A spike in the number of motorcyclists killed in the Moreton Bay Region is the impetus behind a new safety campaign that launches on Sunday.
Devised by Moreton District Prevention Unit officer-in-charge Sergeant Sarah Grayson, Motorcycles The Shiny Side Up has support from industry leaders including the Motorcycle Council.
Other project supporters joining police for the launch of Motorcycles The Shiny Side Up at Woodford will be motorcycle website Motorcycle Life, accessories outlet Race and Road, and Smart Rider.
Funded with a Road Safety grant from the Department of Transport and Main Roads, the campaign is supported by Warriors captain Tohu Harris, himself a motorcyclist.
“He’s dedicated to his sport and very much a family man, so he’s all about safety,” Sarah says.
“He’s encouraging people to dress for the slide, not the ride – regardless of where you’re going, you still need to wear your gear.”
Statistics from Victoria’s Transport Accident Commission (TAC) show that wearing the correct gear rather than casual clothes can mean the difference between motorcyclists staying safe and horrific injuries.
According to a confronting video produced by the TAC, it takes just 0.3 of a second for a casual trainer to be destroyed once it hits the road, shredding the foot inside. And jeans suffer the same fate in 0.6 of a second, exposing vulnerable legs to a road’s harsh gravel surface.
Sarah says while the number of deaths involving motorcyclists has improved from last year, police were determined to keep the spotlight on the issue.
So far this year 16 motorcyclists, moped riders or pillion passengers have died on Queensland roads.
In 2021, 66 motorcyclists, pillion passengers or moped riders perished, compared with 55 in 2020, while the number of motorcycle, moped and pillion passengers hospitalised after an accident in the first half of last year was 636 – an increase of more than 20 percent.
“We had more fatalities by halfway through last year than for the whole previous year,” Sarah says.
She says the number of motorcycle registrations in Queensland since the outbreak of COVID has doubled and likely accounts for the rise in casualties, meaning riders and motorists alike need to take more care.
“Motorcycle safety is everyone’s responsibility,” she says.
“A lot of cars pull out on the main road not seeing motorbikes – motorbike riders often end up in the blackspot of drivers.”
Sarah says drivers can help by being more aware of their surroundings, but motorcyclists can also take measures to better protect themselves.
“A lot of the new motorcycles are designed to automatically have the headlights on, because that makes you more visible – but riders should get into the habit of switching their lights on.
“A lot of bike riders wear black, which makes them harder to see.
“Throw something high-vis in there, whether it’s your gloves or a neck sleeve.”
The launch of Motorcycles The Shiny Side Up will include industry displays, pop-up stalls, food stalls and prizes such as a Ricondi motorcycle jacket to be won.
The event is on Sunday, March 25 from 9am-1pm at the Woodford Showgrounds, 38 Neurum Rd, Woodford.