Mo­tor­cy­cle safety takes pri­or­ity

Christchurch Mail - - TERTIARY EDUCATION - EMMA BEAVEN

‘‘It doesn't mat­ter how long you ride you can still learn new things.’’

Safety ini­tia­tives are aim­ing to re­duce mo­tor­cy­clist deaths in Can­ter­bury, with signs of suc­cess.

Kick Start was an event teach­ing mo­tor­cy­clists de­fen­sive driv­ing skills, or­gan­ised dur­ing spring by the Christchurch City Coun­cil, Waimakariri and Sel­wyn Dis­trict Coun­cils, Po­lice and ACC in con­junc­tion with the Ride For­ever pro­gram.

Po­lice Se­nior Sergeant Kelly Larsen said Can­ter­bury was the only re­gion in New Zealand show­ing a de­creas­ing trend in ACC claims re­sult­ing from mo­tor­cy­cle crashes since 2014, fol­low­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the safety ini­tia­tives.

Mo­tor­cy­cle rid­ers were 19 times more likely be in­jured or die in a crash com­pared with peo­ple trav­el­ling in mo­tor ve­hi­cles.

Kick Start or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee mem­ber David Go­lightly said coun­cil fo­cussed on lo­cal road safety is­sues be­cause of Can­ter­bury’s high rate of mo­tor­bike crashes.

‘‘In the last few years, it’s started to de­cline. We think in part be­cause of the fo­cus we’ve now brought to more spe­cialised rider train­ing,’’ said Go­lightly.

The Ride For­ever pro­gram was de­vel­oped by ACC and pro­vided free na­tion­wide train­ing cour­ses for mo­tor­cy­clists to learn to drive de­fen­sively.

Safety pro­gram co­or­di­na­tor David Keilty said par­tic­i­pants spent eight hours learn­ing de­fen­sive skills with some in­di­vid­ual coach­ing.

Mo­tor­cy­clist Harry Cropp said sit­u­a­tions could al­ways go wrong on the road and he did not want to be another statis­tic.

Cropp’s main con­cern was vis­i­bil­ity and en­sur­ing he could be seen by ev­ery­one on the road.

‘‘It doesn’t mat­ter how long you ride you can still learn new things.’’

Po­lice Se­nior Con­sta­ble Colin Smith said the bet­ter peo­ple’s rid­ing, the less trauma and the less cost to the health sys­tem.

EMMA BEAVEN/STUFF

Po­lice Se­nior Sergeant Kelly Larsen.

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