I sometimes hear it said that such an attitude is irresponsible because if I am injured, I will be a burden on my fellow taxpayers (which obviously rules out a lot of people who don't pay tax) due to our socialised healthcare system.
The shared cost is not disputed, but should we modify our behaviour merely because we have a health system that discourages individual choice?
In my view, the health system needs to change. If we are reckless or irresponsible, we should bear the cost ourselves. If health insurers are legally permitted to take risk into consideration and regard motorcycling as risky, they will raise premiums.
More broadly, as a society we must stop trying to force other people to conform to our idea of what is safe, sensible or responsible. The only aspect that should concern us, and the law, is whether others are harmed.
Indeed, we should celebrate the benefits of motorcycling. Motorcycles ease congestion in cities, use less fuel, require fewer parking spaces, produce fewer emissions and cause less road wear than other vehicles.
And yet when it comes to public policy, we are barely an afterthought. In the 173-page National Road Safety Strategy Review, just two pages are devoted to motorcycling. The majority of politicians and policy makers are not motorcyclists and share the common view that we are all mad.
If we learn to speak with a louder voice, this will change. Our numbers are growing, with motorcycling more popular than ever.
In most states, motorbike registration has outstripped car registration on a percentage basis for the last five years.
In my next term, I intend to seek amendments to the National Road Safety Strategy that reflect respect for motorcycling. I would particularly like to see the best aspects from each state (such as lane filtering and footpath parking) incorporated into the national strategy.
And I will do my best to encourage opinionated police officers to stick to what they know.
Discuss in our Forums
See what other readers are saying about this article!
Click here to read & post comments.
20 posts so far.