Police urge motorists to have greater motorcycle awareness

FOLLOWING the death of a motorcyclist west of Dorrigo on the weekend, Police are appealing to all road users to maintain awareness and drive safely.

Saturday's incident at Fernbrook was tragically one of four motorcycling deaths in the space of only three days on NSW roads. 

Assistant Commissioner John Hartley of the state's Traffic & Highway Patrol Command said motorbike riders and other road users should be aware of their abilities, surroundings and responsibility toward each other.

"These recent deaths have highlighted the need for greater motorcycle awareness on our roads - for everyone. Those that are new to riding, or have returned to riding after some years need to be aware of their abilities," Assistant Commissioner Hartley said.

"Motorcycle crashes can happen in good conditions with no other vehicles involved. Even experienced riders need time to react to changing situations on the road. Sometimes, you might be going too fast for the road conditions, even though you may be riding below the speed limit," he said.

"It takes three-quarters of a second to make a decision to act once you see a hazard, and the same time again for the action to be effective," he said.

Assistant Commissioner Hartley warned that motorcycles are harder to see than other vehicles because they are smaller, blend easily into the background, can accelerate faster than other vehicles and it can be difficult to judge their approaching speed.

"Motorists need to be aware that with basic observation, many dangerous situations can be avoided," Assistant Commissioner Hartley said.

Tips for drivers to share the road with motorcyclists include:

  • Remember to scan the road environment and watch for motorcycles, especially when you approach intersections.
  • Cars have blind spots that can be large enough to obscure your view. Look over your shoulder before you make a move of any kind.
  • Check your mirrors and blind spots often, and give motorcycles room in traffic.
  • When you're getting out of a parked car, check for motorcycles before you open the door.
  • When you're pulling out from the kerb, look especially for motorcycles. They have a narrower profile than cars and can quickly appear.
  • Do the same during any manoeuvre. Motorcycles can turn up in the most unexpected places.
  • Give motorcycles space. They may have to avoid an obstacle that might not matter to drivers, but could be a serious problem for them.

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