Motorcycle Awareness Month - Look twice 04 September 2019 For many motorcyclists, the start of spring marks the real riding season and Motorcycle Awareness Month. Our Council supports the Motorcycle Safety Advisory Council (MSAC) and ACC, to let people know that more motorcyclists will be on the road, so look twice for motorcyclists. Many motorbike riders enjoy our Coromandel Peninsula Loop. Whether you ride or drive, everyone plays a part in motorcycle safety. “This is a timely reminder to all road users to pay attention and make good decisions so everybody can get where they’re going safely,” says Ingrid Le Fevre our Road Safety Co-ordinator. With more bikes back on the road, we’re asking drivers to do three things: Look twice before changing lanes Double check at intersections Check blind spots. "These three simple things have the potential to prevent a large number of motorcyclist injuries on the roads," says Ingrid. “It might seem simple, but to a rider these small actions can make all the difference." With its beautiful scenery and curving rhythm, the Coromandel is a favourite for motorcyclists because the main route (State Highway 25) is a loop. The ride is challenging, which means the things that make it enjoyable also make it risky. That’s why you need to keep your head in the game. The Coromandel Loop is made up of two loops: Northern Loop (187.8km) Southern Loop (129.7km) It is recommended to stop regularly on your ride, so be sure to check out NZTA's handy map of the Coromandel here with distances between main towns and rest stops so you can start planning. MSAC and ACC are asking riders to check their bike is in good condition before getting back on the road. Motorcycles can develop mechanical issues from being stored in the garage or outside during winter. The easiest way to check is to get a trained mechanic to give your bike a basic maintenance check. Riders should check their gear is still in tip-top condition and providing the right level of protection. MotoCAP is a free resource providing independent safety star ratings for motorcycle gear. “Wearing high quality motorcycle gear can reduce injury severity and improve recovery rates by 30%,” says MSAC member Johan Bosch. Lastly, we recommend riders refresh their riding skills every year with a Ride Forever course. Ride Forever is a training programme for motorcyclists, developed by ACC. It provides coaching for riders of all skill levels and is available across the country. Dave Keilty, ACC’s Injury Prevention Lead - Road, says “the increase in riders over summer sees the number of motorcycling injuries increasing. “We want riders to take a moment before getting back on the bike to refresh their skills with Ride Forever coaching.” ACC research shows riders who complete a Ride Forever course are 27% less likely to crash and submit a claim with ACC. “In 2018, 52 riders, including 4 pillions were fatally injured on their motorbikes. ACC provided treatment, help and support for 7,673 riders after they’d been injured on a bike. Of those claims 4,013 were new claims made in 2018. The total cost of motorcycle-related claims in 2018 was $129 million. Added to this are the human costs to the rider, their families and their friends and other road users. We’d like to see those crash numbers decrease,” says Mr Keilty. For more information visit www.rideforever.co.nz or motorcycleawarenessmonth.co.nz.