JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Delivery motorcycle crashes, already too frequent in South Africa, are likely to increase in frequency as CoVid-19 continues with more and more riders delivering everything from food to medication to people’s homes.
So, how do we prevent delivery-bike crashes?
Eugene Herbert, MD of road-training organisation MasterDrive, says the ease of obtaining a licence poses a challenge: “All that stands between a delivery rider and a job is a written test. Yet their increasing numbers creates more challenges for road users.
Not only are many drivers ill-equipped and insufficiently unaware of these modes of transport but the riders’ skills leave much to be desired.
MISSING THE MARK
“The situation is fraught given only a learners’ licence and limited experience – especially with reckless riding through traffic wearing only basic crash protection.”
Some companies might require experienced riders, Herbert suggests, but most will miss the mark.
“It can be an expensive mark too as, anecdotally, as may as 80% of crashes result in bike write-offs and even injuries or deaths. Additionally, certain companies’ health and safety policies require further and ongoing training of their riders.”
It is this need to change the current state of a safety on the roads, particularly with delivery riders, that motivated MasterDrive to develop a training programme – MasterBikers.
It’s a specialised motorcycle programme that provides advanced rider training. Through a theoretical audio-visual component and practical hands-on training riders learn to avoid life-threatening mistakes.
“It uses defensive riding to teach skid control, collision avoidance, braking techniques, and controlling a loaded motorcycle. Riders will also better understand safety gear and its role in crash protection. Delivering goods on a motorcycle has very demanding requirements which riders come to fully comprehend and appreciate.”
‘CRASH WITHOUT THE BASH’
The course is said to be a one-of-a-kind in Africa. “It works on the same principle that rollover prevention training in cars and trucks is based. It uses purpose-built equipment to allow safe training on correct braking.\
”Essentially, riders learn about ‘the crash without the bash’. Riders realise how changing riding techniques can reduce the chance of becoming the next statistic, whereas brands recognise that they have a responsibility, as good and caring corporate citizens, to protect all road users, especially those acting on their behalf.
”Those who understand that will benefit most from the training programme. It takes place at MasterDrive’s training facility in Johannesburg but will roll out to more training centres soon.”