"Over the last ten years total vehicle kilometres travelled in Australia increased by around 14 per cent […] the growth in motorcycle and scooter usage was very high 82 percent” - quoted from Australian Transport Council (ATC 2011, p12)
The Australian Transport Council (2011, p12) believes that the rapid increase in motorcycle activity experienced during this time was unforeseen at the start of the decade and contributed to a 17 per cent increase in annual rider fatalities between 2000 and 2010.An increase in motorcycle riding is a road safety issue because, as Johnston et al. (2008, pvii) have found: per vehicle kilometre travelled, the Australian rate of motorcyclist deaths is approximately 30 times the rate for car occupants, and the corresponding rate for serious injury for motorcycle riders is 41 times higher.
Motor scooters with a capacity of 50cc or less (mopeds) appear to be growing in popularity, particularly for commuters in urban areas. These scooters do not require motorcycle licences.
As riders receive no specific training, other than that required for a car driver’s licence, this can pose some issues in relation to vehicle handling and control and how they interact in the traffic environment. Some motor scooter/moped riders may not understand their rights and responsibilities, e.g., safe and legal scooter riding practices, registration and insurance issues.
Australian Transport Council 2008, National Road Safety Action Plan 2009 and 2010, Australian Transport Council, Canberra, ACT, Australia.
Australian Transport Council 2011, National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020, Australian Transport Council, Canberra, ACT, Australia.
Department of Transport and Main Roads 2011, 2010 Year In Review Road Crash Report, Queensland Government, Accessed 23/05/12 from the 2010 Year In Review Road Crash Report (PDF, 190KB).
Johnston, Peter, Brooks, Chris and Savage, Hamilton 2008, Road Safety Research and Analysis Report Monograph 20: Fatal and serious road crashes involving motorcyclists, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Australian Government, Canberra, ACT.
Queensland Transport 2008, Queensland Road Safety Action Plan 2008-2009: safe4life, Queensland Government, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Royal Automobile Association of South Australia 2001, Living with the Motor Car: Road Safety, RAASA, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.