PRINTED WITH PERMISSION
Dr Chris Bourke was delighted to launch Motorcycle Awareness Week on Saturday 22 October and thoroughly enjoyed his pillion ride on the motorbike.
As a result of speaking at the launch he also took the opportunity to promote Motorcycle Awareness Week during the Adjournment Debate in the Legislative Assembly. Read his inspiring account below:
Dr Chris Bourke MLA
Motorcycle Awareness Week
25 October 2011
Mr Speaker, I am sure that like me you have experienced the thrill of riding a motor bike – either as the rider or as a pillion passenger. Last Saturday I experienced this thrill again as I joined a cavalcade of riders who rode from Old Parliament House to Civic to publicise Motorcycle Awareness Week. This is an important road safety initiative organised by riders for riders, and I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the organising committee in putting on an entertaining program of events.
In the ACT, two of the 12 fatalities in 2009 and five of the 19 fatalities in 2010 involved motorbikes. Sadly, three people on motorbikes have died so far this year.
There are a range of things that governments should be, and are, doing to improve our road system to support the safe and efficient use of motorcycles and scooters as a part of the transport system.
However, road safety is not only the government’s problem. It is an issue for the whole community. In this context, Motorcycle Awareness Week is an excellent way to raise the awareness of motorcycles and motorcycling in the community, and to promote road safety issues affecting motorcycle and scooter riders.
There has been a dramatic growth in the popularity of motorcycles and motor scooters over recent years and fatality and injury figures that involve motorcycles are over-represented compared to those involving other motor vehicles.
This should concern us all as, regardless of fault, riders are much more vulnerable in a crash than car drivers.
Motorcycle and scooter riders who are aware of this risk will ride smart using road craft and wear protective clothing, boots, helmets and gloves. Nevertheless, it would be better for all of us if crashes never happened.
We can all contribute to reducing crashes – whether we drive a car or ride a motorcycle – simply by being more alert and careful. We all have a responsibility to share the road. Being more aware of other road users is a good step towards that.
On Saturday I launched the “Joe Rider” motorcycle road safety programme. It is a deceptively simple awareness program which encourages drivers to look out for a rider called Joe and by inference, to see all motorcyclists.
If you see Joe you can register on the Motorcycle Riders Association website for a chance to win a balloon flight over Canberra – an added incentive to watch out for bike riders
Look out for Joe for the rest of this week. If you can see Joe, you can see a motorcyclist. Learning to see motorcycles and scooters is a key part of being motorcycle aware in Motorcyclist Awareness Week.