TRAGIC BATTLE: Matthew Reina, Belynda Smith, Michael Reina and Josh Steinhardt. Michael is calling for more awareness from car drivers of motorbikes on the road, after he lost his son Shaun in a motorcycle crash.
TRAGIC BATTLE: Matthew Reina, Belynda Smith, Michael Reina and Josh Steinhardt. Michael is calling for more awareness from car drivers of motorbikes on the road, after he lost his son Shaun in a motorcycle crash. Ebony Graveur

Simple steps could mean motorbike riders make it home safely

REDUCING motorbike deaths could as simple as riders pulling on a high-vis vest, or parents teaching children to count motorbikes, according to a safety campaigner.

Life-long rider Michael Reina lost his son Shaun in motorbike crash in Gatton earlier this year, and swore to do something about it.

In the three months since Shaun's death, another three rider have lost their lives on the regions roads.

During that time, Michael has been relentlessly campaigning for both motorists and bike riders to end the "carnage”.

"There's too many motorcyclists that have been knocked off because people didn't see them, and the excuse it 'Sorry mate, I didn't see you',” he said.

"It just doesn't cut it. There's just too many motorcyclists being killed on the road.”

While he understands there were often other factors that cause motorcycle deaths, better awareness and education for road users would reduce crashes.

His campaign's 'I See U' title was more than just a catchphrase - Michael wants drivers to commit it to memory.

"When you have a motorcycle coming down the road - it's such a small object. You're brain's not registered to look for it,” he said.

"We'd like for drivers to have a thought in their heads, that they're on the look out for motorbikes and when they see one they say to themselves 'I see you'.

"So when once their brain is trained to do that, it'll help in the future, they'll just look out for motorbikes.”

He also encouraged parents to get their kids involved, and train good habits early to make them safer drivers later in their lives.

"When we do a drive to go on holidays, tell your kids to spot a motorbike. As they get older, they can see it,” he said.

Michael said it wasn't just up to car drivers, with motorcycles also needing to play a bigger role in keeping themselves safe.

"They can't keep putting their head in the sand and say 'oh it's not going to happen to me' because it does,” he said.

"There's things that they can do - like don't ride in a blind spot, keep to the right mirror, when they're over taking a care be aware of the car's blind spot.”

He also encouraged riders to wear a high-vis vest and consider apply reflective tape to their helmets to help them stand out.

"At night time, the reflective tape lights up like Christmas tree and the fluoro in the day time really stands out,” he said.

Michael said the fatalities in the area since Shaun's death were tragic.

"I'm saddened to hear there's more people in your area that have been killed,” Michael said.

"I've lost my son and it just terrible - we all want to come home safe.”

Farm worker and father of three Shaun lost his life when he collided with a ute on Gatton-Laidley Rd on July 12.



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