South Australia Police have launched a new road safety campaign in their efforts to reduce the number of motorcyclists who lose their lives or are seriously injured on the State’s roads.
Designed at reducing speed amongst motorcycle riders, the new campaign calls on those thrill seeking on their bikes to “Back Off” before their thrills turn into some form of grief.
The overall message is aimed at the 20 to 29-year-old male riders who made up the highest numbers of serious injuries suffered between 2018 and 2022.
The Officer in Charge of the Traffic Services Branch, Superintendent Darren Fielke said riding a motorcycle was one of the most dangerous forms of transport with a much higher chance of being involved in a collision.
“Riders are aware of the dangers associated with riding but sadly that is not enough to stop them from making poor decisions and taking extreme risks which too often result in catastrophic outcomes,” Supt Fielke said.
“The campaign was researched thoroughly in one-on-one interviews with motorcyclists, which helped shape the messages,” he said.
“Motorcyclists we spoke to highlight the sense of freedom, their connection to the outside world and the heightened sensory experience that riding gives them.”
He said rather than argue with that, we embraced it to show them what the dark side of those feelings could look like.
Supt Fielke said the new campaign takes the language and phrases used by motorcyclists about why they love riding, and connects them with confronting imagery.
“Riders from the market research said they found the idea extremely relatable with a clear message about motorcycle safety from an unexpected angle.”
“Specifically the campaign is aimed at riders who speed for fun anywhere on SA roads, but with a particular focus on regional roads and the Adelaide Hills region, often losing control of their bike and hitting a fixed object such as a tree.”
The Minister for Police, Joe Szakacs said the research conducted for the campaign revealed “motorcyclists thrive off the sense of danger.”
“With the State’s road toll continuing to climb this year, this new campaign will be a timely slap in the face to motorcyclists who push their limits and remind them to ride to return,” Mr Szakacs said.
The Police said that more than half of the motorcycle crashes (55%) between 2018 and 2021 that saw a life lost or serious injury only involved the motorcycle.
“Most of these crashes (87%) were run-off-road crashes and around half occurred on a curved section of the road.”
They said that in 2022, 13 motorcyclists lost their lives, which was 18% of all lives lost on SA roads that year with 149 motorcycle riders and passengers seriously injured, which accounting for 21% of all serious injuries on our roads that year.
“So far in 2023, nine motorcyclists have lost their lives on South Australian roads, of which five were lost in metro areas, and all of which were male riders.
“In addition there have been 71 serious injuries to motorcyclists, 68 males and three females, while 38 of the crashes occurred in rural areas and 36 crashes in the metropolitan area,” the police said.
The new campaign is to air on TV, digital channels and billboards until the end of June.