe they need a greater voice on the Road Safety Council,” he said.

“The Motor Riders Association of WA (MRA) is a pro-active group that wants its members to be responsible road users.

“The MRA supports the introduction of the Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme (LAMS) that exists in Tasmania, Victoria and NSW.

“This scheme restricts the types of motor cycles that riders of different experiences can ride. These restrictions are based on power-to-weight ratio – rather than engine size – and is a better indicator of a motor cycle’s capacity.”

Mr McGrath also called on the Carpenter Government to introduce an advertising campaign – similar to a successful UK campaign called ‘THINK’ – to make motorists more aware of motor cyclists.

“THINK is communicated through TV and radio and encourages drivers to take care and time to look out for motor cyclists and also encourages the riders to maximise their visibility,” he said.

Mr McGrath said that while the MRA was still opposed to front number plates for safety reasons it wanted the government to come up with an answer to the anomaly under which speeding motor cyclists could still escape detection.

“The MRA is supportive of other measures, including the placement of a transponder in every licensed motorcycle,” he said.

“This would enable a speeding rider to be detected by any red light or speed camera.”

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