NEGATIVE VIEWS

Yesterday (3/5/2022) the Victorian Transport Accident Commission (TAC) issued an urgent warning via the Herald Sun. Fatal motorcycle crashes is up 21% this year and 53% on the 5 year average. TAC’s Samantha Cockfield told the newspaper that motorcycles represented just 4% of traffic but way crash data is collected, cleansed and published TAC can claim motorcyclists are 16% of road deaths and 20% of serious injuries. 
These startling numbers are apparently to show the car driving public that TAC is working to reduce the $115 million dollars spent each year of our compulsory third party premiums and the “$75 a year safety levy” that targets Victorian road motorcycle & scooter riders only.
The question the journos don’t often get published is. “Who causes these costly injuries and deaths?” The majority of motorcycle crashes are caused by car driver error, dangerously neglected roads and animal strikes but are mostly recorded by crash investigators as lost control of the bike or something similar. Included in legitimate road rider data are the unriders.
Unriders are illegal riders. Like the one in Queensland overnight. An unlicensed man on a fast bike evading police puts a 16 year-old female pedestrian in hospital. This will be added to crash data to vilify legitimate riders and justify road authorities’ policies. It made sensational television. 
Some media are happy to promote the negative view of legitimate road riders. A Ch 10 show called The Cheap Seats is currently running TV ads showing a rider crashing into a car and flying through the air. If the ad showed a pedestrian or a bicyclist in a similar situation there would be outrage. The Cheap Seats makes a joke of this crash. Motorcycle crash victims loved ones aren’t laughing. The opinion of most non-riding viewers is likely to be that motorcycles are death traps so only irresponsible jerks ride. Hardly a view that generates safe driving and reduces road rage.
But it must be true. “Acting assistant commissioner for road policing, David Clayton said motorcyclists were ‘extremely vulnerable’ and should be aware of the danger.”
For the record, the MRAA supports the TAC campaign promoting protective clothing for riders. We have a positive view of safe motorcycling. The number of legitimate road motorcycles & scooters in Victoria continues to grow and, mainly through improved training and equipment, is safer than ever.