A new off-road motorcycle rider safety campaign is launching today to help reduce the number of preventable off-road riding injuries and fatalities.
Off-road motorcycle riding is an increasingly popular outdoor lifestyle activity for many Victorians – and with warmer and drier weather on the way, many are set to venture out on their motorbikes and off-road this summer.
However, there’s one thing riders can always expect to encounter when venturing off-road: the unexpected. Riding styles and environments may vary, and motorcycle riding can be dangerous.
Since 2019, Victoria has recorded 33 fatalities among off-road motorcycle riders – and for every off-road fatality there are hundreds of injuries, many of which are preventable.
The campaign, developed by the Department of Health in response to a Victorian Coroner’s Court recommendation following a young female rider’s tragic death, will increase rider awareness and preparedness of potential hazards, encourage the use of protective gear on every ride, and support young riders to ride more safely.
To reduce the number of riding injuries and fatalities, on every ride, riders should wear a good-fitting helmet, body armour, and all the right protective gear – even if only practising.
Riders should also prepare their motorbikes for the weather and riding conditions by checking before each ride that their headlights and brake lights work, that there’s good tread on their tyres, and the throttle doesn’t stick.
Finally, we want riders to make it home safely after a great ride, by anticipating and avoiding obstacles and staying alert for changing and hazardous conditions. Beginners should practise and prepare with an experienced rider who can act as a guide on unfamiliar trails. All riders should avoid riding alone, and always let someone else know where they plan to ride.
Extra precautions for off-road rides should include taking a fully charged phone, using a personal locator beacon, and bringing a first aid kit.
This campaign was developed in partnership with off-road motorcycle organisations, riders and affiliated organisations to ensure it reaches our broad off-road riding community.
Reviewed 19 December 2022