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Zombie motorcyclists [vic]

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by zenali, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. A week ago I was looking at the year-to-date road toll for Victoria on the TAC Crash Stats website. At that time (July 6) there were 33 motorcycle fatalities so far this year.

    Looking again today (July 14) I noticed that there are 32 motorcycle fatalities listed.

    I can draw only two conclusions. Either the zombie apocalypse is upon us, in which case we'd better run because they're riding freakin' motorcycles, or Jesus is back, and he's riding a freakin' motorcycle!

    Or, I suppose, somebody was overzealous and added a non-road fatality to the road toll.

    Either way, we are now only 13 over where we were this time last year. Still too many in my opinion, but better than the way things had been going.
  2. Re: Zombie motorcyclists

    Jesus rides a Yamaha - there is even a song about it
    seriously though - have you done the maths to see how much it throws out of whack Ken Lays stats ?

    even more seriously -- Jesus really does ride a Yamaha - he is my wingman :)
  3. It does throw Ken Lay's stats out, but not by a whole lot. We were never responsible for the increase in the road toll - only a portion of it.

    But I did some trawling through the TAC crash database to see how the motorcycle fatality numbers bounce around over the years. Last year was an extremely low fatality count for motorcycles. In the past 20 years it has been lower only once, and one other time it was equally low. That made me think that maybe this year wasn't such an outlier after all.

    No such luck I'm afraid. I selected the date range from January 1st to July 13th for each year from 2004 to 2010 so that I could compare the 'year to date' road toll with the equivalent time period in previous years. It isn't a pretty picture.


    There is a very clear uptick this year compared to the preceding years. I'd expect noise in the data, but this looks like more than noise to the naked eye. I haven't corrected for numbers of motorcycles - I'll do that when I get a chance. But we don't have data for the number or registered motorcycles this year (yet) and the figures aren't that reliable for previous years. But given that the Federal Chamber for Automotive Industry has said that the figures for the first 2 quarters of 2010 were soft compared to previous years, I don't think that an increase in the number of bikes on the road would explain the uptick we've seen this year.
  4. Interesting, spokes.com.au and tacsafety have different (higher) stats.. Maybe I'm too tired and not thinking well, but http://www.tacsafety.com.au/jsp/con...000010080CB01C9E47EBA&navLink=null&pageID=162 looks to have fair bit higher stats.. Bar graph pic at http://www.tacsafety.com.au/upload/stats-motorcyclist-fatalities.png

    Waits for people to yell at me because my brain is in *off* position atm hehehehe


    Ahhhh, you have the date to current, not year!!! Ok, Im off to bed! Sorry *blushes* (see, brain is on OFF!)
  5. Re: Zombie motorcyclists


    zen, speaking of comparing back 20 odd years I recall reading something about the toll dropping 30% in '90 (introduction of Federal Black Spot prog) ... but '89 was a particularly bad year for the 80s and '90 represented something of a recovery by comparison.

    What did catch my eye was that in '89 freeway speed limits dropped from 110 to 100 ... reduced speed but there was an increase in the toll. :-s

    Is there some sort of parallel here ... reduction in speed limits (& tolerance) commensurate with spike in revenue and also the toll?

    Edit: Just to quickly add/ask, as passengers are separated out in the stats from drivers, I'd have thought pillions should also be ... what do you think?
  6. So, what do vegeterian zombies eat????

  7. Zenali,

    I would expect that crash number to be bigger, there has been a massive increase in bike registrations, it stands to reason that the more people out there riding the more accidents will happen. Can you make the graph per X registered vehicles?
  8. I'll have a go at that today if I get a chance, but we don't have registration figures for this year (and I'm not sure how reliable the figured for earlier years are).

    Either way, that wouldn't explain the sudden increase in fatality rate. The increase in registrations has been going on for the past five years, with somewhere between 40% and 50% more bikes and scooters on the road in that time. (I've read different versions of the figure.) But the past year or so has seen weaker sales figures, which suggests that the rate of increase in registrations has been tapering off. I wouldn't expect a sudden spike in fatalities after the rate of increase has declined. That is what makes me wonder what else is behind this pattern.

    Of course, it could always be a statistical aberration. Some years are just worse than others. 2001 was a particularly bad year, and 2009 was a particularly good year. But the preceding years had similar numbers of bikes on the road and a downward trend in fatalities. This year is has actually turned that trend upward. If there is something driving the increase I'd be very interested to know what it is.

    EDIT: here are the rego stats from Chollima in another thread:

  9. Re: Zombie motorcyclists

    i agree they should be

    compare apples to apples etc for stats
    not twist it to suit the political agenda of the day
  10. Awesome :D

    Seriously though, isn't comparing the death toll to last year a bit misleading?

    Maybe last year certain roads had better surfaces, maybe a couple of people in particular weren't riding, a few branches didn't end up on an S-bend, etc.

    Doesn't give you a great idea about how people are coming off, just that they did.
  11. That is a fair point. I plan to sift through the VicPol crash map to see if I can glean any patterns from the accidents. It could simply be one of those statistical artifacts - some years are higher than others. There have also been a couple of multiple bike crashes which inflate the numbers.

    But what caught my eye was that the spike is actually very dramatic. It might be ab aberration, but it could just as easily be that something is going on. A prolonged riding season brought about by the late onset of winter, for instance. Or the fact that some of the popular motorcycle roads were closed last year because of the fires, which artificially lowered the accident rate. Or perhaps the fact that some roads are being targeted for police enforcement means that more people are riding on unfamiliar roads with worse surface conditions.

    It just looks to me as though something is up, and I would like to know what.
  12. Definitely valid. If you can find where the crashes occured you might get your answer.
  13. This link has been posted elsewhere but it maps vic accidents with limited details when you click on the green motorcycles.
    VicPol Accident Locations
  14. Thanks Joe. I was going to search to find that link. :)
  15. Re: Zombie motorcyclists

    The one I heard said it was a Vincent...
    (Maybe it was his Dad's?)
  16. By playing to the finite end number without taking contributing factors into account, the TAC and VicPol are in a position which is difficult to counter. Earlier this year Lay went into spin mode about the overall road toll being way above the same time last year, but without any specific group to 'lay' into. The total fell a month later to a figure substantially less than last year, which (of course) was ignored. Now it is spiking up, and a convenient group is available to target, be it unfairly or not.

    ISTM that the effect of weather on driving conditions this year is going back to that which hasn't been seen for 10 or more years. With the increase in new riders, there must be thousands out there who are basically unprepared for this. Another factor to put into the equation?
  17. The reduction would be because once the reports come in (police/coroners etc) any found to be medically caused (heart attack, seizures, blackouts etc), off road and unlicenced etc are removed from the on road tolls (as are deliberate suicides).
  18. Re: Zombie motorcyclists

    I''m sure Hornet will confirm that Moses was the first reference to motorcycles in the Bible...

    "And the sound of his Triumph was heard throughout the land".
  19. Re: Zombie motorcyclists

    It is also well known that the EPA was not nearly as stringent back then.
  20. "Jesus Christ - superstar
    tearing up the streets on a yamaha
    cops are there - they dont care
    because he's wearing bullet proof underwear"