Doohan heads motorcycle safety campaign

Friday, 11 November 2011

The Motor Accident Commission (MAC) today (Friday) launched the next phase of its motorcycle safety campaign featuring five-time 500cc MotoGP World Champion, Mick Doohan.

The MAC General Manager Corporate Affairs, Ben Tuffnell, said the new public education campaign is an important reminder to motorcyclists and drivers of the dangers at intersections.

“Almost 50% of motorcycle crashes occur at intersections and in the majority of cases they involve another vehicle. The major cause is failing to give way, usually the result of a driver not seeing the motorcyclist, and misjudging the rider’s speed. A common crash at an intersection is when a car driver is turning right across the path of an on-coming motorcyclist.”

“While motorcyclists can help themselves by being more conspicuous, they are not always highly visible at intersections, where they can be lost in the midst of other traffic. In 2010 there were 230 Compulsory Third Party (CTP) claims from motorcyclists, costing around $40 million. This represents 4% of the total number of claims, but 11% of claim costs. The average cost per claim is over $170,000.”

“Road safety happens through the deliberate efforts of many individuals and many sectors of society – government and non-government alike. Every one of us has a role to play. A reduction in road trauma is only possible through mutual respect and a shared responsibility between motorcyclists and drivers. Our previous campaigns have been well received, due in part to being delivered by a respected spokesperson whose experience and expertise is held in high regard.”

““That’s why we’ve again involved Mick Doohan as an ambassador to ensure motorcyclists sit up and take notice of the campaign’s important safety messages,” Mr Tuffnell said.

Speaking at the launch, Mick Doohan said that motorcyclists can reduce their chances of being in a crash by the way they ride.

“Riders need to ‘treat intersections as black spots’, and assume they haven’t been seen by drivers. They need to approach all intersections carefully and be ready to stop or take other evasive action,” Mr Doohan said.

“They should ride with their headlights on in a lane position that provides the best view of surrounding traffic, and cover the brake to reduce reaction time in the event of crash. Taking in the big picture, scanning ahead and making eye contact with other road users, together with wearing bright colours is also vital. It’s also really important that drivers play their part too. They need to be really aware of how exposed motorcyclists are, and to look-out for them – especially at intersections.”

“There are many ways to reduce your risk of being a casualty. But accepting responsibility for your own safety on the road is vital,” Mr Doohan said.

Officer in Charge of SAPOL’s Traffic Support Branch Superintendent Linda Fellows said police are very concerned about the increase in motorcycle fatalities on South Australian roads this year.

“There have been 18 fatal motorcycle crashes this year compared with 10 fatal crashes in 2010,” Superintendent Fellows explained. “In response to this worrying trend police are actively targeting drivers who put motorcyclists at risk on the road and also motorcyclists who speed or display reckless behaviour as part of Operation Safe Motorcycles. Safe Motorcycles is a state-wide police operation that will continue until Wednesday 30th November 2011.”

“Motorcyclists have a higher risk of death or serious injury than all other road users” Superintendent Fellows said. “To survive as a motorcyclist, you need to be highly skilled, extremely aware and know your machine's capabilities and limitations,” she said.

“It is vital for drivers to share the road, stay alert and be aware of motorcycles. At intersections be extra vigilant and watch out for riders.”

The ‘treat every intersection as black spots’ campaign airs on TV from 13th November and also involves radio, in venue advertising and online at www.mac.sa.gov.au/blackspots.

TAGS 2011 Mick Doohan

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