POLICE are impounding hoons' motorcycles at a rate of one a week as speeding bikers kill themselves at alarming rates. Motorcyclists have been caught riding without helmets at almost 200km/h on Melbourne freeways. Others are inviting prosecution by posting videos of their hell-riding antics on YouTube.
So far this year 36 motorcycle riders and one pillion passenger have been killed, up five on this time last year. With the Christmas period to come, police are worried this year could be the worst for motorcycle deaths since 2002, when 54 riders died.
Inspector Jeff Millar, of the police road safety taskforce, warned riders to travel safely.
"We're all aware that motorcycling is a high-risk activity and yet motorcyclists are willing to place themselves in danger time and time again," he said. "Motorists probably all know someone who rides a motorcycle, yet as car drivers we don't tend to look out for motorcyclists, who are among the vulnerable road users. It's a two-way street."
In most motorcycle fatalities the rider is at fault -- and usually no other vehicles have been involved. (ed. Note: ?????)
"Motorcyclists are putting themselves at risk, needlessly, and most of it is on weekends with recreational riding," Insp Millar said. "No one is bullet-proof and if they push the limits too much they will come unstuck. The only place for that sort of riding is on a racetrack."
Insp Millar foreshadowed a crackdown on hoon motorcyclists over summer.
"We have got quite a bit of work in the pipeline. We're looking at enforcement and education, and how we can deliver both of those better."
Riders screaming along Victorian highways have been caught without basic safety gear. Overhead police speed cameras caught a passenger without a helmet on a bike doing 191km/h on the Western Ring Road at Sunshine.
A female wearing a bikini top was snapped doing 143km/h in Keilor East.
(Ed. Note: Well wheres the damn pics)
So far this year 42 motorcycles have been impounded. Of those, 28 were seized after police caught the rider speeding, while seven were triggered by riders trying to evade police.
The majority of riders -- 38 per cent -- were men aged 26-35, while a quarter were in the 22-25 bracket. All but one were male, and one was under 18.Two in five were caught between 10pm and midnight.
The Transport Accident Commission said motorcycles represented 3 per cent of vehicle registrations, but accounted for 14 per cent of road deaths. Commission road safety manager David Healy said the risk of serious injury for motorcycle riders was 32 times higher than car occupants.
"Motorcyclists operate at a higher risk than motorists, so any risk-taking behaviour they engage in through drink-riding or speeding increases their risk to inordinately unacceptable levels," he said.
The state president of the Motorcycle Riders Association, John Karmouche, said catching hoons was important, but riders needed better education. "We could reduce the number of fatalities and accidents if riders accept they need a skills check-up when they get back on their bikes after a spell," he said.
"There's nothing dangerous about a motorcycle, but the person who is riding it needs the right attitude."
O.K. I give up, what the hell is a "hoon "? Them Aussies re funny lot ya know that?Add to Technorati Favorites