WE ARE increasingly loving our motorcycles, but figures today show a growing number of Australians are riding them to death — their own.
The move to motorbikes and scooters is being marred by an alarming rise in the number of riders dying in accidents.
The number of motorcyclists killed over the 12 months to the June quarter rose from 229 the previous year to 240 — a jump of 4.8 per cent.
This accounts for roughly 20 per cent of the total of 1241 road fatalities for the year, according to research by the Australian Automobile Association today. And the figure doesn’t include the swelling tally of serious injuries.
Overall, road fatalities including pedestrian and car and truck accidents fell slightly.
The AAA report was part of its benchmarking of the National Road Safety Strategy.
“The report finds that the National Road Safety Strategy has so far delivered a reduction in the annual road toll of 13 per cent,” it said.
“Given the decade-long strategy has only three years to run, it is becoming clear it will not deliver the targeted 30 per cent reduction in road deaths.
“The AAA has called for a national inquiry to thoroughly understand what is causing more than 1,200 people to lose their lives on Australian roads each year, and around 800 per week to be seriously injured.”
We are heading towards one million motorcycle registrations as riders look for the benefits of economy, easier parking and traffic management, and pure fun.
The ABS had found that in 2016-17 the National fleet of all vehicle types rose by 2.1 per cent.
The number of motorcycles rose by 2.5 per cent compared to just 1.9 per cent for passenger cars.
The significant growing in the popularity of motorbikes and scooters had been underway for a decade. Between 2010-15 the number of motorcycles went up by 22 per cent.
One of the contributions to motorcycle deaths is the number of older return riders, mainly men, who find they can afford more-powerful bikes than when they first rode but don’t have the skills to handle them.
A 2015 survey by Victoria’ Transport Accident Commission found 69 per cent of bike licence holders were aged over 40 years, and 18 per cent over 60.
Most would be weekend riders who like to take long road trips — where many accidents occur.
In 2012 TAC found 80 per cent of riders said they rode for recreation on a Saturday or Sunday.