Monthly Archives:November 2016

Hazard perception test video clip development world first

15 Nov , 2016,
No Comments

Adelaide based digital media producer Monkeystack has been engaged by Austroads to produce a library of car and motorcycle hazard perception test (HPT) videos and supporting material.

The clips, which will be produced using computer generated imagery (CGI), are in the initial phase of storyboard development in consultation with Austroads member agencies.

In a world first, the new high definition clips will incorporate specific scenarios for motorcycle riders and feature both car or motorcycle dashboard interfaces.

The project will modernise the HPTs currently in use and provide jurisdictions that do not have a HPT the opportunity to introduce the test to enhance their graduated licensing system.

Austroads Chief Executive, Nick Koukoulas said the project will improve novice driver and motorcycle rider safety.

“Young drivers and motorcyclists are over-represented in fatal and serious injury crashes and poor hazard perception skills have been shown to contribute to their crash involvement,” Nick said.

The computer based HPT measures a driver’s or rider’s ability to recognise potentially dangerous situations on the road and respond appropriately. The test is a key part of the licensing process in NSW, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland and has been shown to reduce the likelihood of crashes.

“I am particularly pleased that an Australian company was the successful tenderer for this project,” Nick said.

Established in 2004, Monkeystack has a reputation for high quality interactive and linear CGI productions. The team has won numerous international awards for simulated interactive content.

Director, Justin Wight, said the project’s goals align strongly with Monkeystack’s values.

“We aim to bring productions to life which bring benefit to others, in this instance contributing to greater road safety.”

“We’re proud to have been selected as the provider for the revised hazard perception test clips. Our team of Australian artists and technicians are dedicated to producing an exceptional result,” Justin said.

The project is expected to be completed by mid-2017.

Faith restored in QRide licensing system

7 Nov , 2016,
No Comments

The recent arrest of two QRide instructors for issuing motorcycle licences and 13 falsely licensed riders confirms the system is working well, says the Motorcycle Riders’ Association of Queensland.


MRAQ president Chris Mearns says it shows Queensland Police and the Main Roads and Transport Department are correctly auditing providers.

The MRAQ was part of the committee that reviewed the QRide system. Chris says they asked the QTMR whether they had any concerns about the compliance of current licensing trainers or organisations.

“The answer supplied was that they did have some concerns about a limited number of organisations and that they would be taking the opportunity to ensure that they complied with both the new system for re-certification as well as checking that they had been compliant previously,” he says.

“From the evidence of this police action and the information that it was done in conjunction with the QMTR it is apparent that the extra checking is being done.”

jake Dolan racer and learner rider at AMA training Faith restored in QRide system
AMA is an accredited QRide provider

All QRide training organisations are audited for initial registration as well as on an ongoing basis.

“We understand that the audit system has had some fine tuning for the current re-certification process in conjunction with the new licence system as well as going forward which is aimed at ensuring better compliance,” Chris says.

“The MRAQ strongly believes that the proper training and testing of riders is extremely important to ensure the safety of the newly licensed rider as well as all other road users and that a competency based system as currently implemented is the most appropriate to achieve this.”

Chris says they are not concerned about a conflict of interest with several major retailers also providing motorcycle licence training.

He says the auditing system ensures they are complaint.

“We are convinced that at least the larger licensing organisations attached to retailers take their responsibility on this matter very importantly. They are well aware that what they do and how they provide the training could have adverse ramifications if not professionally done,” Chris says.

Learner riders at the HART course
Learner riders at a HART course

QRide investigations ongoing

QPS says they believe they have cracked a particular fraudulent operation in Beenleigh.

However, South Eastern Region Assistant Commissioner Brian Codd says they are continuing investigations into people suspected of having fraudulently obtained their motorcycle licence.

That could lead to more riders being stopped for licence checks which can be inconvenient and lead to spot-checks of bike roadworthiness.

However, in this case, it’s in the greater good for legal riders if it keeps unlicensed riders off the road.

Unlicensed riders are making the rest of us look bad.

In fact, a high percentage of crashes are by unlicensed riders, so they are also making the road toll statistics worse. Remember, damaging motorcycle crash statistics also leads to more speed enforcement.

Faith Restored in QRide Licensing

Queensland road safety campaigns win awards

4 Nov , 2016,
No Comments

Queensland road safety campaigns win awards

Queensland road safety advertisements continue to gain national and international recognition withanother Join the Drive to Save Lives campaignwinning a state marketing award this week.

Main Roads and Road Safety Minister Mark Bailey, who is attending the road safety national forum in Perth, said it was a fantastic result and a great achievement to see Queensland road safety campaign Are you driving blind? given a five-star rating.

The mobile phone distractions campaign was named the winner of the Australian Marketing Institute (AMI) Queensland social marketing and social change/non-profit state award at a ceremony at South Bank yesterday.

Are you driving blind? presented solutions to motorists to break the deadly habit of using their mobile phones illegally while driving,” Mr Bailey said.

“This included turning off phone notifications, downloading the Road Mode app, or switching their phone to flight mode before starting a journey.

“If you are using a mobile phone while driving, you are driving blind – those few seconds can make a critical difference to the odds of being in a serious crash.

“In the two seconds a driver’s eyes are off the road attending to a phone, a vehicle moving at 60km/h travels 33 metres – and at 100km/h it travels 55 metres. These distances can mean the difference between life and death.”

Mr Bailey said Mates Motel, another Palaszczuk Government road safety campaign, was also named the winner of the national AMI social marketing and social change/non-profit marketing category at AMI Awards for Marketing Excellence held in Sydney last month.

“The ‘Mates Motel’ campaign, part of the Join the Drive to Save Lives road safety campaign presented such a simple and fun solution to keep people safe on our roads,” Mr Bailey said.

“It encouraged people to stay at a mate’s place rather than drive home if they had been drinking.

“As an approach to drink driving, the concept was different to anything the government had done before. Instead of lecturing about drink driving, it offered a solution rather than telling people what not to do.

“Many also took part by creating their own personalised Mates Motel signs on social media and sharing it with friends.”

Mr Bailey congratulated BCM Creative Agency which worked tirelessly with Transport and Main Roads to bring the campaign to life.

“These awards are highly coveted as they recognise excellence in marketing,” Mr Bailey said. “The award was given to the campaign because of its clear application of social marketing principles, creativity, originality of approach, and strong results.”

Join the Drive to save lives has also received International acknowledgement, with its ‘Dry Driver campaign winning the Gold Campaign award at the International Safety Media Awards (ISMA) held in Finland in September 2016.

“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility. If we all make the effort, it will have a positive impact for us all,” Mr Bailey said.

For more information visit:

Are you driving blind? (external site)

Dry Driver (external site)

Mates Motel (external site) (external site)

Car vs Motorbike, cost and time comparison

Nov , 2016,
No Comments

I ride to work every day, it’s certainly satifiying passing what I estimate to be close to a thousand stationary cars every day using a combination of bus lanes, transit lanes and filtering. It’s all the more satifying when you’re moving through cars and seeing the traffic stopped on the paid toll roads like the M2.

I often think about the amount of money spent on tolls, plus the fuel, not to mention environmental costs of dragging a tonne and a half of un-needed metal, plastic and rubber into the city everyday when they’re most often only occupied by a single person.

So recently when I needed to take the car to pickup some push bikes, I thought I would track my movements via GPS and compare it to the bike.

On the bike I skip all the toll roads apart from the Harbour Bridge, which I pay for with the eRider at $90 per quater, not bad value since it’s unlimited usage averaging out to about $1.38 per work day.

Breakdown of cost

Transport Car Bike
L/100 13.0 3.8
L/1 0.13 0.038
Distance 41.9 41.8
Litres of fuel 5.4 1.6
$ per L 1.15 1.15
Fuel Cost $5.45 $1.62
M2 $6.81 $0.00
Lane Cove Tunnel $3.19 $0.00
Bridge $4.00 $1.38
Total Tolls $14.00 $1.38
Total Cost $19.45 $3.00
Difference +$16.45
Annually $4,276.32

That’s an annual saving of $4,276.32 and that’s only in one direction. My initial workings, since there’s no bridge toll on the way home means the bike cost is $1.62 and the car is $15.45 which works out to a difference of plus $13.83 for the car, $3,596.32 annually.

Obviously this will differ for each person but that means the total savings for riding a bike to and from work each year in Sydney is for me $7,872.64.

Now for the environmental impact, total fuel saving is 1994 litres annually and using a ratio of 2.31 kgs per litre (source / backup source) that equates to 4.6 tonne of carbon offset per annum.

Driver think Rider, Rider think Driver – Looking Out – TAC

Nov , 2016,
No Comments

Too many motorcycle riders are dying or being seriously injured on our roads – and it is the responsibility of all of us, both drivers and riders, to change this

Minister to take Queensland road safety agenda to national forum

3 Nov , 2016,
No Comments

Main Roads and Road Safety Minister Mark Bailey will join state and territory road safety ministers and key stakeholders in Perth today to discuss solutions to reduce serious crashes across the nation.

Mr Bailey, Queensland’s first ever road safety Minister, said he was looking forward to taking Queensland ideas and initiatives to the meeting.

“The Palaszczuk Government has made a commitment to the safety of every road user in our state and we have implemented a range of initiatives and strategies aimed at reducing serious crashes which result in death and injury,” Mr Bailey said.

“In August last year we launched the Queensland Road Safety Strategy 2015-21 and Action Plan 2015-17, which committed to an ambitious vision of zero deaths and serious injuries.

“We are challenging the perception that death is an acceptable, albeit tragic, consequence of using our roads. It isn’t – it is unnecessary and unacceptable and we aim to change that mindset.

“Under the action plan, we are investing more than $500 million in road safety programs in Queensland.

“This includes education, community engagement, social media and state-wide campaigns as well as grants to schools, community groups and councils through the Join the Drive to Safe Lives social change program.

“It also includes funding for infrastructure improvements, with 16 safety projects on the Bruce Highway completed costing more than $30 million and a Targeted Road Safety Program, in which we completed 200 projects costing more than $151 million.

“We brought in reforms to motorcycle licensing, double demerit points for two or more mobile phone offences in one year and enhanced the Q-SAFE practical driving test, and a logbook app to help learner drivers and supervisors.

“Since Easter 2015 we have held several road safety forums with community stakeholders including RACQ, Carrs-Q and Queensland Trucking Association, as well as our successful Co-Lab Youth Innovation Challenges in 2015 and 2016 where we have engaged directly with young drivers.

“To help protect our children we have also installed flashing lights in 181 school zones and have 100 more on track for this financial year.”

Mr Bailey said Queensland had many more examples of its commitment to safer roads that it can take to Perth.

“In appointing the state’s first dedicated road safety minister in 2015, this Government made a strong statement about its stance on this important issue,” Mr Bailey said.

“I am a strong supporter of collaboration and I thank the Australian Government for recognising road safety as a national priority.

“I look forward to taking Queensland’s road safety ideas to the national table in Perth and having a robust, positive discussion about how we can prevent serious crashes.”

“Speed Kills” – A Big Fib?

1 Nov , 2016,
No Comments

United Kingdom – The British Superbike School’s Mike Abbott has made what some may regard an outlandish statement (though we at Motorcycle Minds don’t), following the recent publication of the 2015 National Statistics (Great Britain) on road collisions.

His statement that the very misleading “Speed Kills” strap line is a big fib and that it needs to be abandoned, from what is seen as rhetoric used in road safety circles.  Perhaps it is just maybe an easy solution to use for blame when looking for an overarching one stop panacea.

Mike says, that after abandoning the misleading strap line, the need is to “focus on paying attention, train road users properly and significantly increase the levels of traffic policing as RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) have recently proposed.”

Adding that, “A new course is needed on ‘Collision Avoidance’ based on data and solid theory, not hysteria;  on the cause of collisions, the dangers of losing control and how that can be avoided, and the importance of always paying attention – stressed. This could be applied primarily to drivers and riders who have collisions and serious offenders, not marginal speeders who present at best a very low risk.”

Finishing with, “We have collectively allowed ourselves to be hijacked by the anti-speed lobby and misleading populist newspaper stories, and the Government taking an ineffective soft self-funded option rather than dealing properly with the root causes of road fatalities.”

He has also picked up from what he has been told that, “more than half the drivers in the country have now done a Speed Awareness course for minor speed infractions. That’s circa 23 million courses at £90 a go, plus no doubt a healthy profit for the AA who delivers them. Drivers and riders have lost time off work and been fleeced collectively for an estimated £2 billion.”

Having had to take one these courses he surmises that his was, “dominated by confused pensioners (my peer group) many of whom misunderstood how fast they could legally go, so they’ll probably go faster as a result. And we all no doubt spent the next few months looking for speed signs and cameras, as opposed to where we were going.”

However while taking some of the headlines from Mike’s well-constructed article/rant, it is effectively from the perspective of somebody who is actually involved through the:

  • British Superbike School, which provides circuit tuition in motorcycle handling, mastering bike control away from road hazards.
  • SharpRider a DVSA ‘Enhanced Rider Scheme’ intended as extra training for full ‘A’ motorcycle licence holders

the full article is produced below and explains how Mike came to his conclusions.

You may or may not agree with what he has written, whatever perspective of road safety you come from:  as an “expert”, an enthused rider or motorcycle trainer, but as Mike has said to us, “ ‘Advanced Instructors’ mostly fall out with each other anyway, and I am just waiting to be shot at yet again for encouraging reckless riding – it’s become a bit of a theme.” why would this be any different?

We have no doubt there will be disagreement, in fact we know there are many opinions on aspects of improving road safety – reducing collisions – reducing injuries and fatalities.

‘Speed Kills’ – A Big Fib

The 2015 National Statistics on road collisions were published recently. Interesting reading.

Speed does not kill. It is only a ‘contributory factor’ in 16% of fatal accidents.

Regarding just fatalities, these are the top causes as reported by the police:-

Loss of Control                                                   32%

Failed to look properly                                   27%

Careless reckless or in a hurry                     20%

Exceeding the speed limit                            16%

Failed to judge others path or speed         14%

Poor turn or manoeuvre                                 14%

Driving too fast (but within limits)             12%

(DoT – RAS50007 2015)

These don’t add up to 100% as there can be more than 1 contributory factor, but clearly in 84% of fatal accidents, speeding was not a factor.

Regarding published trends for all collisions over the past 5 years, ‘loss of control’ has improved slightly probably due to vehicle developments, but ‘failing to look properly’, being ‘careless reckless or in a hurry’, or ‘making a poor turn or manoeuvre’ have all steadily increased. ‘Driving too fast for the conditions’ is stable at 7%, so no change there, and speeding’ for all collisions isn’t even in the top 10. (Table RAS50002).

We are simply not tackling the primary root causes of fatalities.

In response to an inappropriate focus on ‘speed’, many speed limits have been reduced, speed cameras installed costing £ millions all over the country, ‘safety camera’ partnerships abound.

‘Speed Awareness Courses’ arrived.

I was told at the recent Road Safety (AIRSO) Conference that more than half the drivers in the country have now done a Speed Awareness course for minor speed infractions. That’s circa 23 million courses at £90 a go, plus no doubt a healthy profit for the AA who deliver them. Drivers and riders have lost time off work and been fleeced collectively for an estimated £2 billion.

The focus has succeeded in reducing speed I think (as has it appears high fuel prices). Vehicles are noticeably driven in general more slowly than they were, but this seems to had had little to no effect, as it was never the main problem.

Strangely, those who are convicted of driving or riding significantly over the speed limit don’t have the option of a speed awareness course – which is just plain ‘nuts’, as these people clearly are likely to be the major continuing risk. Maybe this is the problem? My course was dominated by confused pensioners (my peer group) many of whom misunderstood how fast they could legally go, so they’ll probably go faster as a result. And we all no doubt spent the next few months looking for speed signs and cameras, as opposed to where we were going.

This is the 5 year rolling average change of KSI (fatalities and serious injuries) to smooth out peaks and troughs from the latest DoT report:-


Serious casualties have been decreasing significantly during the last 35  years, but are now static (marginal %age improvement), with improvement tailing off over the last 5 years. Look at just the fatalities (excluding serious life changing injuries):-


So in the last 5 years fatalities are about the same – very little improvement. The main explanation for any improvement is probably that cars are getting safer with airbags and ever stiffer crash test requirements. This seems to be confirmed as motorcycle fatalities are actually up 8% in 2015. Mile for mile you are now 57 times more likely to be killed on a motorcycle than in a car.

It could be argued that reduction in speeds has also improved the outcomes, and no doubt that is what the ‘speed lobby’ will claim, but there is no evidence that I have seen to support this. And it’s I believe likely to be far more effective tackling the primary causes of fatal collisions, rather than accepting the worsening situation and trying to minimise the impact (no pun intended).

You can’t argue that speed awareness is reducing the impact speed and severity of collisions, as the number of SKI’s is now static.

The blind focus on speeding to tackle fatalities has failed. Speeding related fatalities hit a low of 194 and 12% in 2012, but show an increasing trend, up to 244 and 16% in 2015. The situation is now significantly worse.

We are all very lucky to have world class emergency services who seem to have been steadily improving survival rates, which again may be a significant factor in reducing deaths.

There are also separate figures included this year from the NHS (not the police) and they show deaths and serious injury admissions from road collisions (MAIS3+) have remained largely unchanged for many years.

As the ‘Speed Awareness’ program has clearly failed, there is talk now of ‘zero tolerance’ for speeders, which is very unlikely to help either. The huge damage already done to the relationship with the police will suffer further. Before speed cameras the police applied common sense to speeders, usually only prosecuting when the speeding was dangerous, and lecturing drivers instead. I believe it worked.

12% of fatalities were actually caused by vehicles within the speed limit but still travelling too fast for the conditions.  And this is even after the reduction in speed limits on very many ‘high casualty’ routes, which I suspect has caught many if not most of the speed awareness attendees. There is no consistency in the application of speed limits which look almost random at times. We have some 30 mph dual carriageways and a 60 mph limit on most single track roads. Ridiculous.

22 million drivers and riders have been lectured on the evils of speeding, misled into believing that keeping within the speed limit is the single most important thing to do, and will help to keep them and others safe. What a misleading wasted opportunity of biblical proportions.

40% of fatalities – two and a half times more than the 16% who were speeding – were caused by a failure to look properly or the miss-judgement of another’s path or speed. Twice as many fatalities as speeding (32%) were caused by the driver/rider losing control. 20% were careless, reckless or in a hurry, 14% were making a poor manoeuver, and 13% were either drunk or drugged (Table RAS50007).

(NB The combination of both speed and losing control contribute to less than 1% of collisions).

The opportunity is there on ‘Speed Awareness Courses’ to present a truthful picture of what actually causes collisions and how to avoid them. Primarily we all need to take more care and pay far more attention, avoid distractions, concentrate.  The fact that you end up on a speed awareness course is because you weren’t paying proper attention!

The key factor of ‘reaction times’ is not stressed. TRL research shows reaction times at least double if you’re not paying attention, increasing stopping distances by 30 foot at 30mph, 60 feet at 60mph, and worse case can be 6 times longer if you can’t recognise a hazard for what it is. Drivers and riders also need to be taught properly how to control their vehicles as ‘loss of control’ is the primary cause of twice as many collisions as speeding, despite all the features on modern vehicles.

Standards of driving are noticeably poor. 55% of drivers fail their tests which is appalling (30% of motorcyclists fail) – so many poor drivers inevitably get through by chance eventually, which may also be a major factor. Training in general needs totally revamping to make it more effective. Vehicle control needs to be taught properly as does such skills as overtaking and driving on a motorway which amazingly are not covered.

There are doubtless often early warnings via minor collisions by which the insurance industry could identify those who need further training, before probably an inevitable ‘big one’.

We need to abandon the very misleading ‘Speed Kills’ strap line, focus on the need to pay attention, train road users properly and significantly increase the levels of traffic policing as RoSPA have recently proposed. Back to ‘Think’?

A new course is needed on ‘Collision Avoidance’ based on data and solid theory, not hysteria, on the cause of collisions, the dangers of losing control and how that can be avoided, and the importance of always paying attention stressed. This could be applied primarily to drivers and riders who have collisions and serious offenders, not marginal speeders who present at best a very low risk.

We have collectively allowed ourselves to be hijacked by the anti-speed lobby and misleading populist newspaper stories, and the Government taking an ineffective soft self-funded option rather than dealing properly with the root causes of road fatalities.

Original Source: Mike Abbott – British Superbike School

Reported road casualties in Great Britain, main results: 2015

SharpRider –