The West

Motorcyclists disgust top traffic cop

A top traffic officer says he has been left "cold and disgusted" by the cavalier attitude of some WA motorcyclists.

State traffic operations Insp. Ian Clarke's comments come after a 10-day period in which six motorcyclists died and two were critically injured.

There have been 11 motorcycle-related deaths on WA roads so far this year - almost a third of the State's road toll.

Twenty-five motorbike-related deaths were recorded last year.

"If you're riding a motorbike, you've got to accept you're taking a risk," Insp. Clarke said. "The behaviour of some motorcycle riders I've seen when out riding my own motorcycle leaves me cold, it leaves me disgusted."

Insp. Clarke, a long-time recreational rider, said seven motorbike incidents between March 17 and 22 was the worst period he had seen in 32 years of policing.

Although unable to comment on any of the specific crashes, Insp. Clarke said many riders were performing risky manoeuvres, speeding and not adhering to road conditions.

He said one of his officers recently saw an L-plate motorcyclist and his instructor overtaking on double white lines.

"It's reflective of a wider society issue, this 'I'll be right and it's up to me what I want to do' attitude and not taking regard for anyone else," Insp. Clarke said.

The average age of the riders in last week's five deaths was 33.

Insp. Clarke said the assumption that all reckless motorcyclists were "young and dumb" was incorrect.

"You look at the ages of these people and it is likely they have families or kids who will be directly impacted," he said. "That person could be the breadwinner and suddenly there's a family left without an income."

Motorcycle Riders Association of WA president Dave Wright said more people who had given up motorcycling while raising families were getting back on the bike later in life.

He said riders should take a "refresher course" to reacquaint themselves with their machines.

The West Australian

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