Sharing the Road Safely with Motorcycles

With the arrival warmer weather, there will be more and more motorcycles on the road both locally and in country areas. Motorcycle safety should be a topic of discussion amongst all types of drivers and riders. Motorcyclists are more likely to be exposed to trauma than any other vehicle users on our roads. We’re asking drivers to be more aware and develop new habits by checking their blind spots and mirrors & being cautious at intersections.

Motorcycle riders have the same rights and responsibilities as other vehicle drivers. Apply the same road rules, such as giving way, when you share the road with motorcycles.

What driver’s can do.

• Always scan the traffic for motorcycles—front, rear, left, right—especially when changing lanes and at intersections.
• Use your lights in poor visibility—it helps motorcycle riders see you.
• Check your blind spot for motorcycles— look in your mirrors and conduct a head check when changing your road position.
• Be aware, whilst motorcycles can accelerate more quickly than cars they cannot brake as well.
• Avoid dropping oil & debris on road—it’s hazardous to all road users, especially motorcycles.
• Motorcycle riders have a right to take up an entire lane. You must overtake a motorcycle as you would overtake any other vehicle.
• Give motorcycles plenty of room—in good driving conditions, keep a 2 second gap between you and the vehicle ahead.
• Be aware motorcycle riders are permitted to lane filter at speeds not greater than 30km/h between stationary or slow-moving vehicles travelling in the same direction, if it is safe to do so.
• Be aware that motorcycle riders are allowed to ride on road shoulders or in emergency stopping lanes at speeds not greater than 30km/h on roads with a speed limit of 90km/h or higher, such as motorways, freeways and highways, if it is safe to do so.

What rider’s can do.

• Consider wearing an approved full-face helmet as it offers the most protection and ensure it has an Australian Standards sticker affixed to it. Never buy a used helmet.
• Wear bright and/or reflective motorcycle clothing, including motorcycle gloves that are durable and boots that cover ankles.
• Choose a bike that fits your purpose.
• Consider buying a m/cycle that has antilock brakes or stability control.
• New riders should consider completing a motorcycle safety course, whilst people who may be returning to riding after some time should also consider a skills refresher course.
• Know the Road Rules.
• Be aware that riding with a passenger requires considerably more skill.
• Don’t ride if you have consumed alcohol or drugs.
• Ride defensively, especially at intersections, where half of all m/cycle collisions occur.
• Watch for hazards like potholes, oil slick on the road, tram & railroad tracks, debris on the road, wet painted lines and loose surfaces.
• Assume you are invisible to other motorists and position yourself to be seen.
• Use headlights day and night.
• Be courteous; don’t weave in & out of lanes, or ride on shoulder or between lanes unnecessarily
• Don’t speed.
• If using a visor, see that it is ventilated to prevent fogging, and make sure the tinting provides adequate vision if riding at night.