September is Motorcycle Awareness Month in New Zealand.

This year, the annual campaign is focused on making everyone aware of how they can help keep motorcyclists safe. The symbol of the awareness campaign is a bright yellow helmet, which helps create visibility and reminds all road users that “Bikes Are Back!”

In 2017, 45 motorcyclists lost their lives on the road and 7,372 motorcyclists received treatment and support from the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). The awareness campaign is an ACC initiative with support from the Motorcycle Safety Advisory Council (MSAC), local councils and ACC’s Safer Journeys partners.

“It’s about being aware that you might not see motorcyclists at a first glance,” said David Keilty, ACC’s Ride Forever Programme Manager. “Looking twice can make all the difference.”

MSAC Chair Mark Gilbert says now is a peak time for bikers, and all road users can help riders to stay safe by increasing their awareness.

“More sunshine hours means more bikes on the roads, and often at the start of the warmer months drivers aren’t in the habit of keeping an extra eye out for them,” Gilbert said. “Now’s the time for drivers to look twice, especially at intersections.

“It’s great to see more bikes out there, but with that comes more chances of riders being involved in crashes. Drivers can help by being more aware of bikes, but it’s also up to riders to do their bit.”

The ACC says riders who complete its Ride Forever course are 27 percent less likely to submit a claim with ACC compared to riders who haven’t completed a course.

Visit the Motorcycle Awareness Month website.