Police call for more motorcycle safety

by Mike Isle

After three motorbike fatalities already this year, Canterbury Police are calling for greater care from drivers and cyclists.

Senior Sergeant Kelly Larsen said the death or serious injury of any on the roads is a tragedy for all involved.

“Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable because they don’t have the same level of protection as car drivers and are often less visible.

“We want to see riders and pillion passengers out enjoying themselves.

But, more importantly, we want to see them arriving home safely.

“Everyone, riders and drivers, has a role to play in making sure this happens,” Sergeant Larsen said.

Police say that as a high-risk group, motorcyclists are encouraged to refamiliarise themselves with guidelines and regulations to keep themselves safe.

These include having the appropriate licence for the size of bike, ensuring the motorcycle is registered, warranted and in a safe working condition, and wearing the right safety clothing and footwear.

Sergeant Larsen said the right safety clothing doesn’t include bare skin and jandals, regardless of how hot weather conditions are.

A safety helmet is mandatory, but Sergeant Larsen recommended helmets be replaced after five years of use.

One further law, possibly less known but still important for safety, is that everyone riding a motorcycle manufactured on or after January 1, 1980 must always have the headlight switched on when on the road. 

However, it is not only motorcyclists that need to take care, Senior Sergeant Kelly said.

“We are asking drivers to be equally responsible. Police would like to see everyone driving to the conditions, with courtesy, patience and respect for other road users.”

Sergeant Larsen says that drivers should remember to:

• Check blind spots and mirrors—motorbikes are not as visible as cars and can be easily missed.

• Know that motorcyclists can appear quickly.

• Pay attention at intersections and while changing lanes.

“If everyone takes a little more care, I am confident we can see less harm on our roads,” Sergeant Larsen said.