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RoadSafe Hawke’s Bay and partners introduce a motorcycle crash card

motorcycle helmet resized

This year RoadSafe Hawke’s Bay, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and ACC Injury Prevention have partnered together to introduce a trial of a motorcycle crash card.

Liz Schlierike, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Road Safety Engagement Advisor, says motorcycle crashes can be high impact and cause serious injury. “Fast and effective treatment is crucial to saving lives and this is where a motorcycle crash card can come in.”

Motorcycle crash cards are self-laminated cards that motorcyclists and passengers can place in their helmets. 

The idea was invented overseas to be used by medical professionals and first responders who attend motorcycle crashes. The card details a rider’s specific medical history when the rider is unable to communicate.

“These cards are an effective communication tool as often a crashed rider’s mobile phone is locked or broken, or their wallets are unable to be located” says Ms. Schlierike. “Valuable time can be saved finding out specific health information including blood type or allergies to certain medication.”

Cards are designed to be free for any motorcycle rider to obtain.

To use the card, the rider fills out the form with their personal details, emergency contact information and any health conditions and places it in the lining of their helmet. 

A highly visible red sticker is placed on the outside of a helmet to indicate there is a Crash Card inside.

In the event of a crash, professionally trained first responders can safely remove the rider’s helmet to access the card for vital details that could save their life. 


Hawke’s Bay motorcycle crash card trial

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, RoadSafe Hawke’s Bay and ACC Injury Prevention are trialling this initiative. The timeline and details of the trial are:

  • July 2023: Meeting with key people from Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ), New Zealand Police and Hato Hone St John to promote a local motorcycle crash card as an aid to further assist first responders have access to possible life-saving information.
  • August 2023: Formal launch of the Motorcycle Crash Card to motorcycle riders in Hawke’s Bay.
  • September 2023: Meeting with Hawke’s Bay motorcycle businesses to promote the Motorcycle Crash Card and get their permission to display and promote the Motorcycle Crash Card brochure at their premises.
  • March 2024: Seek feedback from first responders and motorcycle riders, informally and formally, of their rating of the usefulness of motorcycle crash cards.

It’s not too late to join, if you, or someone you know, would like to take part in this trial, get in touch with RoadSafe Hawke’s Bay on


Background of motorcycle crash cards

The crash card initiative was created and is still being delivered in the United Kingdom by Ian Burrell who is a motorcycle paramedic and the Chief Motorcycle Instructor and Managing Director of Pass Bike in the UK. Find out more on the Crash Card UK website.

The concept is also being used worldwide by countries like the United States, Sweden, Finland, Portugal, Romania and Northern Ireland under the name Rider Alert. Read more about the international Rider Alert initiative.



Information about motorcycle crashes

Motorcycles in New Zealand

Motorcycles make up only 3% of the vehicle fleet in New Zealand but motorcycle accidents make up 20% of Accident Compensation Corporations (ACCs) outstanding claims liability (OCL).

The number of registered motorcycles and mopeds is continuing to increase. In 2016, the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) statistics indicated there were 168,632 registered motorcycles and mopeds in New Zealand. By 31 July 2019, this number had increased to 187,717.

The risk of death or injury to a motorcyclist in a crash is 21 times higher than a car driver travelling over the same distance.

In 2021 Waka Kotahi NZTA recorded 22,913 road vehicle crashes – 282 fatal crashes (where 319 people died) and 2,181 serious injuries. 1,522 motorcycle crashes, 47 deaths and 489 serious injured.


Hawke’s Bay motorcycle crash data 2021

A search on Waka Kotahi’s Crash Analysis System (CAS) showed there had been 58 motorcycle crashes in Hawke’s Bay between in 2021:

  • 2 fatal crashes with 4 deaths
  • 28 serious injury crashes with 40 people receiving seriously injured
  • 29 minor injury crashes with 38 people receiving a minor injury
  • 10 crashes in Wairoa, 20 in Napier, 23 in Hastings and 5 in Central Hawke’s Bay
  • Social cost of these 58 crashes estimated to be $55,390,000*.
    The total social cost estimates are based on accident year and include the estimated cost of loss of life and life quality, loss of output, medical cost, property damage costs and legal and court costs. All on-going costs are incorporated in the social cost estimates.

27 February 2024

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