JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Delivery-bike crashes are common in South Africa, worsened by the CoVid19 demand for two-wheelers to carry everything from food to medication to people’s homes.
How to prevent more crashes?
Eugene Herbert, MD of MasterDrive, says the ease of being issued with a motorcycle licence poses a challenge.
“All that stands between a delivery rider and a job is a written test. Yet the consequent growth of delivery riders creates challenges for road users,” he says
‘FRAUGHT WITH DANGER’
”Not only because many car drivers are ill-equipped and/or unaware of these modes of transport, the skills of the riders leave much to be desired.
“With only a licence and limited experience, it creates a situation fraught with danger. Additionally, riders recklessly: they weave through traffic wearing only basic riding gear, incorrect helmet sizes, and sometimes not even properly securing the helmet.”
Some companies do require experienced riders but most likely miss the mark.
‘HEALTH AND SAFETY’
“It can be an expensive mark too as,” Herbert warns. ”Anecdotally, as many as 80% of crashes result in bike write-offs – and that’s not even counting injuries or deaths that can result.
”Additionally, some companies’ health-and-safety policies require further and ongoing training for their riders.”
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It was the need to change the current state of a safety on the roads, particularly for delivery riders, that motivated MasterDrive to develop their training programme.
“MasterBiker is a specialised motorcycle programme that provides advanced rider training that includes a theoretical audio-visual component and hands-on training to avoid life-threatening mistakes.
“It uses defensive riding to teach skid control, collision avoidance, braking techniques, and controlling a motorcycle with added weight. Riders will also better understand safety gear and its protection role should a rider crash.
”Delivering goods on a motorcycle has very demanding requirements which riders come to fully comprehend and appreciate.”
TECHNIQUE PAYS OFF
Herbert says the MasterBiker programme is believed to be a one-of-a-kind programme in Africa.
“It works on the same principle that rollover-prevention training for car and truck drivers is based. Essentially, riders learn about ‘the crash without the bash.’
“Riders realise how changing riding technique can reduce the odds of becoming the next statistic, whereas brands recognise they have a responsibility to protect all road-users, especially those acting on their behalf.
”Those that understand this will benefit the most from the new MasterBiker training programme.”
Training (August 2020) takes place at MasterDrive’s training facility at Northgate (Johannseburg) but will roll out to other centres soon.