Motorcycle safety takes priority
‘‘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.
Police Senior Sergeant Kelly Larsen.