Trail bike riders will see a significant boost to their safety with a new pilot project for riders using the popular Neerim State Forest in Gippsland thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.
Minister for Roads, Road Safety and the TAC Jaala Pulford today announced $2.8 million from the Motorcycle Safety Levy to improve the safety of trail bike tracks in the State Forest.
The pilot project will cover a 40-kilometre trail and includes a new dedicated track for trail riders that still provides the technical and challenging environment that recreational riders seek, but with new location markers, track mapping and better access for emergency services.
Trail bike trauma is a significant road safety concern in Baw Baw Shire where almost half of all motorcycle crashes take place on forest roads.
From the beginning of 2014 to the end of 2018, there were 36 reported motorcycle crashes in the Neerim State Forest that resulted in serious injuries.
The design of the new trail bike safety improvements will be shaped by consultation with landowners, riders and locals and will be implemented over a three-year period.
An evaluation process will take place mid-way through and at the end of the pilot to determine its success and consideration will be given to develop similar initiatives in other locations across the state.
Funds from the Motorcycle Safety Levy go directly to initiatives that improve safety for riders. Over $75 million raised from the levy has been committed to motorcycle safety projects since it was introduced.
The pilot project will be managed by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DEWLP) – the manager of roads within the Neerim State Forest – in partnership with the Department of Transport.
As noted by Minister for Roads and Minister for Road Safety and the TAC Jaala Pulford
“We want all riders to be safe when they get on a motorcycle – that’s why we’re making it safer for riders wanting to challenge themselves off the road and on the track at Neerim.”
“There have been 36 reported trail bike crashes in the Neerim State Forest that resulted in serious injuries over the last five years – this program will help turn this around, making it safer for everyone.”
As noted by Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“Our state forests support a wide range of activities – this new partnership will mean that trail bike riders can enjoy everything they have to offer, safely.”
As noted by Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing
“We want everyone to be able to come and enjoy the bike trail at Neerim- these upgrades will help make sure riders can enjoy the challenge safely.”