Motorcycle Awareness Month
17th October 2019
Mr GREG PIPER (Lake Macquarie) (18:03:35): Motorcycle Awareness Month was officially launched this morning in The Domain off Hospital Road. I attend the annual ride by the Motorcycle Council of NSW to officially launch Motorcycle Awareness Month with parliamentarians each year. It is invaluable for members to go along and be part of it. It is certainly a lot of good fun. Today was a great day for it—get up early, meet people, have breakfast and enjoy a bit of camaraderie amongst different motorcycle groups, such as the Motorcycle Council of NSW and the Brotherhood Christian Motorcycle Club, and other motorcyclists who come along to meet parliamentarians and talk about road safety issues. This was the launch of Motorcycle Awareness Month, which is important, but it was also the first anniversary of a program called the Motorcycle Clothing Assessment Program. The program takes a better look at the safety standards of motorcycle clothing such as jeans and jackets—including their abrasion resistance when a rider comes off—and of the most important part of a motorcyclist's safety gear, their helmet.
It was pleasing that Minister Constance made time to come along and talk to people about motorcycle helmet standards. He had a quick look at—and assessed straightaway as being unsafe—the helmet being used by the health Minister. I was very pleased that he brought it to the Minister's attention. The Minister promptly ignored his advice. We were very lucky to have not only people from the Motorcycle Council of NSW and the Brotherhood there but also three Ministers—Andrew Constance, Paul Toole and Brad Hazzard. I thank them all for coming along. Motorcycle awareness is important. I have been riding motorcycles all my life. People seem to think I am having a midlife crisis, but it started when I was 17. I just had a midlife injection of funds so that I could buy more motorcycles—and bigger ones. It is true that I do a lot of riding.
This week we have been talking about legislation to get people off their mobile phones with the rollout of new camera technology to catch drivers using mobile phones and increasing the penalties for their use. Motorcyclists are acutely aware of people who do this, particularly older riders who are a little more aware of their surroundings. I see it in people's eyes. It is something I am incredibly aware of. Having been involved in a head-on accident when I was very young—possibly because I was going too fast but also because the other person was not watching where they were going—I am very aware of people who become distracted when driving at me in a large vehicle. It important to talk about this issue constantly. The new legislation is important and it was wonderful that we could line it up with Motorcycle Awareness Month. The Motorcycle Council of NSW has been running a campaign for years to create awareness for people to get their hands off their phones. It is so important.
Once again, I acknowledge the Government for introducing the new measures to prevent people using mobile phones whilst driving. The Government's actions have probably exceeded the expectations of the Motorcycle Council of NSW. I thank everybody involved, including Kevin "Trip" Henry, Jason Antony and Brian Wood from the Motorcycle Council of NSW. I also thank Ministers Constance, Toole and Hazzard for being there. The member for Coogee, Marjorie O'Neill; the member for Newcastle, Tim Crakanthorp; the member for Barwon, Roy Butler; and the member for Wagga Wagga, Dr Joe McGirr, also attended. We had a talk, got out on the bikes and had a run through Woolloomooloo and back. I say to everyone out there: If you are riding, ride safe and stay upright; and if you are driving, get your hand off it.
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