Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Giving way on the road won't kill you either - Opinion piece in "The Age"

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Danco, May 10, 2012.

    • Like Like x 5
  1. Re: Giving way on the road won't kill you either

    Excellent. Nice summary of our very longwinded discussion of these issue on netrider.
  2. This article needs a flurry of emails thanking/congratulating the writer and the paper. Showing them in numbers that we support the article can only help us.
  3. Re: Giving way on the road won't kill you either

    Well done Ian Munro, great work
  4. Re: Giving way on the road won't kill you either

    Well written by Ian Munro and couldn't agree more.
  5. Excellent piece, he should be congratulated, promoted, and put in charge of the TAC, TODAY!
  6. Its also on the SMH webpage as well.

    Edit SMH=Sydney Morning Herald.
  7. Well written piece, it expresses the concerns of many riders. Yes, speeding (may) be detrimental to our survival on our roads however it is inexcusable to send the message to cagers that it's OK to just pull out in front of us. As Brian commented on the Stop Smidsy Facebook page;
  8. Thanks note sent to Ian
  9. You'd punish him :p
  10. I'm particularly pleased that he also included comment that good training would have given the rider a far better chance of survival.
  11. Great analysis of what's wrong with that ad. Nice.
  12. Good read. Will definitely send him thanks.
  13. well said, email sent in support
  14. Well written piece, finally from someone who gets it.
    Rather than filth from TAC & Friends who just agree with each other, and then the general public goes, "Oh this must be true because everything they say is right".

    Ian deserves a pat on the back for that article.
  15. I just posted a link on Facebook to the article.

    Well done
  16. Nicely Written, Ian. Thanks for the support. (y)
  17. Please someone edit the video and add

    If he was doing 80km/h

    He'd be gone before the car even got there...
  18. full text

    Giving way on the road won't kill you either
    Ian Munro
    May 10, 2012

    A TAC safety campaign unfairly lays all the blame on the motorcyclist.

    AS AN example of a public safety campaign, the latest graphic Transport Accident Commission campaign aimed at motorcyclists succeeds only in showing once again why the TAC struggles to gain the confidence of riders.

    The advertisement, running on high rotation on free-to-air television, actually manages to blame the victim of an accident where another motorist has failed to give way, as required by law.

    This is the scenario: a motorcycle is travelling on a straight road at 68km/h in a 60km/h zone. Ahead, at an intersection on the left, a stationary car is facing a stop sign. As the rider approaches, the car pulls out, attempting a right-hand turn. The rider brakes hard but skids and collides with the car. The 34-year-old rider tumbles over the car, breaking his neck as he lands on the road. This is where things become problematic. The circumstances appear to be derived from an actual investigation. Victoria Police major collision investigator acting Senior Sergeant Peter Bellion tells us the bike skidded for 21 metres before striking the rear quarter panel of the car that turned across its path. Had the rider been moving at the speed limit of 60km/h, Senior Sergeant Bellion tells us, he would have had time to avoid the collision. ''You decide on your speed. The physics decide whether you live or die,'' he says.

    Fair enough. No one is condoning speeding. And the closing slogan ''Slowing Down Won't Kill You'' is a smart play on everyday speech. I have no complaint with road users being encouraged to slow down.

    But nowhere is there any criticism of the driver who has caused an accident by failing to give way when facing a stop sign. There is not a hint of it. There is, instead, a subtext that it is all the rider's fault, that since he was speeding, the driver can be exonerated entirely.

    Had the rider been travelling at the limit, the driver would have had more time to see the approaching bike, Senior Sergeant Bellion says. Maybe, but it's a marginal factor. Is the TAC trying to suggest that speed differential would have changed this outcome? It might have changed the impact for the rider, but it is unlikely to change the driver's behaviour.

    This is why: take a closer look at the advertisement and you will see that the driver's view of the approaching bike is obscured by a parked tray truck. It is one's responsibility to ensure it is safe to enter another roadway. The driver needed to edge forward to see clearly beyond the truck. He needed to use caution, but he didn't, and a man died. And apparently that's OK if the victim can be seen in any way to have contributed to the accident.

    This advertisement is aimed at motorcyclists, but it carries a subtle message to drivers that they can be forgiven for not respecting riders. The advertisement fails once it alienates its target audience by not offering even a passing admonition to drivers who disregard riders' right of way. The circumstances depicted could just as likely occur in a 70km/h zone. Where would right and wrong stand then?

    Instead of this negativity, the TAC could produce an advertisement in which Senior Sergeant Bellion recruits a police motorcycle trainer to demonstrate emergency braking technique. Inject that skill into the scenario above and perhaps the rider would not have thrown his bike into a skid. Perhaps he would have survived.

    The TAC will better shape riders' behaviour when it demonstrates goodwill towards them. It has a way to go.

    Ian Munro is a staff writer and a licensed motorcyclist since 1978.