The Queensland Police Service has issued a state-wide safety alert to motorcyclists following a concerning trend of serious crashes and a significant number of motorcycle fatalities already this year.

Twenty-one motorcycle riders have lost their lives and dozens of riders have been seriously injured on Queensland roads this year.

The alarming number of rider fatalities is more than double the average rate and the highest it has been at this time of year in more than five years.

Queensland’s overall lives lost toll is currently 66 which is 22 more than at the same time last year.

Road Policing Assistant Commissioner Ben Marcus said the rising rate of motorcycle fatalities was shocking and had prompted police to issue an urgent safety alert to all riders.

“Twenty-one motorcyclists lost in 10 weeks is of extreme concern and we need all riders, particularly those who are inexperienced, to take note and be extra careful on our roads,” Assistant Commissioner Marcus said. 

“As an avid motorcyclist myself, I know how vulnerable we are as road users and I have seen firsthand how devastating the consequences can be when crashes occur.”

Assistant Commissioner Marcus said a preliminary assessment of fatal motorcycle crashes this year indicated the rider was at fault in at least 70 per cent of cases.

“Rider safety is everyone’s responsibility, but it starts with you as a rider,” he said.

“Your behaviour on the road has direct consequences on your life and those around you.

“With a significant increase in motorcycle registrations in the past 12 months, there are a lot of inexperienced riders on our roads but we have also seen extremely dangerous behaviour across all rider types.”

Police intercepted a 45-year-old male motorcyclist after he was wearing a bicycle helmet and his motorbike did not have a number plate on Fernvale Road at Brassall on March 12.

Police allege the man also provided a BAC of 0.193, almost four-times the legal breath alcohol limit.

An 18-year-old man was also a pillion passenger of the motorcycle. The rider was charged with driving under the influence, unlicensed driving and driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle.

He is due to appear in the Ipswich Magistrates Court on April 16.

“The reality is the actions of this man could have had catastrophic consequences for himself, his young passenger and other road users,” Assistant Commissioner Marcus said.

“We need everyone to stand up and call out bad driving behaviours such as this.”

Police have ramped up speed and general traffic enforcement operations as well as conducting roadside rider engagement. QPS is also providing safety advice to motorcycle groups in key locations and retailers as part of ongoing efforts to prevent further tragedies.

Fast facts

  • 21 motorcycle riders have died on Queensland roads this year, compared to 10 in 2020, 9 in 2019 and 11 in 2018.
  • An estimated 70% of fatal motorcycle crashes have been considered rider error
  • Queensland’s Lives Lost toll is 66, compared with 44 at this time last year
  • Large increases in fatalities have been recorded in Wide Bay, South Brisbane and Logan police districts.
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