A new campaign to improve motorcycle safety on Waikato roads has been launched and is attracting the interest of an Australian councillor who chairs a road safety committee.
The Waikato Regional Road Safety Education Group has erected 66 billboards on key routes on the state highway network in the Waikato, with many more installed on popular local routes by councils. These billboards will be in place until mid December.
A ‘ride safe promotion’ also gives Waikato-based riders the chance to win a set of Michelin tyres, by visiting www.reducetherisk.co.nz before midnight on Sunday 16 December. Entrants must hold a current Class 6 NZ motorcycle licence.
The campaign’s launch has been timed to tie in with the return to spring riding, says Waikato Regional Council’s road safety coordinator and motorcycle enthusiast, Monique Haines.
“Motorcycles account for 14 per cent of all Waikato road fatalities and serious crashes, but only around 2 per cent of the region’s total vehicle fleet.
“Motorcyclists are less visible, have less protection and less stability than most other road vehicles, and you are 18 times more vulnerable riding a motorcycle than driving a car. But there are steps a motorcyclist can take to reduce the risk,” Mrs Haines said.
The top six tips being promoted on the region’s billboards are:
- Be seen
- Start slow and warm up
- Wear protective gear
- Ride to the conditions
- Bike maintenance (this also includes tyres)
“Our billboards have even attracted the interest of a visiting Perth councillor, who was in the country for last week’s Australasian road safety policing and education conference in Wellington.
"He is chairman of the Perth council’s roadwise committee and he has returned to Western Australia with examples of our motorcycle signage and brochures for consideration there,” Mrs Haines said.
The brochure for motorcyclists has been produced to include popular Waikato rides and potential hazards. It is distributed by police, motorcycle retailers, local councils, road safety coordinators and training providers in the region.
The Waikato Regional Road Safety Education Group is led by Waikato Regional Council, working in conjunction with other regional safety stakeholders including the NZ Transport Agency, NZ Police, ACC and councils.
For more information about the group’s work visit www.reducetherisk.co.nz