Older riders urged to update their skills
By ZOE SINCLAIRzoe@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org
AGE doesn't always equal expertise on the road, according to Gladstone police.
Gladstone District Inspector Rowan Bond said while motorcycle accidents in the region had decreased in the past three years, there had been an increase in the number of motorcyclists aged over 40 injured in accidents.
'Motorcyclists are vulnerable road users and in accidents they (motorcyclists) usually result in injury,' Insp Bond said.
He said he was concerned many mature-aged motorcyclists took up riding after many years of not riding and didn't realise the changes in traffic conditions and the bikes.
Inspector Rowan Bond encouraged mature-aged riders to take part in a motorcycle training course such as QRide.
'You never forget how to ride but the traffic changes and the bikes get bigger and more powerful,' Insp Bond said.
Fifty of the 221 road fatalities on Queensland roads this year have been motorcyclists.
At about 23 percent of the road toll, motorcyclists are over-represented with motorbikes only making up three per cent of the total registered vehicles.
Gladstone Ulysses secretary and treasure Don Pascoe said he too had noticed a phenomenon of older riders taking up riding again after many years, unprepared for the newer bikes.
'It's a real problem,' Mr Pascoe said.
'The change in the new bikes is quite different.'
He also encouraged riders to update their skills with courses and said it was worthwhile becoming involved in a motorcycling club like Ulysses, which provided defensive riding courses and where members' experience could be shared.
'What came naturally 20 years ago doesn't come naturally any more ? you have to relearn it,' Mr Pascoe said.