January 10, 2017 at 8:52 am #16386
Rank: 1200cc Rider
- Bike: Suzuki DR650 ADV
Call to ditch motorcyclists’ ACC levy as figures show little has been spent on safety
Only a fraction of the money raised from a Government motorcycle levy launched six years ago has been spent on road safety.
Meanwhile, the toll of motorcyclists killed on the roads has risen significantly – in 2015, 54 bikers died, making up 17 per cent of all road deaths that year.
Critics have attacked the levy, with one calling it “delusional”, but ACC says safety investments made as a result will soon exceed the money collected.
Dog and Lemon Guide’s Clive Matthew-Wilson says median barriers, roadside fencing, and harder license tests are needed …
Ulysses Club president Mike Dew said bikers were “frustrated” at the lack of spending, and better research was needed into motorcycle safety.
“I don’t agree that this money we’ve collected should be spent on improving the roads. I think it should be spent on research,” Dew said.
Labour MP Sue Moroney says the “sluggish” pace of spending should concern bikers and taxpayers generally.
By October, $15.1 million, excluding investment income, was collected through the levy, then-ACC minister Nikki Kaye said.
Spending from that on safety projects was only $2.9m, projected to reach $6.3m by June this year.
Labour transport spokeswoman Sue Moroney said the road toll showed the levy had brought no demonstrable improvements.
A lack of progress in reducing the death toll for motorcyclists show the safety levy is ineffectual, critics say.
The 54 motorcyclists killed in 2015 were the most since 1997. Fifty died last year, compared with 33 the year after the levy started.
“There was a lot of anger from motorcyclists at the time, and they predicted this would happen.”
She said taxpayers should be concerned at “sluggish” investments in safety.
The levy fell from $30 to $25 last year, but Moroney said it should be scrapped, or overhauled.
FOCUS ON RESEARCH
An ACC spokeswoman said the agency was focused on research that would form “a strong evidential base” for targeted motorcycle safety initiatives.
“ACC has already approved $15m over 10 years for a motorcycle road engineering programme to address high-risk motorcycle routes,” she said.
ACC intended spending $4m of levy funds this financial year.
It was working with other agencies to give motorcycle safety a special focus, and $3.5m would go to 5000 training places on the Ride Forever course.
Other levy funds would go to road safety improvement, including barriers, and a motorbike awareness campaign targeting car drivers.
The levy price would be reviewed next year, and bikers would be consulted on that.
Motorcycle Safety Advisory Council chairman Mark Gilbert said the speed at which money was spent should not determine the levy’s success.
“That fund is sort of like an initiator for doing things … looking back, you could say ‘Yeah, it has been a bit slow,’ but there’s been a lot of lessons learnt.
“Whatever money we have in that motorcycle levy bucket isn’t going to fix motorcycle safety at $1.8m of income a year.”
But Dog and Lemon editor and road safety campaigner Clive Matthew-Wilson called the levy “another delusional road safety policy”.
“The highest-risk groups at present are middle-aged men riding large and very expensive bikes. The additional cost to these groups was nearly meaningless.”
He said the $3.5m was being “squandered” on training, when it was universally accepted that advanced training for bikers was ineffective at reducing crashes.
He believed New Zealand needed harder licence tests for older riders of big bikes, and road design changes.
Median barriers and roadside fencing would help, “because it’s generally far safer for a motorbike rider to hit a wire median barrier than a tree, or to slide into the path of an oncoming car”.
Attachments:January 10, 2017 at 10:54 am #16392
Rank: 1200cc Rider
- Bike: KLX150L, R1200GS
Clive Matthew-Wilson states “…it’s generally far safer for a motorbike rider to hit a wire median barrier than a tree”. Erm, I’d like to see the study that backs up this claim of greater motorcyclist safety from wire median barriers. Humans without the protection of a metal cage (a car) tend not to fare very well sliding along cheese wire at the side of the road.
I’ve just booked into another Ride Forever course for this weekend. The last one I attended was surprisingly good fun and taught me the importance of practising emergency braking and low speed handling on a regular basis with all my bikes. As a bonus to attending the course, my insurance company will halve my excess of any accident claim I might need to make and rebate the cost of the course to my policy.January 18, 2017 at 9:02 pm #16500
Rank: 1000cc Rider
- Bike: DL650, DRZ250, DRZ400S,
Such is the quality of present day reporting that people are quoted without having to provide any back up for their views, or if they do the paper doesn’t acknowledge it.
Where is the evidence to support the statement that rider training doesn’t work? Or the assertion that a wire rope barrier is better than a smooth face barrier?
Also, if someone here can enlighten me, how do we know whether the situation is getting better or worse if we don’t know the population of motorcylists and the kilometers traveled? All we ever see if how many people died/got injured. How many bikes were there this year?
According to the report on the NZTA website
the greater number of deaths are either totally or at least partially the fault of the biker. I was also told that on the Ride Forever courses I went on, which I thought were good value.January 23, 2017 at 9:50 am #16528
Rank: 50cc Rider
- Bike: KLX400R
Hear, hear Old Beer. While this story is slagging off ACC, for my money the ACC appears to be speaking the most sense here – actually preferring to gather data. There are almost certainly more motorcyclists on the road than 10 years ago, so you’d expect more deaths – but without numbers we don’t know if they are dying at the same rate, greater or lesser… and it’s almost certainly lesser. Greater density of traffic means fewer accidents anyway, and increasing numbers of bikes must be making some impression – if you’ll pardon the expression – on even the most oblivious car drivers. Then, before you can pronounce on the worth of training, you’d also need to compare deaths among those who haven’t attended training with the death rate for those who have. Without it, or any international evidence, the view of the Dog and Lemon bloke is just tart yelping. I didn’t have an opinion about him before, being barely conscious of his existence, but at least he’s cleared that up for me. He’s a knob. And more cheese wire is the solution for bikers? Really?
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