MRASA The Motorcycle Riders' Association of South Australia
View from the Bluff, Victor Harbor
Road Safety
  We encourage members to continue to bring situations of interest or concern to our attention. The South Australian Road Safety Strategy 2020 is available online. Below are recent news items on motorcycle safety in South Australia.
Out of Tragedy - 20 Sept 2015
  This is one of the most innovative means I have seen for getting the road safety message across, with the aim of making people aware their actions have consequences and they are responsible for their decisions.

Ebi Lux - Road Safety Officer, MRASA   

The ROADWHYZ - 'Choice and Consequence' program is a joint initiative of the Lower Hunter Police, ambulance officers from the NSW Ambulance Service and parents within the community. The program has been developed to assist drivers, in particular young drivers from the age of 17-25. With permission from Michelle Davis, coordinator and co-founder of ROADwhyz NSW (Hunter) Inc. here is the link to their Out of Tragedy video that is very thought provoking. Further information available from the Roadwhyz website.
Research into infrastructure improvements to reduce motorcycle casualties - 12 April 2015
  ARRB Group Ltd has undertaken 18 months of research for Austroads (Project ST 1870) on seeking ways to improve infrastructure to reduce motorcycle casualties. The research investigates the influence of road infrastructure elements in motorcycle related crashes, and to identify countermeasures that have the potential to reduce the incidence and/or severity of such crashes. Please review the findings of the Austroads Document and provide your feedback via the questionnaire (details on the page 13 of the document).
Motorcycle Protective Clothing - September 2014
  Liz De Rome the author of the Good Gear Guide has just released a short synopsis of her work on protective clothing and the reasons for wearing it. The synopsis contains information on her study of over 200 crashed riders in ACT from June 2008 to June 2009. Liz also outlines her '10 Golden Rules about Motorcycle Protective Clothing' which is a direct result of her detailed studies.

Click here to read the one page synopsis.
No Motorbikes on Council Roadsides
  It is illegal to ride an unregistered motorcycle on the road, and anywhere within the road reserve, a space delineated by property boundaries alongside the road. Apart from degrading the road shoulder, it is inherently dangerous as other members of the public are not expecting a vehicle to be travelling at speed in this roadside space. You will not find many road signs warning against this activity, as it comes under local government jurisdiction, however one South Australian council has taken the time to erect a sign in the interests of public safety. The sign reads, "No Motorbikes on Council Roadsides - FINES WILL APPLY".
Dukes Cameras - 25 August 2013
  Dukes Point to Point Cameras
Point to Point Cameras being erected near KiKi on the Dukes Highway - Photo taken 25 August 2013
  If you have travelled along the Dukes Highway recently, you may have seen a rather imposing collection of cameras that are being erected on both sides of the road. The picture above was taken just south of Ki Ki on the Dukes Highway. The partner set of cameras are erected near Coonalpyn defining a journey of around 14km. These are the new speed cameras to catch motorists driving faster than the speed limit on average during a journey, instead of just at a single point. The point-to-point cameras measure the time taken by a vehicle to travel between two fixed cameras to determine its average speed.

The point-to-point cameras will also be used on the Port Wakefield road, with the southern one located just north of Two Wells, and the northern one near Port Wakefield (~53km apart). Motorcyclists should be aware that some cameras are pointing in the direction of traffic flow. Similar technology is already used to measure the speed of trucks over long distances through the Safe-T-Cam network, but these new cameras will target regular motorists.

Road users should take note there are signs around 300 metres before the cameras advising that overtaking is illegal while travelling past the cameras. Should you be caught on the wrong side of the road when passing the cameras, you will get fined for overtaking on the solid line AND fined for attempting to avoid the cameras. This will be in excess of $800 plus the demerits that go with it.

More information is available from the DPTI website.
  Coonalpyn Point to Point Cameras
Point to Point Cameras fully operational near Coonalpyn on the Dukes Highway - Photo taken 18 February 2014
2013 Australasian College of Road Safety (ACRS) Conference - Adelaide, November 2013
  The 2013 Australasian College of Road Safety Conference will be held in Adelaide at the National Wine Centre of Australia on Thursday & Friday, 7-8 November 2013 with a welcome reception on the evening of Wednesday 6 November.

The Conference provides a valuable opportunity for participants to hear about the latest developments in road safety and have discussions with leading researchers, senior policy makers and experienced practitioners. Emphasis is placed on networking, information sharing and the translation of road safety research and policy into practice.

In addition to general papers on various road safety topics, this year's conference will contain a special stream on what influences the public perception of road safety problems and the issues that need to be discussed if we are to make significant progress in reducing road trauma over the next decade.

If you are interested in having your say or maybe influencing the future of road safety, please visit the ACRS website for more information.
Proposed Changes in CTP Insurance Laws - March 2013
  Proposed changes to the Compulsory Third Party Insurance Laws regarding motor vehicle accident victims have been outlined in this article from Andersons Solicitors. A must read for all road users.

Andersons Solicitors have released a second article regarding the new CTP Scheme as it currently exists (July 2013).
Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Motorcycle Safety - concluded December 2012
  The Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Motorcycle Safety has now been completed. The Inquiry commenced in February 2011 and concluded in December 2012. The final report of almost 500 pages makes for very interesting reading and contains a number of practical recommendations for enhancing riders' safety. To date, although concern has been expressed about some recommendations, by-and-large it has been received favourably by rider organisations in and outside Victoria, and is considered a balanced and pragmatic outcome. Victorian motorcycle groups were consulted during the inquiry, along with the Australian Motorcycle Council and a number of overseas motorcycle organisations. The SA Department for Planning, Transport and Infrastructure is considering the adoption of some of the recommendations, subject (we anticipate) to consultation with MRASA.

Here is a link to the Report into Motorcycle Safety - in PDF format (3.11Mb).
Road Safety for Motorcyclists - 19 September 2012
  Minister for Road Safety Jennifer Rankine has released a discussion paper outlining six proposals to help improve the safety of motorbike and moped riders. The Minister has also issued a News Release on the six proposals.

The discussion paper is titled 'Proposals to Protect Motorcyclists' and is your invitation to comment. The MRASA encourages all motorcyclists to read the proposal, chat with their riding mates and then let the Government know what they think. This will impact you and the way you ride. It will impact the riders of tomorrow. We asked for riders to be consulted and this is your opportunity to have your say.

The Adelaide Now (media website) has some articles on the subject:
Article 1 - SA Government pushes for restrictions on motorcyclists
Article 2 - Scooters and low-cc motorbikes a target in safety plan for South Australian roads

You may like to read the published MRASA response or the AMC response to the discussion paper on the six proposed motorcycle licensing changes.
Wide Centreline Treatment Strategy - May 2012
  wide centreline project
  South Australia's first wide centreline treatment will become operational as of May 9 2012, according to information provided by the SA Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.

Motorists will see new linemarkings on a 6.5 km stretch of the Dukes Highway between Tailem Bend and Coomandook. The new wide centreline marking will consist of two parallel white lines 1.2 metres apart and will increase the distance between vehicles travelling in opposite directions.

This wide centreline treatment is designed to reduce crashes caused by fatigue and inattention, as the increased gap will provide time for errant motorists to recover and return to their lane before they cross into the path of oncoming traffic.

A total of 39 km of the centreline treatment will be installed in 2012.

The addition of audio-tactile linemarkings over this length will commence in June. The audio-tactile lines will generate vibration and a buzzing sound which will alert the motorist that they are drifting onto the wrong side of the road.

The road rules for overtaking do not change with the introduction of the centreline treatment: where overtaking is allowed, the new widened markings will be dashed lines, while solid lines will indicate overtaking is not permitted.

The Department advises motorists to expect delays while speed and traffic restrictions are in place and reminds road users to take care and drive (and ride) to the conditions. The Department thanks motorists for their patience while these roadworks are in progress.

This project is part of the State Government's plan to reduce the state's annual road toll to 80 by 2020. Approximately $9m in road projects will be undertaken in the South-East this financial year, in addition to the Federal Government's allocation of $80m to improving the Dukes Highway.

Note: Motorcycle stability trials with audio-tactile roadmarkings were undertaken when they were first introduced in Tasmania about 20 years ago. There were no adverse findings whether the road was straight or curved, and motorcyclists considered that the markings posed no threat to the control of their machines.

For further information you can view the strategy information or the media release (5th March 2012) on the DPTI website.

Peter Mount, MRASA   

Motorcycle Safety Levy - April 2012
  An article appeared on the Adelaide Now website dated 27th April stating motorcycle riders may face paying a new safety levy, adding an estimated $300 to a 10-year driver's licence fee. Our Vice-President Neville Gray is quoted in the article on behalf of the MRASA. The reporter chose to include a picture with the article of a rider in full race gear on an expanse of bitumen with no markings, hardly a fair depiction of the cross-section of the motorcycling community set to bear the cost of the levy. Read the full article.

The front page article continued on Page 4 of the Advertiser (28th April 2012), positioned coincidentally below a report of a motorcycle crash.

This is an on-going report. Further details (history) of the levy can be found further down this webpage. The public should realise the levy has been a long time coming, and will probably happen regardless. The MRA is attempting to ensure that 100% of the proposed levy revenue paid by motorcyclists will be going to benefit all motorcyclists.

Neville Gray - Road Safety Officer and Vice-President, MRASA   

Proposed Speed Limit Change on Blackwood to Goolwa Road - April 2012
  Below is an extract from the complete article submitted to the Alexandrina Council ...

The lowering of speed limits is an easy option when facing the task of improving the fatality numbers experienced so far in 2011/2012. At the time of writing there has been no significant increase in YTD fatality figures for 2012. The cry of 'We must do something. Let's lower the speed limits' is overriding the real issues that cause serious injury and fatal crashes. Installing new 80 km/h signs as a token effort in a targeted area does not obviate the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure and the Alexandrina Council from embracing the real issues.

Many Adelaide Hills roads, including the Bull Creek Road, are well-designed to take 100 km/h traffic in complete safety with appropriate width carriageways, excellent line marking, good sealed shoulders where appropriate and guard rail installations where warranted. To apply a lower blanket speed limit is to waste these valuable resources in planning, engineering and maintenance.

Neville Gray - Road Safety Officer and Vice-President, MRASA   

Road Safety Barrier Trials - June 2011
  helmet standards
  The SA Government is currently running three barrier trials with the view of making roadside barriers safer for motorcyclists.

Firstly, the BASYC system trial is ongoing on the Gorge Road and surrounding areas. This barrier protection system consists of a grey 'plastic' curtain attached to the bottom of the existing W-Beam rail and hence preventing a sliding rider from impacting the upright support posts which can inflict severe injuries to limbs and other bodily extremities. We already know of at least one rider, and possibly three others, who owe their lives to this barrier protection system.

The second trial is also being conducted in the same area and uses a similar method of preventing a rider from impacting the upright posts but uses a metal 'rub rail' similar to the BASYC system but at substantially reduced cost per linear metre.

The third trial is being run on the controversial wire rope barriers (WRB) in various locations. This consists of a wrap-around sleeve to protect an out-of-control rider from impacts with the upright posts.

Neville Gray - Road Safety Officer and Vice-President, MRASA   

For more information on road-side barriers you can visit the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure web site for their building safer roads page.

Motorcycle Safety Levy - January 2011
  It is no secret that both the Federal and SA State Governments (in particular) are thinking of imposing a motorcycle safety levy on all motorcycle licence-holders. This desire is clearly spelt out in the SA Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020, with the plan being to reduce the road toll in South Australia over the next 10 years. Victorian riders have been paying this levy for the past 8 or 9 years.

This issue is an emotive one and if and when introduced, the levy will polarise riders' opinions. At least we have prior knowledge of this impending levy and can therefore push our views on what we as riders will accept and the minimum conditions that must be implemented for this levy to be reluctantly acceptable.

The lamentable death of 20 riders in 2010 on SA roads will no doubt make this decision easier for the SA Government.

As part of this dialogue to ensure that SA riders get a fair return for their money, the MRASA Committee invited the then Minister for Road Safety, the Hon. Tom Kenyon, to attend the July 2011 monthly committee meeting. A range of topics was discussed in a frank and open manner with the Minister, including the impending levy.

All is quiet on this topic at the present time. The Motorcycle Safety Task Force was disbanded in October 2010 making way, we hope, for a replacement high-level committee to administer the funds collected from this levy.

It is motorcyclists' money and therefore motorcyclists should have a majority say in the way it is spent.

The Task Force was moderately successful and introduced the LAMS (Learner-Approved Motorcycle Scheme) to SA and produced the acclaimed SA Motorcycling Safety Strategy 2005-2010. Unfortunately the replacement post-2010 safety strategy was not supported by the State Government and we are the only state in Australia not to have a current motorcycle safety and transport strategy, which is deplorable.

If and when the levy is introduced, the first item on the agenda, after forming an advisory council, is to draft up a replacement motorcycle safety strategy. Other items would be to provide areas to legally ride off-road motorcycles, to introduce a recreation motorcycle registration scheme and to continue and expand the highly successful barrier protection projects. There is a myriad of potential things to do. Cheap and accessible post-rider-training is also a big issue.

Other joint ventures with the MRASA in 2010 have been made with SAPOL and the Motor Accident Commission on protective clothing, the interaction between drivers and riders, and in promoting the Police Safe November motorcycle campaign.

We as motorcyclists are in for interesting times in SA in the near future, and be assured that your Motorcycle Riders' Association of SA is at the forefront of all these important rider issues.

Neville Gray - Road Safety Officer and Vice-President, MRASA   

Are you skilled enough to ride and survive?
  The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure web site poses the question, "Are you skilled enough to ride and survive?". Visit the motorcyclists section of the safe road users area of their website to find out more.
Metropolitan Road Conditions, Road Hazards and Signal Faults
  Transport SA have a freecall 24 phone number for the public to advise them of poor road conditions, road hazards and signal faults. The phone number is 1800 018 313. More information can be found on their roadworks web page. In the interests of safety for all road users, please use this number to report poor road conditions you consider dangerous.

You can also make a report on the RAA Report Hazards page. The RAA have been long term advocates of road safety and have a Traffic and Safety team who will investigate your report.
Useful Links on Road Safety
  DPTI Pavement Marking Manual version 4.0 March 2015.
Technical Specification on pavement marking - Section R45 of the DPTI manual
Roadworks, Incidents and Planned Events in South Australia from Traffic SA.
Road Safety strategies from the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.
CASR Publications Archive - archive of research reports from the Centre of Automotive Research.
Road Crash Facts including statistics from Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.
Road Statistics from SAPOL.
Road Rules from SAPOL.

Motorcycle Safety Resource Guide (American) from
Motorcycle Safety e-Book (American) from Burch-George Lawyers of Oklahoma
Motorcycle Safety Page (American) from
The Ultimate Motorcycle Safety Guide (American) from Michael Padway and Associates

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