The Motorcycle Riders Association of the ACT
The MRA ACT was formed in the early 70’s to represent motorcycle riders and protect their rights and independence. Such things as mandatory lights on, front number plates, and crash helmets led to the motto “Let Those Who Ride Decide”. The MRA ACT worked with other jurisdictions to get rid of the mandatory lights on and front number plates, but unfortunately the hard wired switch had become the norm. The Crash helmet battle was lost, however in hindsight this has saved many thousands of us from debilitating injuries (occasionally losing can be a good thing).
The MRA ACT has evolved over the decades to provide a unified voice to the Territory Government of the day and to join with other state representative bodies (MRA’s and MCC’s) in forming the Australian Motorcycle Council.
The MRA ACT’s Objectives:
- Represent all riders irrespective of gender, age, club affiliation, or type of powered two wheeled vehicle they ride;
- Raise the profile of motorcycling in the broader community;
- Ensure equal rights to the use of the Roads and Regions of the ACT;
- Improve road safety for riders but not at the expense of undermining a riders right to choose;
- Engender motorcycling as a safe, efficient and greener alternative form of sustainable transport.
The MRA ACT encourages all riders to support our work in achieving the organisation’s objectives and has memberships for individuals and affiliations for clubs to join the cause.
Work the MRA ACT has done and is doing:
Lobbying Government for more and better parking:
- We now have new parking facilities in Civic, upgraded parking facilities in Civic, Woden, Gungahlin and Erindale.
- The MRA has been instrumental in getting a working group together to review footpath parking initially in Civic.
Improving Road Safety outcomes for riders:
- The MRA ACT serves on the Black Spot Committee; Motorcycle User Group and the peak advisory body of the Road User Working Group.
- We are also represented at the ACT Chief Minister’s Road Safety Round table voicing the concerns of the rider with sub-standard roads and road side furniture.
- The MRA ACT is regularly in the media voicing concerns of riders and looking to improve our lot.
- We are currently pushing for frangible/flexible poles for signs and push bike grab rails; fitment of under run rails on W-Beam (ARMCO); and fibreglass frangible endplates to cover the ET 2000 (square BBQ plate on the end of the ARMCO).
- Editorial comment has been provided on the new Motorcyclist’s Handbook and the Good Gear Guide, and the MRA ACT is regularly called upon to review suggested Road Rule changes;
- Rider training with the MASTERS course for returning and mature aged riders which has had a positive impact on the bent and broken born again bikers, and the Ride n Thrive which is a roadcraft course for all riders.
Providing better facilities for all riders:
- The MRA ACT was instrumental in getting a $500,000 grant for the establishment of a recreational off-ride riding facility.
- The MRA ACT is now supporting the experts in this field – the DSMRA, in delivering a riding park and facilities for those of us that choose to recreationally ride and really don’t want to register their ride or get a license, especially true if you are only 5.
Raising the profile of motorcycling:
- Blanket Run.
- Motorcycle Awareness Week.
- Toy Run.
- Participation in the Show n Sticky
- Capital Rally
The MRA ACT actively support all other clubs when requested in providing their events:
- Pink Ribbon Ride.
- Ride for Difference.
- Vintage and Veterans Swap Meet.
- Vietnam Vets Poker and Charity rides.
The MRA ACT is working actively to get motorcycles into the Sustainable Transport Plan for the ACT and is a member of the ACT e-Vehicle council working to get and keep electric motorcycles on the agenda and treated equitably.
The community will often identify us via our charity work which has grown steadily under the stewardship of our many volunteers, with rides of over 1000 riders becoming a bench mark rather than an aspiration. We actively support other organisations in their activities and combine to present successful and popular events – the Ride4Difference, Motorcycle Awareness Week are examples. With this active and proactive support and promotion the MRA ACT is and will position itself as truly representative of the motorcycling community of the ACT.
We have an expanded consulting role with the ACT Government with regards to Motorcycle Safety, social and rider development programs, Motorcycle Awareness Week, Capital Rally and charity events such as the Toy Run, Blanket Run and Show’n’Sticky.
We have embraced the other clubs in the ACT and have been rewarded by having several affiliates join us. We have raised the profile of the MRA with the government, opposition and other parties and actively represented ALL riders irrespective of the vehicle type, gender, age or club affiliation to the bureaucracy of the ACT and federally.