The traditional postie motorbike will soon be a relic of the past as the national post service looks for ways to improve driver safety.
Australia Post representatives told a parliamentary inquiry into road safety the company was on track to have all motorbikes phased out of the fleet by 2025.
Replacing the bikes – which have been used for postal deliveries since the 1970s – are three-wheeled electric delivery vehicles (eDVs) which are safer, can carry more parcels and have improved technology capacity.
They can only reach 45 kilometres an hour and are allowed on footpaths.
Australia Post safety and wellbeing general manager Rob Maule told the inquiry the motorbike fleet was involved in the most accidents out of all delivery vehicles.
“December 14 is the anniversary of the death of a motorbike postie who died last year after being hit by a driver in a 4WD with a bull bar,” he said.
“It was really tragic and that’s why we want to get rid of that mode.”
He said since beginning the replacement program there had been a significant drop in incidents.
One of the challenges of introducing the eDVs has been changing the culture of posties who joined the service because they love riding motorbikes, Mr Maule said.
But drivers trialling the vehicles found they were less fatigued at the end of their shifts and felt much more visible to other drivers on the road, leading to more advocates for eDVs.
An unforeseen benefit of the eDV fleet is the opportunity for more women to join the male dominated postal delivery workforce.
Mr Maule said motorbike licences are traditionally more skewed to men but as most states were allowing eDVs to be driven by people with motorbike and car licences, the company was able to recruit more widely.