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Discussion in 'Research, Studies, and Data' started by TonyE, Nov 13, 2013.
An interesting article, Tony, but, the trouble with any article quoting percentages is that it lacks context.
"The highest rate of PTW ownership in Europe is in Greece at 33%, and yet the fatality rate is still proportionately nearly a third of the UK rate."
Now, I can only really comment on Greece, since that's the only country I have been driving in, in the last 10 years or so, and, since Greece has, or used to have, the worst road accident record of all the Euro Union countries, seems to be a surprise, but, when you understand the context of PTW, it starts to make sense.
To a very large extent, Greece doesn't have the big butch bikie culture that the UK had, or Australia has.
Granny will often hobble out onto a wee step thru and potter off to the local bakery to get fresh bread.
Grandad will shuffle out to the early model 125 Vespa and putter down to the coffee shop to see his mates.
The local coffee shop waiter will grab a tray with 4 or 5 full coffee cups on it, step onto a 150cc scooter and ride down the road to delivery those coffees to some office or other.
A large percentage of households in Greece will have at least one PTW sitting in the garage or car port.
The wannabe famous heroes, who buy R1s and Gixxer thousands, can't actually wheelie them, 'cos the roads are too slippery.
Possibly because of this, you don't see too many super sports bikes or really fast sports tourers, with Greek number plates.
Traveling on the major highways, almost all of the big capacity motorbikes that you see have German, Italian or Pommie plates on them, and they ride with a fair degree of restrain 'cos they don't know where, exactly, they are going, nor do they understand the local rules.
As well as that, the car drivers are much more understanding.
If a bike rider pulls a really silly stunt, the drivers close to the stunt may well shout rude comments about the rider's ancestry, but will make a good effort not to actually hit or hurt the rider.
It's essentially the urban environment that these figures count. The basic premise is that the more powered two wheelers on the road then the more people are accustomed to looking out for them. That's what the situation appears to be in countries like Greece where the motorcycle and casualty rate is less than one would expect when compared to the UK.
In London post the congestion charging the number of motorcycles increased by 20% with no appreciable increase in motorcycle casualties.
Aye, fine, Tony, I understand that, but....
as a wild guess, if you took a survey of Netrider folk, there would be fairly few who owned and used PTWs as their "normal" day to day transport.
A large percentage of the motorbike riders here in Oz are part time riders, generally using super powerful bikes for their week-end adrenaline rush.
When we have a fairly stupid tax system that makes it sensible for an accountant, working in Sydney CBD to lease a LandCruiser and drive it, every day to the office, because of the tax advantages, then we'll be stuck with dickheads in cars in the city.
If we ever strike an age of enlightenment, where a two wheeler doesn't pay tolls, and are allowed to park where ever it doesn't inconvenience others.... then we may just see some sense coming into inner city traffic.
A congestion tax, like that in London, would, obviously help, but you wouldn't want to hold your breath until it happens.
But what I was really trying to get at was that, in the likes of Greece, a BIG bike would be, in Oz, considered a LAMS machine that you would only ride for a couple of years before you get a REAL bike.
The "culture" here, if you could call it that, acts to pressure folk into stupidly powerful bikes which may make their riders' dicks bigger but also tend to increase the really stupid, pointless fatal crashes.
The same stupid tax system that encourages accountants into urban assault vehicles will be called on by those accountants so they will not have to pay the congestion charge...
Back in the mists of antiquity, when I was still working, there was a tax put on car parking spaces.
I can't remember if it was a Sydney council thing or a state NSW thing, but it was specifically worded for "car parking spaces".
The office I was at then, I was the only one who was approached for extra parking payment, and I told them to fcuk off 'cause I only used a motorbike space.
All the company big wigs and accountants continued to have their tex-dodge cars parked under the office as part of their perks, despite the tax causing an increase.