Back in June 2010, ARTD Consultants began surveying riders to conduct research for Qld Transport & Main Roads. They surveyed riders of all age groups; however their research brief was to focus on riders 45 years and over, their behaviour, attitudes, crash stats and comparative analysis against other age groups. There were approx 1600 "random sample" respondents selected from "active riders" who be definition, had both a Qld motorcycle licence AND a bike registered in their name in Qld (see numbers below in dot-points). The survey also included another 1800+ "open sample" respondents. Some of you here on this Forum will recall my request to participate in the open sampling response area. The interim findings were provided to members of the Qld Motorcycle Safety Advisor Group in late 2010 and early 2011, but only in April 2011 was the report finalised and I chased up a copy in August. I believe this report to be important and so I have included a selection of interesting points from it below: "Active rider” defined by registrations and licence statistics. The number of “active riders” in Qld was 103,014. There has been a doubling (increase of 103%) between 93/98 and 03/08 from 50,714 active riders to 103,014. The number of older riders in crashes has almost tripled from 660 to 1,897 during the interval 1993–1998 to 2003–2008. The number of older riders in fatal crashes has more than tripled from 20 to 64. Partly as a product of the increase in older riders in crashes, and partly due to the decrease or relative stability in younger riders in crashes, the likelihood that a rider in any given crash is older rider has increased. Older riders made up 11% of all riders in crashes in 1998 but 24% in 2008. They also made up 10% of all riders in fatal crashes in 1993–1998, increasing to 24% in 2003–2008. This does not mean older riders are crashing more often than younger riders. It simply demonstrates an increase in the number of older riders and a decrease in the level of over-representation of younger riders in crashes. Younger riders still crash much more often than older riders both per rider and per kilometre ridden. Using Vehicle Kilometres Travelled, older riders (45 years and more) travelled 6 times as many kilometres per crash as younger riders (15 to 24 years). Riders aged 55 years or more travelled 10 times as many kilometres per crash as younger riders. Age, environment and generational factors are all leading to lower crash rates for older riders and these rates are likely to continue to decline with this generation and the younger generation get older. Older riders accounted for 44% of all active riders yet accounted for just 30% of all motorbike offenders and 24% of all offences). There was little difference in the way that older and younger riders crashed, except that younger riders were much more likely to be speeding. Conclusion on behaviour and crashes: Older riders are crashing less often than they used to and much less often than their younger counterparts. Crash rates are coming down for all riders, but with 4 times as many older riders on the road, this inevitably leads to more crashes (in absolute terms), albeit at a lower rate than previously experienced for riders in all age groups. Trying to define a “returning rider” is difficult. There is no clear-cut theoretical basis for determining what constitutes a returning rider. Issues raised spontaneously by older riders on how to improve road safety for motorcyclists in Qld: − Improve awareness / educate motorists about motorcycles; − Improve road conditions and maintenance, including the removal of wire-rope barriers; − More and better training for motorcycle riders; − Stricter requirements on obtaining a motorcycle licence; and − Changes to road rules, e.g. to allow lane filtering. A “cluster solution” identified 4 types of rider for analysing attitude variations: Cluster 1: “Absent minded” (16.9%): optimists, poor preparers, alcohol skeptics high risk takers, but average speeders. Cluster 2: “Poor Preparers” (17.1%): anti-alcohol, aware of the road, occasional or average risk takers. Cluster 3: “Speed Demons” or Speed Optimists (28.4%): pro speeding, preparers, alcohol skeptics, moderate risk takers. Cluster 4: “Golden boys” (and pretenders) (37.5%): preparers, low risk takers, anti-speeders, aware riders, anti-alcohol. Older riders tended to have better attitudes to speeding, pre-ride preparation, risk taking, cornering and other caution-related practices. Interestingly I have since found out that the crash rate for the 55+ group of riders is the same as for all light passenger vehicles. Of course light passenger vehicles have subgroups of older drivers that are sure to have lower crash rates than the average for all drivers. Anyway, some of the stats don't paint such a bad story as is often peddled by the media and some politicians and safetycrats, who like to demonise everything about motorcycling. Anyone interested in the full report should PM me with their email address.