Safe journeys for all Tasmanian road users

Three motorcycle riders have died in crashes in Tasmania in 24 hours.

That is the statistic that stands at the time of writing.

Hopefully by the time this reaches readers, that number has not risen further.

There is no denying that, per capita, motorcycle riders are over-represented in fatal crashes on Australian roads.

Last year, eight motorcyclists died on Tasmania’s roads – a 300 per cent increase from the previous year.

The five-year average, as of last year, was 4.6 deaths, compared to 19.8 deaths for car drivers and passengers combined.

According to the Road Safety Advisory Council, motorcycles make up three per cent of registered vehicles in the state.

But in serious casualties incurred from accidents their numbers soar, and represent 23 per cent of statistics.

Tasmania, with its varied scenery and enticing roads is a magnet for attracting touring riders.

From the coastal drives to the mountainous treks, it’s a holiday on the to-do list of bike fanatics across Australia.

And there is no shortage of Tasmanian bike riders, either.

As we progress further and further as a tourism destination in Australia, we need to make sure we’re keeping our visitors and locals safe.

Motorcycle riders know the risk of taking to the road on two wheels, and most of them take the adequate steps to make sure their ride is as safe as possible.

Crashes happen, sometimes it’s through the fault of another vehicle, sometimes it’s at the hands of the rider and sometimes it is sheer bad luck.

There are some infrastructure steps that can be taken to make the roads safer, from surface resealing to post cushions and (controversial) protective rails.

However nothing beats old-fashioned education.

Perhaps every car driver should try a trip on a motorbike to experience the vulnerability that is involved.

Anything to instill that extra head glance into a blindspot that could be hiding a bike.

As we head into spring and summer (although it is taking its time), those daylight saving-lengthened days invite road trips galore.

Car drivers and motorcyclists alike should aim to arrive alive, and have the same goal in mind for their fellow road users.

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