Tuesday 8, April 2008 Media release From the Minister for Roads and Ports -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Parliamentary Secretary, Martin Pakula today announced a $1.7 million boost to motorcycle safety, funded through the Motorcycle Safety Levy. Mr Pakula said the funding boost was for upgrades to seven motorcycle blackspot areas across the state, and additional funds worth $950,000 will go towards a public education campaign to improve driver awareness of motorcycles at intersections. â€Motorcycling is a lifestyle and pastime for almost 300,000 Victorians, but motorcycling enthusiasts face added risks and vulnerability compared with other road users, â€œMr Pakula said. Motorcyclists account for around 14 per cent of the annual road toll, but making up less than one per cent of travel on Victorian roads. â€œThe Motorcycle Safety Levy is essential to reduce the number of motorcyclists killed and injured each year.â€ Mr Pakula said the seven blackspot areas selected for upgrading are long route projects. â€œThe aim of long route projects is to generate more consistent conditions along the entire length of the road. Such projects generally include improvement to the road surfaces, linemarking, the installation of motorcycle friendly signage, improved barrier protection and other upgrades to create consistency along a route,â€ Mr Pakula said. â€œPreliminary investigations into the impact of the Motorcycle Safety Levy have shown an indicative 38 percent reduction in motorcycle casualty crashes at locations that have been upgraded.â€ The following locations are to receive upgrades: $355,000 for the Willogrove Road, Baw Baw Shire - upgrades include installing more safety signage, reflective guideposts and guard fences; $348,000 for Victoria Street, Melbourne - upgrades include improvements to the road surface, line marking, removal of oil build up at intersections and new pavement; $308,000 for Philip Island Tourist Road, Bass Coast Shire - upgrades include installing more safety signage, resurfacing sections of the road and removal of bollards near the carriageway; $305,000 for Buchan Orbost Road, East Gippsland Shire - upgrades include curve widening and edge of road improvements at high risk locations, removing vegetation and installing more safety signage; $250,000 for St. Kilda Road, St. Kilda - upgrades include road resurfacing to remove unevenness, removing oil build up and trimming back foliage to improve visibility; $92,000 for Bright-Tawonga Road, Alpine Shire - upgrades include installing more safety signage and sealing the road surface; $89,000 for Back Beach Road, Philip Island, Bass Coast Shire - upgrades include removing redundant roadside objects, installing more safety signage and installing reflective guideposts. Mr Pakula said the public awareness campaign would be specifically aimed at addressing the number of motorcycle crashes that occur at intersections. â€œBetween 2001 and 2005, 37 percent of serious casualty motorcycle crashes in Victoria occurred at an intersection. In urban areas it was even higher at 54 percent,â€ Mr Pakula said. â€œThe education campaign is an important part of the Governmentâ€™s commitment to raise awareness about motorcycle safety. â€œThe Brumby Government continually works with the Victorian Motorcycle Advisory Council to direct funds raised through the Motorcycle Safety Levy back to a wide range of initiatives to improve motorcycle safety.â€ The Motorcycle Safety Levy is paid by motorcyclists as part of their TAC premium when renewing their registration.