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SA South Australia - Motorcycle licensing changes foreshadowed

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by robsalvv, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. In an article about cutting SA's road toll in half, there was a line about designing changes to SA's motorcycle licensing.


    SOUTH Australia could halve its annual road toll to below 50 deaths a year, a State Government road safety report shows. The report, by Thinker in Residence Professor Fred Wegman, found the "ambitious" target could be achieved within 10 years by measures including removing Stobie poles to reduce crash hazards, creating two major city cycling routes and banning drivers from using hands-free mobile phones.
    "There is no good reason why South Australia should not aim for the best when it comes to road safety," the report, "Driving down the road toll by building a Safe System", states.
    "If South Australia accepts this challenge, the target becomes a 50 per cent reduction in 10 years."
    This morning, the state's road toll rose to 54 after a man crashed his car into a tree at Salisbury Heights.
    The road toll was 67 at the same time last year. The 2011 annual toll was 90.
    The report's 76 recommendations also include making road design safer and increasing the minimum driving age.
    Road Safety Minister Jennifer Rankine welcomed the recommendations and said some already had been included in the Government's 2011-12 action plan.
    "The State Government has just approved funding for a further $30.2 million on four major road safety infrastructure programs," she said.
    "Professor Wegman has already made a significant contribution to the development of Towards Zero Together - South Australia's Road Safety Strategy 2020, which was released in October last year."
    The Government's action plan also includes developing a discussion paper on licensing changes for motorcycle riders and to assess school-based road safety programs.
    RAA spokeswoman Penny Gale said the motoring body supported most of the report and agreed that SA had "stalled" and a shift in thinking was needed.
    "Professor Wegman's report and recommendations outline what needs to be done differently in SA if we are committed to driving down the road toll," Ms Gale said.
    "He has a major focus on serious injuries, as research shows that 90 per cent of serious injuries happen because people make 'ordinary mistakes' rather than because they wilfully engage in risky and illegal behaviour."
    "We should be asking not who is to blame - but how this crash could have occurred."
    View the report at www.thinkers.sa.gov.au

    = = = = = = = = =

    Eventually, no one will be allowed to die in any fashion any more.

    The things that I found interesting have been highlighted/bolded. What I'm finding fascinating then, is if 90% of injuries are mistakes, why not treat the cause of the mistakes? The current paradigm is to enforce the crap out of everybody (more laws, tighter penalties, more police, more operations) and nanny state things to the max so that they treat the consequences. It's mental.

  2. Interestingly, the thinkers site only has one mention of motorbikes, but 30 odd about cycling. The mention is buried in a survey about population density and how people get around... no recommendations about riding though.
  3. On page 5 Prof Wegman says. "We have an ethical obligation to create an environment where people are not punished by death and injury for their mistakes."

    I disagree, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. That's a bald motherhood statement which doesnt cut it in academic work. Claiming an ethical imperative without justifying the position is lazy.
  4. True, you can not dispute though that road designers have a responsibility to design "safe roads" the determination of what is safe is a complex one. A Stobie pole on the outside apex of a corner is not safe. Designers in other countries have designed roads that curve and are not straight as being the safest, keeping people alert etc.

    I suppose we need to get involved in determining what kind of roads we want. :)
  5. That is an interesting stat. I was actually reading an article the other day on a US study that found that the majority of 18-21 year olds are more interested in smart phones and fashion than cars - and will avoid driving at all if they can.

    Combine this with the fact that cars are now starting to appear on the market with wireless internet as standard and I see a very worrying future of roads filled with people who consider updating their facebook status more important than driving ("just about to rear-end truck BRB LOL"). As Jeremy Clarkson quite rightly pointed out - if someone isn't interested in something then how could they possibly be any good at it.

    The solution, IMO, would be to considerably increase the amount of training (and cost) required to get a licence. This should weed out anyone who is too immature for a car without discriminating against all young people, and should also put off anyone who isn't really interested in driving. Better drivers on the road is the best way to reduce the number of motorcycle deaths.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Going to have to chime in. As someone living in Brisbane where changes to South Australian law wouldn't affect you, it's easy to sit back and say that it's better to raise the price of getting a license to weed immature people out. But by saying this, you are saying only people with money are mature. I find this to almost be opposite. The amount of stupid people I know personally who have more money than sense and end up buying stuff that is far more dangerous to the public just because "they can".

    There are a lot of people who are very mature but don't have loads of money to spare and I don't think it's fair they shouldn't get a chance at enjoying to ride a motorcycle primarily because they are too poor to do so. It's hard enough to pay bills and get an education and look after kids let alone get a motorcycle license, making it more expensive won't change idiots going out on the road and being stupid. It will simply encourage people to ride illegally - which this trend was proven when they raised the prices last time, it hasn't changed anything but force more people to not bother getting a license and just break the law, obviously missing out on all the safety benefits of the training.
  7. No, I'm saying increase the level of training to weed immature people out - an increase in cost is simply an inevitable side effect of this.

    Of course the cost of getting a licence in Australia is actually incredibly cheap compared with most other countries - even though our average salary is quite high. It's something that would take time, but less drivers = less money spent on upgrading roads = more money to spend on improving availability of cheap public transport.
  8. Jack, reread with the bolded emphasis.
  9. I understand the bolded bits, but whether or not it's for a car, it's still going to have a side effect on a motor cycle license. It cost me a couple hundred to go from my L's to P's than full license for my car, where as it's over $1000 for a bike license. Increasing the price for a car license will encourage more training for cars and bikes which is already expensive = side effect.

    I do see your point and I am always encouraging the Government to introduce innitatives that focus on safety of other roads users, especially motorcyclists, just want to make sure they are on the right path and not on the money path.
  10. Thanks Rob. :)

    Edit: Oh and JackJagger if money was such a problem why get both licences? Surely you only need one.
  11. It's the eternal quandary. Riders generally feel that more training will make them safer. But training costs.

    It'd certainly make riders safer if DRIVERS were better at driving. Current thinking from the authorities is that this is best achieved through supervised hours. Vicroads and RACV have an L2P (L's to P's) driver study going on at the moment that might change their view on training.
  12. I have a partner, she does not have a license. She does not feel comfortable getting on the back of a bike which i very much respect. I use the bike because it's cheaper for me to get to work.