Warning to Auckland scooter riders: beware – don’t ride with bare skin

Te Waha Nui report by Ciara Pratt
Scooter riders are being asked to cover up their bare skin in a new advertising campaign from Auckland Transport.

Auckland Transport wants riders to wear protective clothing while riding scooters. Photo: Ciara Pratt.

More than 15 per cent of road crashes involve scooters and motorcycles up to 250cc, according to the Ministry of Transport.

The campaign features billboards showing people on scooters in shorts and singlets while riding over a cheese-grater road surface.

Auckland Transport’s community transport manager Matthew Rednall says the visual imagery in the advertising is getting the message across effectively.

He says many people are choosing to drive scooters and motorcycles instead of cars.

“More people are living in the central city and prefer the convenience of a scooter and, of course, petrol prices are high,” he says.

Rednall says people often don’t think they need to wear protective clothing for a short trip to the shops. “If you fall off, the road can have the effect of a cheese grater on skin.”

Andreas Vaioleci, director of Grey Lynn-based retailer Scootling, says he likes Auckland Transport’s approach to the issue. “I think their advertising is fairly aggressive visually, but I’m all for encouraging people to ride safe,” he says.

Anita McKenzie was involved in a scooter accident two years ago and says New Zealand roads are unsafe for scooter drivers even without the risk of riding with bare skin.

“I wasn’t baring much skin at all but I still suffered a graze to my ankle and hurt my back,” she says. “After the accident I went out and bought a thick riding coat and more protective gear. I think it’s foolish and really stupid to take the risk. Clothing, that’s what will save your life and protect you.”