“I was sitting on my bike at an intersection waiting to turn when I heard a massive bang from behind. Next thing I was airborne,” Mr Petrie says.
“I hit the ground hard. First thing I thought was ‘thank god I’ve made it’, second thing was ‘thank god I’m wearing the right gear’.”
Mr Petrie’s experience is just one reason MSAC are right behind a new initiative by ACC and Australian road safety agencies to introduce a five-star rating system for motorcycle clothing and accessories.
The system will involve impartial testing of gear by Deakin University in Victoria. Ratings will be published online and provided to manufacturers who can choose to display them on the gear.
Mr Petrie’s helmet was cracked, but his full protective gloves and a recently purchased independent back protector came out unscathed.
“It was bloody scary, and I ended up having surgery, but I came out of it because I was wearing good gear. The difference between life and death is literally a few pieces of well-chosen clothing.”
“When you’re faced with a rack of trousers that all look very similar, it’s hard to know what is going to do the job and what isn’t,” Mr Petrie says.
“Sometimes it’s not the brands you would expect it to be. It’s an incredibly important decision and right now too much guess work is involved. I know motorcyclists and consumer demand is going to force manufacturers to up the ante. It’s a great initiative.”
MSAC Chair Mark Gilbert said the system was well thought-out and a lot of effort had gone into ensuring it would be an effective tool.
“Too many motorcyclists are being killed or injured on our roads. Something like this, which gives riders choice and helps us make informed decisions is fantastic. It’s a real win for our whole community.
“The acronym, that some will remember- ATGATT (all the gear, all the time!) is still good advice for motorcyclists”.
The star rating system will be available from 11 September.