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Urgent plea from TAC as motorcycle death toll surges

The TAC has made a special plea to motorists as Victoria’s motorcycle toll careers out of control.

Already 36 riders have died in 2019, only two deaths short of 2018’s total toll of 38.

That shocking statistic has emerged at the start of the peak period for motorcycle numbers on our roads, which coincides with improved weather.

“Has it got to the situation where it’s simply too dangerous to ride a motorcycle in Melbourne?”
-Ross Stevenson

Fears for lives has prompted the TAC to issue an urgent warning to all motorists, with a particular focus on ensuring motorcyclists and scooter riders wear full protective gear.

“We’ve got to prepare, no matter what road-user we are, but particularly for motorcyclists,” TAC chief Samantha Cockfield told 3AW Breakfast.

“(Motorcyclists) are unprotected, we’re very much like pedestrians on wheels, so making sure we’ve got the full protective gear on every time we ride.

“We know most motorcyclists have the full protective gear, but sometimes think ‘It’s just a short trip, might not put it on’, or ‘Too hot’ — these sort of things’.”

Ross Stevenson suggested it had become too dangerous to ride a motorcycle in Melbourne, but Ms Cockfield disagreed, saying “they’re there as a legitimate form of transport”.

“Drivers, we’re really asking you to look out for motorcyclists, be aware that you are sharing the roads,” she said.

Ms Cockfield said food delivery services have resulted in more motorcycles and scooters on the road — particularly in Melbourne’s inner-north — but there’s no evidence that that is driving the increase in crashes and deaths.

But she added that “more people are being killed as riders in the city area than country roads”, which is contrary to the rest of the state death toll.

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