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NSW Motorcycle associations & awareness

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by korbail, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. Hi all,

    I would like to ask what the various motorcycle associations out there do about motorcycle awareness. Once I bought my bike (Yet to get my licence 3 days to go :D), the first thing I did was hit the net to find out all the stuff I can get for it including gear, mods etc.. and hit this awesome forum (y) which is providing so much help.

    What I also did was google what the hell a SMIDSY is. Once I found out I thought I might look a bit further in to motorcycle awareness and even at the pre-learners course I found out that all the awareness so far is aimed at the rider and that's it. Well in NSW anyway. I even looked at the RTA driver test questions and found 3 related to motorcycles. I did the online test 3 times and only got 1 question related to motorcycles, which was about can they use a transit lane.

    With all the focus on speed and fatigue on the roads, where is the advert about looking out for motorcycles? I heard on the radio the other day an ad saying check twice for bikes. I asked my partner if she had heard it before, "Nope" and was there anything about motorcycles in your P's test? "Can't remember".

    When I think about this further, the real reason why I have been aware of motorcycles during my driving history is my own common sense. There might have been an advert or two, but nothing really to drum in to my head like the car campaigns.

    Is someone able to enlighten me what they actually do? As a cager (until Saturday :woot:) I just don't get the awareness campaigns that I should unless I go looking myself.

  2. Congratulations on being way smarter and more responsible than the road authorities in your state. You are quite right that govt doesn't see it as a priority, despite people banging on their door for years.
    I can't speak for associations in NSW but I'm aware of the Motorcycle Council of NSW who might be able to inform you of their campaigns.
  3. Effectively there are two 'associations' in NSW. There's the MCC(NSW) which is an amateur organisation, but does have some good information on their web site (http://www.mccofnsw.org.au/) for buying gear etc.

    There is also the NSW Motorcycle Alliance (http://www.motorcyclealliance.com.au/) which is part of Motorcycling NSW. These guys work as an advisor to the government, and offer members road side assistance, access to very reasonable public liability insurance for events etc.
  4. Just an update in-case someone is interested. This is an email I sent the Motorcycle Council of NSW

    Subject: RE: Motorcycle awareness
    Date: Thu, 7 Mar 2013 14:17:32 +1100

    Thank you for your prompt response Brian.

    On that forum my nickname is Korbail. I am looking in to motorcycle awareness because as a driver for over 15 years and a recent learner to motorcycles, I am obviously going to be cautious about my safety.

    What I have found troubling however, is the fact that I have had to look for articles and information regarding motorcycle awareness. I have not come across a lot of awareness about motorcycles directed to drivers. During my driving history I have always let motorcycles lane filter so the recent announcement is not big deal for me. Where the awareness of lane filtering needs improvement is drivers who do not have motorcycles on their mind while driving. I asked a few people yesterday what the recent announcement meant to them and only one person knew about lane filtering as they have a friend that rides.

    With the motorcycle awareness stickers, what do they look like because I have seen lots of bumper stickers of the years, but have never seen one of these nor have I seen a poster on the back of a bus. In regards to working with the local councils to increase awareness, where and how is this done? I have never seen any message from any local council about this topic.

    I have even looked on the RMS website and found 3 articles, 1 about ABS, 1 telling riders to look out for themselves and the Check Twice for Bikes article. Even the night vision article did not mention motorcycle awareness.

    If you could respond to my queries about it would be appreciated as I am looking at helping to increase motorcycle awareness.



    Subject: RE: Motorcycle awareness
    Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2013 16:55:39 +1100


    Thanks for your email.

    The MCC runs Motorcycle Awareness Week each year, this year’s week will be at the end of October (20th to 27th) with the launch in Martin Place on Thursday 17th. Having the launch in Martin Place gives us an excellent opportunity to talk to drivers on why they need to watch out for us. The Minister for Roads has attended the launch for the past 2 years. Last year he announced the filtering trial which is currently under way.

    We work with the RMS to have the Variable Messages Signs to have messages about watching out for riders, also the bus back poster with ‘Look Again’.

    We distribute Motorcycle Aware Driver stickers so we can identify which drivers are motorcycle aware.

    We support the SMIDSY campaign.

    We work with Local Council road safety officers to distribute the message about watching out for riders.

    So, as you can see, the MCC are quite active in this area.

    Just for the record, are you Titus or Korball?

    Safe riding,

    Brian Wood

    Sent: Wednesday, 6 March 2013 12:48 PM
    To: enquiries@mccofnsw.org.au
    Subject: Motorcycle awareness


    I would like to ask what your organisation does for motorcycle awareness and refer you to a post on one of the motorcycle forums. If you could let me know this would be great.



  5. Welcome to the horrendously glaring hole in Australian road management. You will fit right in in the politics section here :)

    To make matters worse, not only are drivers NOT given the required tools and understanding in how/why to look out for bikes, but here in Vic they are explicitly excused from any responsiblity to look out for us. Have a look at some of the sickening TAC ads from here. Look at "the ride" and "reconstruction" ads from recent times.
  6. Yeah I'll have to look for them thanks for the heads up. Unfortunately there is a lot of associations/charities in Australia take subscriptions/donations and then the leaders start driving around in expensive cars and have expensive houses while they claim to promote their cause by writing a couple of articles and throwing parties (fundraisers). I would have expected some of them not to act like the government but most of the known ones do.

    Going by the response I got back from the Motorcycle Council of NSW, at the moment I can't see how they are increasing motorcycle awareness to non-riders. Maybe I'm not looking hard enough but I will be from today.

    If anyone can correct me and tell me I'm wrong, let me know as so I don't get or give the wrong message.

  7. Actually the RMS IS running a radio advert at the moment urging motorists to watch out for bikes, especially in the light of the filtering trial currently being conducted.
  8. True but you have to be listening to the radio. Don't most young drivers have their iPod going nowadays. What they don't understand is some people it can sink in listening to an advert, others it won't because they are visual. Most people learn visually so why wouldn't you advertise both ways. They invest so much in anti-speeding campaigns to save lives, why not invest a little bit for this.

    To be honest, I really didn't know about the "Check twice for bikes" campaign until I started looking for a bike. I don't mean to offend anyone and I'm definitely not talking down the work that the associations do. I just find it hard that I have to look for motorcycle awareness rather than organisations promoting it.

    Below is the latest email I got from the Motorcycle Council of NSW. Not too sure how to take the response about waiting for October to start helping to increase motorcycle awareness, think I might start earlier than that.

    Subject: RE: Motorcycle awareness
    Date: Thu, 7 Mar 2013 20:59:52 +1100


    Our “Motorcycle Aware Driver’ stickers are black with white writing. I can send you some if you send me your address.

    I’ve had a look for the bus back, ‘Look twice for bikes’ poster, but I can’t find it on the net as the printing has to be correct for it to work. The graphic has also been used on bridge banners.

    Also during MAW we have several bridge banners advertising MAW. The RMS also has several bridge banners.

    http://www.willoughby.nsw.gov.au/community/Traffic---Transport/Road-Safety/Motorcycles/ this is an example of a local government campaign. If you google “Willoughby council motorcycle awareness campaign” it should come up with a newsletter

    Videos the MCC have made can be found at http://www.mccofnsw.org.au/a/266.html

    If you wish to be involved in raising motorcycle awareness, being involved in our motorcycle awareness week in October would be a good start.

    Safe riding,
  9. I'd rather like to get hold of a couple of those stickers mentioned.
  10. Hi korbail,

    Adam from Maurice Blackburn Lawyer's Stop SMIDSY campaign here.

    I'm not going to lie, I happen to have an interest in motorcycle awareness ;)

    Ask Me Anything

    In the last 18 months I have worked and liaised with state and national rider advocacy groups, supported them at parliamentary inquires, and collaborated with them to produce the sort of ad road safety agencies dont on this subject (Thank you Motorcycling Australia).

    Unfunded rider advocacy is inevitably an uphill struggle; however, even in VIC where the Victorian Motorcycle Council deserves a prize for having to deal with a bloated, arrogant hugely-funded take-no-prisoners compulsory state monopoly which makes no effort to engage or to accept advice - advocates have secured wins. Recommendation 22 of the recent Vic Parl Inquiry into M/C Safety for example which states:

    “That the Transport Accident Commission focus its motorcycle safety advertising on redressing the attitude that responsibility for rider safety is solely attributable to the rider, by ensuring that campaigns dealing with motorcycles raise driver awareness and do not create negative stereotypes, perceptions or attitudes among drivers.”

    The strength of the Stop SMIDSY campaign is derived from its active grassroots support base (of which Netrider makes up a large number) - the best thing the various motorcycle assocaitions can do about motorcycle awareness is have people like you, lots of people like you, get involved in the fight!
    • Like Like x 1

  11. Hi Adam,

    Thanks for the response. I have asked already how I can get involved in the campaign via Facebook and I am still awaiting a response. Can you point me in the right direction?

  12. If you email the Motorcycle Council of NSW they will probably send some out to you.
  13. That's odd - if you like pop me your number and I'll give you call.


  14. Need to sort out some stuff before I can really get started. I'll hit you up in April if that's ok?
  15. Korbail,

    Apologies for not replying to your email, but your email was sent during the period between the old manager of the NSW Motorcycle Alliance resigning, and me, the new Manager, starting. As such, it disappeared into a hole with a bunch of other deleted emails.

    I'll make a number of points on this awareness issue and where the Alliance fits into the scheme of things.

    Firstly, the NSW Motorcycle Alliance does not run any advertising campaigns around this subject, or any other subject. That is not our brief. You have already been made aware of the MCC's good work with Motorcycle Awareness Week, and it is the main awareness campaign to be run annually in NSW.

    The Motorcycle Alliance works closely with government agencies to try and ensure that money spent on motorcycle safety is spent in the right ways. You will be pleased to know that in my discussions with the Centre For Road Safety, the peak road safety body in NSW and the group who now plan road safety campaigns, there is money allocated for an "anti-SMIDSY" style campaign in the next round of promotions. We will be involved in puitting that campaign together.

    They have also in the last week released the Motorcycle Safety Strategy, which plans out where they intend to head in terms of motorcycle safety for the next ten years. We are currently digesting that document and will be working with them with regards to how it is implemented. There is an increased amount of funding becoming available for motorcycle safety, including both advertising campaigns as well as road upgrades for popular riding roads including improved crash barriers.

    We have also managed to convince them that their opinion of us as "risk takers" is incorrect. They now see us as "risk managers", which is a big step forwards.

    There will also be, for the first time in Australia, some scientific crash testingof roadsuide barriers done soon to try and determine the best solution for saving lives in single vehicle accidents on country roads.

    There is plenty being done, you just don't hear about it. And you'd get bored if we talked about it all the time.

    On a final note, you will be surprised to know that SMIDSY is not the main cause of accidents for bike riders. If you think motorcycle awareness is the main factor of importance in rider safety then you have been sorely mislead. The best advice we can give you is get yourself along to a good rider training company and do some courses, and I don't mean the ones you do to get your license. That will have far more impact on your long term safety than any rider awareness campaign.

    And one last thing. Assume they haven't seen you. Always.
    • Like Like x 2
  16. I don't know if this suggestion has been thrown around, but what if we had some cheap flouro vest (or some other vest) that says on the back, "Just want to get there safely" or "Please look out for me" ... words to that effect that we could wear and by having this somewhat mobile billboard spread the message that we're here on the road and that we like other road users just want to get to our destination safely.
  17. Absolutely correct... Now only if the Mexicans can their heads around this.
  18. The NSW Motorcycle Alliance does not, and will not, support the wearing of flouro vests. That is not a path you want to go down. Unless of course you want to end up in a world where failing to wear one means you are responsible when someone doesn't look and runs over you. "But he didn't have a yellow vest" will be the excuse. You can imagine the insurance issues that would follow.

    Car drivers manage to run into trucks and even ambulances complete with flashing lights and sirens. If they can't see trucks and ambulances, then a bright yellow vest isn't going to help you much.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. Don't you mean "does not, and will not, support the mandatory wearing"?
  20. As above. Mandatory wearing of flouros is not what I'm saying but whatever colour. Black or whatever tickles your fancy but someway you could print on it some words to raise awareness at a low cost and change it over as the mood takes you, and no, not compulsory. I'm sure you wouldn't print those words on your $400 leather jacket and one couldn't possibly sell those jackets even at cost given the varying sizes we all come in.

    And yes, the only thing that will stop a truck/car/bus running up the back of us is if we didn't ride and weren't on the road but I'm just bringing up an idea to not only raise awareness but also create a calming effect to other road users. Telling others that you just want to get there safely embalzened on your back and in their face would be a good reminder because it makes you stop and think, "Hey, that person just wants to go home safely just like me so perhaps I shouldn't be such a prick on the road".