Look out for each other on the roads


Since September, 12 riders have lost their lives on New Zealand roads, five this month alone. That means there are 12 families and countless friends grieving for their loved ones.

"Riders are some of our most vulnerable road users, as they don’t have the protection of a car around them in a crash, nor the stability that four wheels offers. They face such greater trauma,” says Acting Superintendent Gini Welch, National Manager of Road Policing.

“We know the speed you’re travelling at has the greatest impact on the outcome of a crash. That means your speed decides whether or not you survive a crash, or how badly you’re injured. And speed doesn’t just mean going over the speed limit. Going too fast for the conditions can look like taking a corner too fast, or not slowing down when the weather changes and causes the road surface to get slick.

"You should always be in a position to react safely if someone makes a mistake on the road around you. Everybody thinks they are a good rider, and you may well be, but people around you can make mistakes – and these could impact on you.

“That is why we urge riders to take extra care and wear safety gear, and drivers to keep an eye out for riders.

“A moment of complacency, or an unsafe manoeuvre, could have tragic consequences.

“Sadly last year 54 motorcyclists were killed and 1,438 were injured on our roads,” says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency General Manager of Safety, Health and Environment, Greg Lazzaro.

“We want everybody to get where they’re going safely. So riders, before heading out on the road make sure you check your bike over to ensure it’s still in good condition after being in the garage these past few months.

“Also check your riding gear still provides you with the right level of protection.

“October is Motorcycle Awareness Month so this is the perfect time for riders to think about safety and perhaps even look into a skills refresh, such as ACC’s Ride Forever courses. Ride Forever courses help you refresh your riding skills, taking your riding to the next level.

“No matter what stage you are at in your riding experience, Ride Forever coaching benefits all riders and we’re fortunate these are run throughout New Zealand,” says Mr Lazzaro.

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Motorcycle safety tips:

  • Have the appropriate licence, appropriate motorcycle for the licence conditions, and training help you get through your journeys safely.
  • Ensure your motorcycle is warranted and in safe working condition. 
  • Wear the right safety clothing and footwear. Hi-vis clothing could help prevent a crash, and appropriate body wear, while hot, will help lessen your injuries if you do crash.
  • Wear an approved safety helmet. If you can pull the helmet off your head without undoing the strap then it’s not on properly and won’t protect you in a crash.
  • If you are riding a motorcycle that was manufactured on or after 1 January, 1980, the headlight must be switched on at all times when on the road.
  • The use of anti-lock brakes (ABS) is one of the most effective ways to prevent serious injury crashes for motorcyclists. New rules came into effect in April making ABS mandatory for new motorcycles over 125cc, and ABS or a combined braking system mandatory for motorcycles over 50cc up to and not exceeding 125cc.