Putting Safety First Should be More than a Slogan
In Australia during 2012, there were 118.5 motorcycle fatalities per billion kilometres travelled. In the same year there were 3.8 driver fatalities for the same distance travelled. Motorcycle driving is 31.3 times riskier than motor vehicle driving. Moreover while the number of overall road fatalities in Australia declined by 18% from 2000 -2009, the number of motorcycle fatalities increased by 17%. During 2010, one in five road fatalities in Queensland were motorcycle riders. How is a Spyder Roadster safer than a motorcycle? Consider the very issues identified as causing many motorcycle crashes – braking, overtaking, changing lanes, visibility of the vehicle and driver visibility of other vehicles. On all of these safety issues, the Spyder Roadster is remarkably safer. Indeed there is not a single safety issue where the Spyder is inferior to a motorcycle. Cornering in itself is a big safety issue. According to the Office for Road Safety in West Australia, in rural and regional areas, the majority of motor cycle crashes are single vehicle and ‘many of these relate to misjudging cornering.’ The Spyder Roadster corners like a motor vehicle, not requiring leaning or counter steering. On this major safety issue alone, the Spyder Roadster is a far safer vehicle than a motorcycle. The significant safety advantage in cornering is compelling in itself, however consider too that in 2011 in Victoria one in five motorcycle crashes were caused by over-taking or head on crashes. The smart-car footprint alone of the Spyder Roadster means it also has a major safety advantage in overtaking and changing lanes. On top of that the rider has better visibility of other vehicles, because of the car-like way the driver sits on the Spyder. There are ten safety advantages a Spyder Roadster Trike enjoys over a motorcycle: 1. Safer cornering; 2. Safer over-taking; 3. Safer lane changing; 4. Safer handling in poor weather; 5. Safer braking distances; 6. Safer due to road centre slick avoidance; 7. A Spyder Roadster driver has better visibility of other vehicles; 8. Other vehicles have better visibility of the Spyder Roadster; 9. Rollover mitigation; 10. Its stability reduces steering mishaps due to bumps in the road or avoiding obstacles. The Spyder Roadster also eliminates the fear of falling off or down. And yet, the current laws require experienced motor vehicle license holders get and hold a motorcycle license for twelve months before they can get a Trike only motor-cycle license. In other words to ride my Spyder Roadster I have to place myself at higher risk of injury or death for twelve months or more. Why? Because the Government is refusing to make the license changes required for better safety, in direct conflict with the advice of expert public servants.
If you are a paraplegic you can get a Trike license without the need to get a motorcycle license. In other words able bodied people are forced to risk the very injuries of a paraplegic for twelve months or more to get the safer Trike only license. I petition the Government to change the laws to enable motor vehicle license holders to get a Trike only motor cycle license, following written and practical assessment. Such a move will save lives and prevent unnecessary serious injuries. Not only is it safer, it’s my choice.