Motorists are being urged to look out for motorcyclists this weekend when a state-wide awareness campaign kicks into gear.
Motorcycle Awareness Week runs from October 10th to October 17th and aims to address the increasing number of road accidents involving motorcyclists.
Figures released in February this year showed there was a 22 per cent increase in motorcycle-related fatalities compared to 2014.
The Motorcycle Council (MCC) of NSW is hosting a number of events throughout the week.
“The activities are intended to raise the profile of the motorcycle community and to improve the safety of riders through increased awareness,” a MCC council spokesman told The Newsroom.
Sydney motorcycle enthusiast Grant, who has asked to remain anonymous, said he had been riding for years and had been involved in multiple accidents with other drivers.
“Within the past two years, I’ve had two accidents, recently just on Tuesday,” he told The Newsroom. “Both times an oncoming car has turned in front of me. They both told me that they didn’t see me.
“If I was Prime Minister, I would change the road laws. Everyone must go for their riders’ license first before they’re eligible to go for their drivers’ license. This would help to promote motorcycle safety. More people will then understand how difficult it is for us riders.”
Shane Ballantyne, 40, told The Newsroom he also had first-hand experience with road accidents.
“A car cut me off, pulling in front of me and slammed on the brakes because they decided to change lanes again,” he said. “This forced me to brake, causing me to crash and slide down the road for about 40 metres.
“The driver looked back at me from his mirror but drove off without stopping.”
The NSW Motorcycle Alliance claims most motorcycle accidents involve cars turning across riders’ paths.
“[It] reminds us that we riders must always do everything possible so that we don’t just enjoy the ride, but we also get home to our families,” said Motorcycle Alliance’s Dave Cooke when the most recent statistics were released earlier this year.
NSW Roads Minister, Duncan Gay, also said in a media release, that motorcyclists also needed to take extra care.
“Don’t let that ride be your last – make the right decisions, manage risk and speed, stay alert [and] wear the right protective gear,” he said.
“We also need drivers to watch out and check twice for motorcyclists, especially when making turns at intersections.” – Bianca Busuttil
Top photo of Sydney motorcyclist from drbutoni’s Flickr photostream.