Tag Archives: travel restrictions

Crashes increase as lockdown eases

One of the sad consequences of the easing of lockdown restrictions in some states is the increase in motorcycle crashes.

As expected, crashes reduced with the reduction of traffic when the lockdown started in mid-March.

A lengthy report after the GFC found a similar pattern.

It makes sense that crashes would drop as traffic reduced.

However, police also observed there was a decrease in speeding fines, but an increase in high-range speeding as some motorists took advantage of quiet roads.

Although statistics will not yet be conclusive, we have noticed several crashes involving other vehicles since the lockdown started to ease.

Over the weekend two drivers were charged after hitting and killing two riders ion Sydney, alone.

Will we now see a sharp rise in multi-vehicle crashes as riders suddenly appear on the roads again?

It’s only been about 5-6 weeks, but some motorists may have forgotten to look for riders.

There have been virtually no motorcycle crashes in Victoria, but that could change if/when their lockdown restrictions are relaxed.

Latest incidentDayGlo Queensland Police witnesses single

In the latest incident, a car and motorcycle collided about 4.25pm yesterday (10 May 2020) in Canungra on the Gold Coast hinterland.

The rider was heading southwest on Lamington National Park Road when it collided with a dark grey Hyundai Tucson.

The male rider was transported to Gold Coast University Hospital in a serious condition.

Our sincere best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.

The driver and passenger in the Hyundai Tucson were not physically injured.

Forensic Crash Unit investigators are appealing for witnesses or anyone who was in the vicinity and may have dash cam vision, to contact police.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink by providing information using the online suspicious activity form 24hrs per day at www.police.qld.gov.au/reporting.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.

Quote this reference number: QP2000967040 within the online suspicious activity form.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Anomaly in 50km motorcycle rule

Queensland riders have expressed dissatisfaction with the 50km limit on travel from tomorrow (2 May 2020), as an anomaly has surfaced with boaties given free rein.

Under the new rule, boaties can tow their boat to a 50km radius from home and then put their boat in the water and travel as far as they like … “within reason”, whatever that means.

Similarly, the anomaly extends to cyclists who can take their bike 50km from home and then go cycling.

So presumably motorcyclists can trailer their bike to an off-road park 50km from home and go riding.

However, you won’t be able to trailer your road bike 50km and then ride further as you would be more than 50km from home.

It’s yet another strange anomaly that has surfaced as the travel restrictions are hastily drafted and amended.

Rule anomaly

It seems strange that we should be thankful we are allowed to exercise our basic right to go where we want.

But worrying about a rule anomaly won’t get us any more leeway on travel.

Of more concern is that some riders this weekend may not act responsibly.

If there is a resultant spike in infections in the next two weeks, restrictions could tighten again.

Remember how Sydney beaches opened up last week only to be quickly closed again when they became crowded.

So, if you stop for coffee or fuel, maintain social distance.

Also, consider alternatives to the usual routes, such as the Old Pac which could become quite crowded.

Riders should also carry disposable gloves to use at the bowser, hand sanitiser and a credit card rather than cash.

You can expect a large police presence on the roads this weekend and remember that random speed cameras are back in use.

50km limit

The 50km limit is fairly restrictive and for some country riders it may not get you to the next town. 

For most Brisbane riders, that would mean they would get half way up Mt Glorious before having to turn back.

Gold Coast riders would get to Beechmont for a coffee before turning around while Sunshine Coast riders would be able to explore the Blackall Ranges.

Of course, you still can’t cross the border and come back without a special permit and 14 days of isolation!

For a rough guide to a 50km radius from your house, click here.

restrictionsGoogle Maps shows how far Ipswich riders can go.

Queensland Health confirms we can ride with a pillion, or with one other rider or several members of the same household.

Adventure riders will also be allowed to ride through some national parks so long as they are within 50km of home.

Flagrant breaches

State Disaster Co-ordinator Steve Gollschewski says police will “assist people to understand the new rules but will still enforce flagrant breaches”.

“Police will be understanding but this isn’t an invitation for people to undo everyone’s hard work,” he says.

Steve Spalding RACQ voidSteve Spalding

RACQ safety officer and Triumph Bonneville rider Steve Spalding has welcomed the move.

“It’s a good start,” says Steve who is hoping to get away for a three-day ride in June if restrictions are further eased.

“At least it will give riders the opportunity to get some fresh air and ride for enjoyment.”

However, he warns that if your bike has been parked or stored since mid-March, you should check it before heading out.

“Riders can make sure their bike is ready by checking basic safety and maintenance items such as tyre pressures, chain adjustment, oil level and that all controls operate smoothly,” he says.

“Always check tyre pressures when the tyres are cold and follow manufacturer’s recommendations on pressure, while the air available in servos is convenient, buying a reliable pressure gauge is a worthwhile investment and will give piece of mind that you are setting the tyres at the correct pressure.

“Similarly with engine oil, check it’s level according the manufacturer’s recommended procedure, which is also usually when the engine is cold. You might need to call on the help of another person if the bike needs to be kept upright and doesn’t have a centre stand.

“Basic checks such as making sure the brakes and clutch are working smoothly and not grabbing or sticking are essential to safe operation and should be part of any preparation before riding.”

Further easing?

Further loosening of travel restrictions will be subject to flattening the curve and that may only happen if motorists obey these eased restrictions.

There is no change yet in other states, but we will keep an eye on developments.

Easing of restrictions in Victoria may depend on how well Queensland goes.

In Tasmania you can visit a family member and in the ACT you can visit anyone so long as there are not more than two of you visiting at the one time.

ACT Police are not yet issuing COVID-19 infringement notices as they are prioritising public education over coercive sanctions.

In South Australia and Northern Territory there are no fines for leaving the house for non-essential reasons, however unnecessary socialisation is discouraged.

West Australian riders can ride within nine zones, but not cross from one to the other.

Official sites

These are the official rules for your state or territory:

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

NSW eases motorcycle travel restrictions

New South Wales riders can ride to visit friends from today (Friday 1 May 2020) as the state eases its coronavirus travel restrictions.

You can ride in pairs only to visit other households for social gatherings.

There is no limit on how far you can ride, but border crossings are still out of the question.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has asked people to be “responsible” and not spread the virus or the rules could be reversed.

While riding up and down the Old Pac wouldn’t be classified as legitimate under these new rules, you could say you were riding for exercise.

Old Pac gets more ‘safety barriers’A rider on the Old Pac (Photo courtesy of Valley Images)


Earlier this week, the Premier acknowledged on Sydney radio that riding a motorcycle is exercise and therefore legal.

She says NSW Police have not booked anybody, because riding a motorcycle is “akin to riding an exercise bike”.

However, that claim is not correct.

On Thursday (9 April 2020), a motorcyclist was stopped by police on Oxford Street, Gateshead.

Officers spoke with the 36-year-old man, who allegedly provided “multiple conflicting reasons for not being home before stating he was on his way to help a friend fix a bike”.

The officers deemed his reasons for travel as non-essential and issued the man with a $1000 fine.

Note that NSW Police have interpreted the rules to say people can leave their house for “brief exercise in your own neighbourhood”.

So it’s not a free-for-all under the pretence of exercise.

Qld also eases restrictions

As NSW eases restrictions, Queensland will also allow riders to travel a 50km radius from their home from tomorrow (2 May 2020).

The Australian Motorcycle Council says they are “always pleased to see recognition by government authorities of motorcycling in any form, but especially the recent statements from Queensland and NSW acknowledging that motorcycling is allowed in the current COVID19 restrictions”.

“Most other states and territories also allow recreational riding in some form, and we can only hope that the more reluctant state government of Victoria join this nationwide approval and allow Victorian riders to get out safely and without risk to others,” their statement says.

After all, riding a motorcycle is both a physical and mental exercise.

The mental side cannot be stressed highly enough. Experts expecting a wave of depression if riders are cooped up for too long.

Responsible riding

lLegal defences to a speeding fine dangerousA rider on the Old Pac (Image: YouTube)

It seems strange that we should be thankful we are allowed to exercise our rights to right.

However, riders, as well as other motorists, have a responsibility to behave and not spread the virus.

If there is a spike in infections in the next two weeks, premiers have promised to tighten restrictions again,.

Sydney beaches opened up last week only to be quickly closed again when they became crowded.

So, if you stop for coffee or fuel, maintain social distance.

Also, consider alternatives to the usual routes, such as the Old Pac which could become quite crowded.

Riders should also carry disposable gloves to use at the bowser, hand sanitiser and a credit card rather than cash.

You can expect a large police presence on the roads this weekend.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Dear Prof Murphy: Please let us ride!

Dear Chief Medical Officer, please let us ride again.

You look like a reasonable man. And we know you and everybody’s dear ol’ dad ScoMo are seriously considering relaxing the restrictions during this horrible pandemic.

So please let us ride.

Your own coronavirus hotline and every state and territory heath department thinks riding a motorcycle is exercise. We just need you to remind the cops! 

So please, please let us ride.

We understand you are concerned with our health. Thanks for that. We sincerely appreciate your concern.

But please remember our mental health as well.

Data and analytics company GlobalData says the enforced social isolation rules, along with the death threat from Covid-19 and financial disruption will increase mental disorders such as depression lead ing to a major increase in sales of drugs for psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder for many years to come.

You don’t want an epidemic of depression and suicide to follow this epidemic, do you?

So pretty please won’t you just let us ride to exercise our bodies and minds!

If you do …

We promise:

  • To socially distance, even keeping 1.5 metres from cyclists!
  • To not carry a pillion unless they are from our household with whom we’ve been in home detention these past fifty million weeks or so.
  • We won’t take off our gloves when we refuel our bikes … heck, we won’t even take off our helmets when we go inside the servo to pay!
  • We won’t go to crowded beaches, parks or shops, but head off into the lonely hills and valleys.
  • Unlike cyclists, we won’t treat our suburban streets as our own personal race track, leaving a vapour trail of coronavirus sweat behind us to infect passersby.
  • And finally, we promise to do the rider wave rather than the Ulysses secret handshake!Motorcycle wave heart

If you will please just let us ride again!

Yours sincerely,

Motorbike Writer

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Police ok drive to buy commuter bike

A Coffs Harbour rider has received NSW Police approval to drive 390km to buy a second-hand commuter bike to ride to work.

Elliot Redward currently has a Suzuki GSX650F (pictured) and graduates to his full licence this week so he wanted to buy a Kawasaki ZX-14R for his daily 27km each-way commute.

“I found a bargain of a bike south towards Sydney,” he says.

“I do love the bigger sports bike and this day and age they are cheap.

“The problem is I live almost 400km away.”

Commuter bike

So Elliot did the responsible thing and contacted the NSW Police Commissioner’s office to find out if it was legal to drive that far to buy his desired commuter bike.

However, the brief reply simply referred him to the NSW Health website which says it is legal to travel for work reasons.

Like many of these hastily drafted rules it is unclear and Elliot still wasn’t sure if he could drive 390km to buy the commuter bike.

So he contacted Motorbike Writer for advice.

It seemed like a reasonable travel requirement to us — plus he was shopping, which is also exempt!

So we asked NSW Police media for a clearer verdict.

This is the answer we received:

As you can appreciate there are many different scenarios in relation to COVID-19 restrictions. While we can not answer them all I would suggest in this case to travel to a destination to obtain a motor vehicle for the purpose of travelling to work would be a reasonable cause to travel. If he was pulled over it would be a matter of explaining to the officer the reason for your journey.nsw cops police Horror bike crashes in two states lying seeking dubbo overnight bail negligent SUV young national park fatal knocking unlicensed


This is a win for Elliot and a win for commonsense.

We don’t pass any judgement on Elliot’s choice for a commuter bike. It’s a free country!

And we also don’t expect everyone will now suddenly hop in their cars to drive hundreds of kilometres to buy a motorcycle for work, just to avoid the travel restrictions.

However, some people have done some dumb things during the current lockdown!

And we have also seen some rather strange fines being imposed by police in Queensland, NSW and Victoria for people.

But this decision is a reasonable and responsible response from NSW Police.

So let’s also act in a reasonable and responsible way.

If you do plan to leave home on your motorcycle, make sure you have a valid reason.

If police pull you over, explain your reason politely and mention that you firmly believe it is valid.

They may still direct you to turn around and go home, which you should do or you are disobeying a police directive and could cop an even bigger fine.

If you do cop an on-the-spot fine for non-compliant travel, you are legally allowed to challenge it, but you should seek legal help.

Since courts are only hearing serious matters during the pandemic, it could be some time before minor matters such as this are brought before the courts.

To avoid an overload of the courts, the police may even waive some of these fines once the travel restrictions are removed.

It’s your decision. Act responsibly.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com