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"Lights on" abolition re-introduced

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DAVID H a w k e r : Federal M ember for Warm on Shadow Minister for Land Transport

M e d i a R e l e a s e


The Shadow Minister for Land Transport, David Hawker, today re-introduced his private member's bill to Parliament in an effort to repeal the controversial Australian Design Rule (ADR) 19/01 - motorcycle lights on.

The bill was first introduced on March 5 this year, but because the Government would not debate it, it had to be re-introduced.

The rule came into force on 1 March 1992 and means all motorcycles manufactured or imported after that date have to have their lights wired on. Thus, whenever the engine is started, the lights will come on.

In his speech, M r Hawker said that compulsory lights on is not the way to go to improve motorcycle safety. "The Minister has not put forward compelling evidence to show that having the headlight on at all times will improve safety."

"The decision about whether it is safe to have your light on should be up to individual motorcyclists - as it is for motorists. Just because many riders do have their lights on during the day does not mean they would choose to have them on at all times - they choose to have them on when they feel it is safe to do so!"

"I have had discussions with many experienced motorcycle riders, and they believe that one of the most important things is not just being able to have the light on, but being able to flash it. At times they may wish to turn the light off. This ADR takes away that right. It could also give a false sense of security by leading motorcyclists to believe that they may have an additional level of safety where, in fact, they may not."

"There are some studies that show that having the light on all the time can cause other road users to have difficulty in judging the speed and the distance of an oncoming vehicle. The Minister has also acknowledged this point in a letter to Australian Motorcycle News in September.

"There is also a cloud over the legal liability of a motorcyclist in the event of a collision."

By all means promote road safety, and motorcycle safety in particular. But regulation just for the sake of being seen to do something is not the way to go - in fact it might be seen to be grossly irresponsible.

7 ends 15 October 1992

Contact: David Hawker (06) 277 4231

Janice Wykes (06) 277 4231 or (06) 288 3946

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