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  • Writer's pictureHannah Phillips

Police Alarmed by Motorbike Fatalities

With just over a month left in the year, SA Police are urging all road users to think about their actions and the consequences of their decisions.

The road toll to date in 2017 has already exceeded the fatalities for all of 2016, a tragic turn of event for those families, emergency services and the wider community.

Inspector Ben Spencer, the acting officer in charge of the Traffic Support Branch, said while no one factor was linked with this year’s road toll, the number of fatalities involving motorbike riders was of particular concern.

“It’s not young people hooning, it is everyone that is involved in fatal collisions,” he said.

“And when we talk motorcyclists, this year we’ve had 20 people die on our roads riding motorcycles, as opposed to six at the same time last year – so that is a significant increase.

“The overwhelming cause of death on our roads is driver behaviour, so when we look at motorcycles that means rider behaviour.

“Now we know that the drivers of cars need to be aware of motorcycles, but the person most likely to kill a motorcyclist on our roads is the rider themselves.

He said many motorbike fatalities involved riders speeding, hooning or behaving in a way that was outside their riding capabilities or experience.

“This is not about youthful inexperience either, “ he added, “half of those who have died have been men over the age of 40.”

Police have focused on curbing this behaviour with specific road safety operations this year – Safe Hills currently running for the second time this calendar year in the Adelaide Hills targeting speed and Outback Bikes in the Far North Local Service Area focused on educating riders about remote conditions.

Inspector Spencer said the road safety message applies to everyone “but at this time of year with 20 people already dead on our roads who were on motorcycles I think we just need pay attention to this area.

“And it’s really important that motorcycle riders themselves sit down, think about their behaviour, think about their next ride and realise that the person most likely to kill them on the road is themselves.”

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