no politics...just ridin'

Stunter Boy

This story was published in Sunday's paper (for some reason they didn't post it on their site) - you draw your own conclusions...

“Speed on the Brain”
By Edmund Burke
Sunday Mail 26/02/2006

A self-confessed speed freak who crashed his motorbike doing a wheelstand at 130km/hr says he’d do it again.

Despite suffering horrific injuries from a 60m slide which left a trail of flesh and skin on the road, Matthew Campbell won’t rule put performing more dangerous and illegal stunts on public roads.

His stance has angered road safety authorities, who only this week held a summit at Qld Parliament House to tackle mounting road deaths.

“He is a bloody idiot and he doesn’t deserve to have a bike or a licence,” said Parliamentary Travelsafe Committee chairman Jim Pearce.

“I feel angry. People with that attitude – tough nuts and hard heads – put at risk other road users who are out there doing the right thing. We don’t need people like him out on the road.”

Police traffic support group Acting Superintendent Rob McCall said: “I would describe what happened (to Campbell) as an act of gross stupidity, which not only endangered the life of the rider but also the lives of other road users. It has to be said that the vast majority of riders respect the law. For those that don’t, it is only a matter of time before they are picked up by police, either for breaking the law or in a body bag.”

Campbell, 26, from Walloon, near Ipswich, was wearing just shorts and a T-shirt when he flipped his 950cc Honda on the Warrego Highway on Boxing Day. Witnesses said he was overtaking two cars on one wheel when disaster struck and he ws sent catapulting on to the hot bitumen.

“I felt like I was sitting on a belt sander and I could feel it digging in,” said Campbell, who was fined and lost his licence for six months after appearing at Ipswich Magistrates Court this month. “I was sliding along and then all of a sudden I started doing cartwheels and then I stopped,” he said. “I had no fingertips. I couldn’t even take my own helmet off. I felt like someone had set fire to me, like I was engulfed in flames.”

His left thighbone snapped, breaking through the skin,and he lost skin and flesh from his hands, his buttocks, his legs, forearms, back and shoulders. But, despite his shocking injuries, Campbell is adamant he will return to riding his bike at high speeds.

“I think about the accident every day. I wake up every morning and I am reminded of it by the pain,” the 26-year-old told The Sunday Mail. “But I love to do it. I want to ride again and, who knows, maybe I will do it again. This is a sport for me. It is in my blood.”

Campbell describes himself and a “stunter” – a member of a dangerous high-powered motorcycle sub-culture that has ballooned in Queensland in the past year. Devotees treat high-powered motorcycles like BMX bikes, pulling stunts at incredible speeds on public roads. “Stunting is a sport. It is hugh in Europe and the US and it has just exploded in Queensland,” he said. “All of my mates are into it. If there were facilities to do it off-road we would use them, but there aren’t.” Campbell insists he is not a hoon, despite admitting riding at almost 300 km/hr on the Bruce Highway.

RACQ spokesman Gary Fites said he did not believe “stunters” would stop using public roads even if off-road facilities were provided. “If these people are doing these stunts on public roads you wonder if that isn’t half the thrill for them,” he said. “This is depressing when you consider 17 to 24 year olds are killing themselves 2 & a 1/2 times as fast as the rest of us.”

Last year 64 motorcyclists died in Queensland. Police say that in 80% of cases the rider was to blame.

The last sentence is interesting - 80% of cases the rider was to blame - yeah right!!!!


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