Minister for Road Safety Mark Bailey has rallied five-time world MotoGP champion Mick Doohan to help plead with riders and drivers to make safety a priority these Christmas holidays.
Mr Bailey said he was so shocked by the rising road toll, and in particular the recent spate of motorcycle fatalities, that he called Mr Doohan to help get the message through.
“The statistics are alarming – 10 motorcycle riders (as of 20/12) have been killed on the road this month alone in Queensland,” Mr Bailey said.
“That’s 62 (as at 20 Dec) motorcycle riders that have lost their lives this year – a quarter of the overall road toll.
“We’re four days out from Christmas and our road toll is already at 244 (20/12) – seven more than last year.
“This is a tragic loss of life and it is unacceptable.
“I urge drivers, riders, pedestrians, passengers and cyclists to all take ownership of their behaviour and travel safely and considerately.
“I especially plead with every motorcycle rider in Queensland to do the right thing on the road – ride to the speed limit, slow down in wet weather, wear a helmet and protective clothing, obey the road rules and don’t ride under the influence.
“I want to thank Mick Doohan for helping to spread the important road safety message, especially during the holiday season.”
Mr Doohan, who helped launch the Palaszczuk Government’s Sixth Sense motorcycle campaign earlier this year, again urged riders to use their sixth sense on the road to reduce their chances of a crash.
“Sixth sense is the high level of awareness required to ride a motorcycle safely,” Mr Doohan said.
“It’s that unique instinct that helps us read the road, the conditions, the potential hazards and to stay focussed and in control.
“It doesn’t matter if riders are experienced, or just starting out, it is essential they keep their wits about them, trust their instincts on the road and anticipate mistakes by others.”
Chris Mearns, President of the Motorcycle Riders’ Association of Queensland said he’s concerned with the increase in fatalities and that all road users need to be more vigilant.
“We have seen an increase in the number of multi vehicle crashes involving motorcycles resulting in fatalities this year,” Mr Mearns said.
“When it is a motor vehicle driver at fault, the usual response is that they did not see the motorcycle.
“We are supportive of educating motorcyclists about road safety but other drivers need to be wary too.”
Mr Bailey said that with Christmas just a few days away, it was timely to drive or ride safely.
“Don’t remember this Christmas for all the wrong reasons. Please be safe on the road,” Mr Bailey said.