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Monday, 26 September 2011

9 MSN - RIDER DIES.

9MSN Report

Tuesday September 27, 2011.

"MOTORBIKE RIDERS DIES SOUTHWEST OF BRISBANE

A 36-year-old man died after the motorbike he was riding struck roadside bollards southwest of Brisbane.

Police say the Placid Hills man lost control of the motorbike on Progress Road, Wacol about 4 pm (AEST) on Monday.

He died at the scene."

Anyone know this road. I'm interested in any information on this fatal crash.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group
MRA HLM
Melbourne
Tel: 03 9846 8621
PO Box 3091, Doncaster East, Vic. 3109.

BOXED SET - THE WHO.



I'm looking to buy a particular double album boxed set of the rock opera TOMMY by The WHO. The records have to be in mint condition. The box should be in good condition. The magazine is not as important as I have a copy from my boxed set which was destroyed by a malignant growth way back then.

The box contained two 12 inch LP records and a magazine on the work. It was performed with the London Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Choir and recorded at Olympic Studios in London. Copyright 1969. It was produced by ODE RECORDS in California.


Damien Codognotto OAM
Tel: 03 9846 8621
PO Box 3091, Doncaster East, Vic. 3109


POLICE U-TURN TAKES OUT RIDER ... AGAIN.

Police Media Release

Monday, September 26, 2011.

At about 9.15 am a policeman in a dark blue unmarked car started a u-turn. He was a leading senior constable so probably not inexperienced.  He was after another driver who he assessed as speeding and was talking on a mobile.

A 22 year old rider was travelling west on Centre Road in Bentleigh East, a Melbourne suburb. He was on a black Yamaha motorcycle.

The police car turned across the path of the path of the bike. The bike hit the car on the right hand side of the car. The rider went to hospital with serious injuries.


Anyone with anydetails of this crash should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit http://www.crimestoppers.com.au/ .

I'd like more information on this crash too. Presumably the driver who was assessed as speeding and seen to be on the phone won't come forward but does that excuse doing a u-turn in a dangerous situation. It was certainly dangerous for the young rider who was seriously injured. Who will be charged with what?

In some ways this crash is similar to the pre-dawn crash at Woodend where a police officer in a black sports car started a u-turn that ended in the death of a rider on his way to work. That crash is covered in an earlier blog titled "COURT BIAS FAVOURING CAR DRIVERS IN COLLISIONS INVOLVING MOTORCYCLISTS". The driver walked, licence untouched.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group
PO Box 3091, Doncaster East, Vic. 3109.




Saturday, 24 September 2011

MOTORCYCLE & SCOOTER TOURISM

Last November, just before the 2010 Victorian election, the Opposition released a bike policy media release. It said that if elected the new government would develop a motorcycle & scooter tourism strategy. This is important because, for the first time, it would give motorcycle & scooter tourers a dollar value in our tourism industry.

Bicycle riders have a tourism strategy plan which says they spent $2.4 billion in Australia in 2010 and that cyclists were worth $362 million to the Victorian economy during the same period. I'm assuming these estimates include spending on accommodation, food, entry fees, souvenirs and so on. I reckon motorcycle & scooter riders spend more than that. If you doubt it, visit Healesville on a sunny Saturday morning.

My understanding is that the promised motorcycle & scooter policy is in the works at Tourism Victoria. In the mean time, have a look at the bicycle tourism strategy plan. It's 20 pages long with an introduction by the Minister Louise Asher MP.


MOTORCYCLE JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY

ONE WOMAN'S SOLO MOTORCYCLE JOURNEY OF DISCOVER

Heather Ellis came from Queensland. She now lives in motorcycle country east of Melbourne with three sons, a dog and a Moto Guzzi. She used to have a Yamaha TT 600.

Heather put the 600 on a boat one day and went travelling. She rode through Africa and Central
Asia to London. She reckons this journey defined her and how she views life. She is a journalist by trade so there's a book in the works. Heather plans to publish the book in 2012.

http://www.heather-ellis.com/

Damien

Friday, 16 September 2011

SWAP MEET

A SWAP MEET will be held on Sunday, December 4, 2011 from 7 am.

The venue is the Llanelly Public Hall. This is a motorcycle only event run by the Bendigo Historic Motorcycle Club.

Entrey $5.

Stands $10.

Contact Stuart at  stuboyriley@gmail.com

FREEWAY ART?

The Herald Sun

Thursday, September 15, 2011.

Page 3.

FREEWAYS DRIVE ART EXPLOSION

By Greg Thom, transport reporter. thomg@heraldsun.com.au

"A gigantic sculpture of a sheep's skull will greet motorists hurtling along the $1.3 billion Frankston (Vic.) bypass. The confronting steel art installation, Rex Australia: The King is dead, long live the King, will be more than 7m tall and 14m wide ...



Heidi Museum of Modern Art director Jason Smith said ... "I hope dean Coll's work will be inspiring rather than distracting."

The sun-baked ram's skull is one of three pieces of art that will form the vanguard of 14 sculptures to eventually line the 27km Peninsular link project.

All have been paid for by the private sector."

To say I don't like freeway art is an understatement. Imagine if the money spent on unbelievable stupidities like the 16m rocket site called Panorama Staion, was spent on unbiased, quality research into road safety.

Have your say at:


Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group
Melbourne

Thursday, 15 September 2011

WA MOVE TO BAN KIDS FROM BIKES

This came in from Stuart who is concerned about West Australian medicos running a shock/horror story to gain a few column inches. I'm concerned too. This is not about making any sport safer. The call to ban kids under 16 from motorbikes is not based on good science and it is out of context. Spend some money on real unbiased research comparing injuries to kids under 16 on bicycles, horses, playing footy, swimming etc. and these medicos might have some credibility.

Stuart wrote:

"On todays, West Australian website, an article and poll appeared that calls for the banning of all children under 16 from riding motorcycles.

The call is made by the KidSafe General Manager, Sur Hicks, and PMH Emergency Manager Dr Garry Geelhoed, based on an insignificant number of admissions.

If you are as incensed as I am about this article, given the lack of context regarding other sports which injure children far more than motorcycling I would urge you to go to the West's website and undertake the poll that they have set up to guage community interest in support of banning our kids from riding bikes.

... send a clear message to those that would destroy our children's right to fun, sport and a healthy family lifestyle.

The link is:



Wednesday, 14 September 2011

LUNCH & CTP

I had lunch with Greg Hirst and Michael Czajka last Monday. We met at Maria's Trattoria on Peel Street near the Queen Vic Market in North Melbourne. Italian food that can't be beat. Only open for lunch and it's best to book. Anyway, we were discussing matter motorcycling so taxing motorcycles & scooters off our roads came up. 



In Victoria we have the Transport Accident Commission collecting road taxes and compulsory third party insurance premiums for the government. TAC is a semi-independent corporation with a CTP monopoly. The product is compulsory. To be street legal you have to have TAC CTP and it is not cheap. They don't do no-claim-bonuses or ratings like commercial insurers. They don't do rewards for safe driving/riding. 

TAC does do sponsorship of sports and other things. It runs expensive media campaigns and promotes a high-profile corporate image ... it is a monopoly.

My feeling is that TAC should stop spending our money on flash ads and self-promotion and put all that cash into better care for the victims of road trauma, better rehab, better rehab research.

The conversation over spaghetti turned to NSW. There's a different CTP system north of the Murray. It's even more expensive for riders up there and the way the premium is collected is different. It's not a monopoly. As I understand it, private companies sell CTP for the government. These companies get together in some official committee and set upper and lower limits on CTP premiums.

That sounded a lot to me like price fixing which is illegal. There's probably some loophole or the NRMA would have become irritated and done something about it? Wouldn't they? I had a quick look at the ACCC website.  http://www.accc.gov.au/  It says  "The ACCC promotes competition and fair trade in the market place to benefit consumers, businesses and the community."   

I'll be interested to see comments on the CTP and bike tax situation in this country.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group
MRA HLM
Melbourne

PROTESTING FROGS

Monday, September 12, 2011.

French motorcycle & scooter riders feel they have been badly treated by their government so they get on the road and let people and government know they are not happy. It's called people power. Organised properly, it works.

Some one wrote to me. "Looks the same all over (France), wish we had those numbers here."


We do have those numbers here, relative to population of course. There are 1.3 million motorcycle licence holders in Australia and that number is growing. Most can and do vote. That's a lot of political muscle.

Since the 1980s the number of road bikes has doubled but rider apathy has more than doubled. Many riders are too old to feel that righteous rebellion against injustice. "She'll be right. I'll just roll over shall I?"  Too many are defatist. "Why fight the government? You can't win."  And a lot are more interested in polishing ponies and looking at their reflections in shop windows as they sit at the lights than in riders' rights. "Gosh I look good."
  
The Mayday Run to State Parliament in Adelaide in the 1980s.

Australian rider representatives are often old too, even some of the young ones. Most go to government cap-in-hand so we get public service results instead of what's good for the majority of riders. Much of the motorcycle & scooter community seems to have forgotten that public servants are employed by the taxpayer. They work for us. Politicians are supposed to set policy and we elect them.

The park-in run to State Parliament House in Melbourne in the 1980s.

Among other things the park-in run won us the Victorian law allowing us to park on footpaths at no cost, with no time limit. It works. There have been minimal complaints over 25 years. The point is, in a democracy numbers win. Apathy is a threat to any free country. The loss of freedom begins with the nanny state.

Still, times change. History is inclined to repeat itself. People power works. Maybe there's some of that French rider spirit left in the lucky country's riders?

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group
MRA HLM
Melbourne



Tuesday, 13 September 2011

LAWYERS CALL FOR CAR DRIVER RETESTS - SEPT 2011.

The Herald Sun

Monday September 12, 2011.

Page 10.

BIKERS IN DEADLY PERIL

By Ashley Gardiner. State politics reporter. gardinera@heraldsun.com.au

"Motorists should be re-tested every five years to make roads safer for motorcyclists, MPs have been told.

Soaring motorcycle use has seen increasing numbers of serious injuries and deaths of riders.

On Saturday, a motorcyclist was killed after being hit by a car leaving an East Melbourne car park.

In a submission to a State Parliament inquiry into motorcycle safety, law firm Maurice Blackburn said there was a need for licence refresher courses.

'Other road users need to accept that motorcyclists are entitled to share the road space in a safe manner,' the firm's principal, John Voyage said.

'Motorcyclists are not risk takers. These are Victorians who understand risk and take steps to mitigate it.'

Driver Awareness Rides were annual events in Melbourne. The lead truck sponsored by Budget led a procession of thousandas of riders around the city.

... The submission says a common response to a crash is: 'Sorry mate. I didn't see you'.

This crash scene on a tray truck toured Melbourne in the 1980s. It promoted strong reactions and generated valuable media coverage. The message - LOOK BIKE!
Experienced motorcyclist Catherine Elliott, who was in hospital for eight months after a crash said everyone needed refresher training. 'There is not enough training for motorists on how to look out for motorcyclists, cyclists or pedestrians." ...

http://www.news.com.au/national/test-motorists-to-make-bikers-safer.html

http://www.vicpolicenews.com.au/more-news/7732-fatalcollision-in-east-melbourne.

http://t.co/OtGpdnO

The Herald Sun

Tuesday, September 13, 2011.

Page 26.

YOUR SAY

"I'm a driver. When I took up riding a motorcycle, other drivers told me I was nuts, that riding was dangerous.

It's a commonly expressed notion and it shows that drivers recognise that driving skill is generally poor, otherwise the roads wouln't be thought to be so dangerous.

Maurice Blackburn's call to retest and retrain drivers is valid (TEST MOTORISTS TO MAKE BIKERS SAFER Herald Sun Sept 12)

If drivers are looking out for motorcyclists then they'll be looking out for all manner of hazards and the roads will be safer as a result.

Rob Salvv, Altona Meadows."

"When I originally went and got my learner's permit, the instructor told me: 'Ride like nobody can see you.'

The advice sums up what our roads are like.

There is not one day goes by where a car does not attempt to merge into me, despite the driver having looked directly at me.

Maurice Blackburn and Associates I take my helmet off to you.

Michael Langford, Pascoe Vale."

The Herald Sun

Wednesday, September 14, 2011.

Page 28.

YOUR SAY

"MOTORCYCLISTS who weave in and out of traffic are as much to blame for accidents as drivers. Don't blame the motorist for the behaviour of these morons.

Barry Musgrove, Lancefield."

The LOOK BIKE! campaign came from England via New Zealand in the 1980s. The MRA told VicRoads and VicRoads improved it featuring a TV ad based on a new concept, the video game. That was before vicRoads adopted the policy of not doing anything that could be construed as encouraging motorcycling. 

"As a CFA member, I can say there is nothing more frustrating than motorists who have total disregard for emergency service vehiles ('Firey's siren call', Your Say, Sept 13).

Every time we turn out we run the gauntlet of motorists not willing to give way.

There needs to be a campaign to better educate all drivers on safe procedures when emergency vehicles are approaching, instead of people going into a panic and not knowing what to do.

Simon, Ferntree Gully."

Barry Musgrove (H/S 14/9/2011) generalises that motorcyclists are as much to blame for crashes as drivers. His use of the word moron may indicate an attitude that does nothing to improve safety. Some moves, seen by car drivers with no experience riding in traffic, look dangerous through the windscreen but from the saddle make good safety sense.

Most riders drive cars. Most drivers do not ride bikes. Riders are safer drivers.

Common Causes of bike crashes are cars moving into road space occupied by a bike. It is usually safer to "penetrate traffic" on a pushbike, scooter or motorbike. Ask a police rider. Other common bike crashes are cars failing to give way, cars hitting bikes from behind and car occupants opening doors without looking.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers are right, driver skills and attention need improving through training and retesting. This would reduce pedestrian, bicycle, scooter and motorcycle casualties and help emergency vehicles get to where they are needed.

Darebin Council recently called for mandatory high-visibility clothing for bicyclists and VicRoads/TAC/Police have called for high-visibility protective clothing to be compulsory for motorcycle & scooter riders. Australian road authorities tend to blame the victims it's refreshing to hear people who deal with the consequences of road trauma in court blaming lack of driver skill and attention for too many vulnerable road user injuries and deaths.

http://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au

The Herald Sun

Sept 15, 2011

Page 36

YOUR SAY

"KEEP EYE ON ALL ROAD USERS

I took up motorcycling later in life than most.

I neverheard of the acronym SMIDSY (Sorry mate I didn't see you) before I rode.

Now, after a few years on two wheels, I think it should be changed to SMIJDL (Sorry mate, I just didn't look).

C'mon drivers, it's not hard, turnyour head and look before you try to run into me.

Does my life really mean that little to you?

Peter Faulks, Candelo, NSW"

The Herald Sun

Sept 16, 2011

Page 32

50/50

"THE pros and cons of riding my motorcycle to work: I don't pay tolls, I beat the traffic, parking is free, and it's fun. I get wet when it rains and I can get killed by a moron who pulls out in front of me.

Mark, Parkville"

The Herald Sun

Sept 17, 2011

Page 83

YOUR SAY

"BRIGHTEN UP MOTORCYCLISTS

MOTORCYCLISTS who want to stay safe on the roads need to take some responsibility themselves. If the common comment after an accident (crash) is that the driver did not see the bike - help fix the problem.

Dark clothing/helmets/bikes disappear by blending with the road colour.

Start wearing bright helmets, bright protective clothing and ride a bike with a bright colour and lots of sparkling chrome.

Give motorists a good chance to see you! - itis in your own best interests. Stop passing the buck to anyone else but yourselves.

Lynda, North Balwyn (Vic.)"

THE HERALD SUN
LETTERS

Lynda from North Balwyn (HS 17/9/2011) calls for motorcyclists to take responsibility and show bright colours on the road. She accuses us of passing the road safety buck.

Too many car drivers do not look for bikes. If they did they would see the bright/light colouring of many road bikes. The would see lots of silver and chrome. They would see helmet designs, leathers and gear with body armor in a wide range of colours, including black, and designs.

Some bikes are dark coloured but all have reflectors front, side and rear by law. Most bikes run headlamps at all times. Some machines have audible conspicuity which makes them safer and is more effective than visibile conspicuity.

Most of the recommendations in the report of the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Motorcycle Visibility (March 1992 - http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/ ) are fact in 2011. It is a pity VicRoads/TAC/Police did not monitor the changes in depth to guage what effect increased conspicuity really had.

If visibility was a primary safety factor for bikes, why do police motorcycles get hit by cars?

Motorcycles, scooters, bicycles and pedestrians can be seen by car drivers if drivers look. "Sorry I didn't see you."  is  an admission of negligence or incompetence by any vehicle operator.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group
Melbourne

Sunday, 11 September 2011

RACV ELECTION 2011 - VOTE 1 WIGAN!

The Royal Auto Club of Victoria is big. It's really big. It has over 2 million members. The RACV magazine, Royalauto, gets to 70% of Victorian households. They print 1,474,660 copies per issue.


The Melbourne Herald Sun, for comparison, prints about  520,000 copies per day.


A story in Royalauto gets to a lot of people. There used to be a page on motorcycling in every issue of Royalauto back in the 1990s. In 2011 the magazine is more about travel and cars than anything else, but it's a good read.

The ACV's first run from Melbourne to Mordialloc on December 6, 1903. The Royal came later to make it RACV. Note the number of motorcycles compared to cars. 1903 was the year the Milledge Brothers opened the first bike shop in the famous Elizabeth Street Motorcycle Precinct. The photo is from the James Flood Book of Australian Motorcycling.

The RACV is a car club in 2011. It was started by 3 riders in 1903. It has motorcyclist members and it insures motorcycles, but most of its' members are drivers, not riders. Out of 2 million Victorians in the RACV there must be a significant number of members who ride, or did.

The new Motorcycle Advisory Group at VicRoads has been set up to advise the Roads Minister, Terry Mulder MP, on matters motorcycling. The RACV has a seat at MAG so its' influence on new laws and taxes for riders is potentially big, especially if Royalauto starts taking an interest in motorcycles & scooters again.

It follows that it would be good for riders to have a motorcyclist on the board of the RACV. Professor Marcus Wigan has been a rider for a long time. He's also a transport expert. Vote for him in the coming RACV elections. With a good number of RACV members being riders, we have a good chance of getting a rider elected to the RACV Board. It's a matter of making the effort. Raise Professor Wigan's run for a seat on the RACV Board at you next club meeting and spread the word across the internet. http://www.mwigan.com/ . 

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

ON RIDE THIS WEEK - SEPT 8, 2011.

  • Ray Robinson from the Blue Liners come in to talk about Police in motorcycling
  • We dig into brotherhood CMC's archives to hear former Federal Opposition Leader Dr Brendan Nelson talk about lobbying politicians and his most memorable motorcycling moment.
  • We talk to Tony Beuk from Sydney Dragway about the meeting this weekend.
  • And we catch up with Paul Zumbrouski after his first run on his modified Kawasaki and talk about the national drag bike titles.
  • Grant Howard from Brotherhood fills us in on details for this Sunday's Rememberance Ride.
  • And we talk to Greg Ryan from Fraser Motorcycles and Ray Moody from Western Motorcycles about the changes in motorcycing over the last 30 years.
  • Plus lots of news, views and music from Australia and beyond.
TUNE IN in Sydney live on 90.5 FM and across Australia on

http://www.2ccrfm.com/

10 pm to midnight EST every Thursday.

Check out Facebook and if you like the program click "like" and recommend it to your friends.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/RIDE-on-2ccrfm-with-Greg-Hirst/265400733475447

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

LIFE IN THE RAW SAYS NO CARS

The Herald Sun - September 7, 2011.

Page 21,

LIFE IN THE RAW SAYS NO CARS

By John Masanauskas

"DEVELOPERS of a planned inner-city (DC - Melbourne) apartment block are offering exposed concrete slabs instead of granite features to lure potential buyers.

In what could be the nation's greenest residential building, ubits in the Brunswick project will also dispense with aluminium and chrome surfaces in favour of raw copper taps and sinks.

The Commons, a five-storey 24-unit development in Florence St, has been approved by Moreland council.

When built, it is likely to be the first apartment block with multi-bedroom units not to have any car parking.

Architect Jeremy McLeod, from Breathe Architecture, said yesterday residents would get annual myki cards (DC - public transport passes), 70 bike racks (DC - bicycle) and access to a share car parked at the front.

'This building is about people, not about cars,' he said yesterday. 'It's the way of the future. ...'

... the price of one-bedroom apartments would start from $375,000 ..."

No mention of parking for motorcycles or scooters. Powered two-wheelers are very green and can do a lot that bicycles can't. Bicycles are in planning regulations. Motorcycles and scooters aren't. Why?

Ask Victoria's Planning Minister Matthew Guy - matthew.guy@parliament.vic.gov.au

Cc the Minister for the Environment Ryan Smith - ryan.smith@parliament.vic.gov.au

Included in the Independent Riders' Group (IRG) submission to the Parliamentary Road Safety Committee's (RSC) inquiry into motorcycle & scooter safety is "THE SECRET GREEN ALTERNATIVE". The paper was written by Michael Czajka with special thanks to Professor Marcus Wigan and Guy Stanford then Chair of the NSW Motorcycle Council. It should be available through the RSC at http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/ click on committees.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group
MRA HLM
Melbourne

Saturday, 3 September 2011

TEMPORARY AUSTRALIANS

REMEMBERANCE RIDE FILMING

The details of next week's Rememberance Ride (NSW)  are on the Brotherhood CMC's website.  brotherhood_cmc@hotmail.com .

The ride and service will be filmed for Temporary Australians, a series on the positive activities in the motorcycle culture with Hirsty and WSFM's Brendan Jones that is to be aired on community television in 2012.

See you at Frasers (Motorcycles in Sydney?) at 4 pm Sunday, September 11.

Greg Hirst
Brotherhood CMC

Greg Hirst at a book signing in the famous Elizabeth Street motorcycle precinct in Melbourne.

Hirsty's books.

Greg has a two hour radio show on Thursday nights. You can listen to it on a computer anywhere in OZ. Details elsewhere in this blog.

HIGH-VISIBILITY GEAR COMPULSORY? - SEPTEMBER 2011.

The Sunday Herald Sun

September 4, 2011

Agenda

Page 78.

In Melbourne's Sunday Herald Sun last week there was an item on a request to Roads Minister Terry Mulder to make high-visibility vests compulsory for bicyclists. Two letters on the subject were printed.

"POINT MISSED

How about making the drivers of cars take a little responsibility themselves instead of yet again m,aking it the responsibility of the victim, as was done with helmet laws ('Visible answer', SHS, August 28)?

Safety interventions tend not to work as well as they are claimed to.

All that6 happens is that individuals adjust their behaviour to return to the same level of perceived risk.

High-visibility clothing, as Bicycle Victoria spokesman Gary Brennan says, can give cyclists a false sense of security.

With the passage of time, speeding motorists - already in a cocoon of seatbelts, anti-lock brakes and many other features designed to make their vehicle feel safer than they really are - would expect all cyclists to be wearing them.

This would lead to a situation where drivers could claim the cyclist contributed to the accident becausde he was not wearing high-visibility clothing.

Anyone with big ideas about bike safety should ride a bike (DC - Hear hear!) around Amsterdam, as I did. It will change anyone's thinking on the subject. Unbelievably safe. No helmets or high-visibility jackets.

Peter, Pakenham"

VicRoads/TAC/Police bureaucrats are already talking about compulsory protective clothing for motorcycle & scooter riders and the spectre of  contributory negligence to a crash because of the rider's choice of clothing has long been a topic of conversation in road authorities across our nation.

"POINT MISSED 2

DAREBIN Council wants Roads Minister Terry Mulder to make high-visibility clothing compulsory for cyclists across Victoria.

VicRoads, the TAC and police are also talking about high-visibility vests for motorcycle & scooter riders across. The next step may be a law for reflective jackets for pedestrians to relieve drivers of  responsibility to look for other road users.

Car drivers' errors are the main cause of road trauma in Victoria. Reduce in-car distractions and increase driver skills and alertness even a small amount and you reduce vulnerable road user casualties significantly.

Damien Codognotto
Independent Riders' Group
Melbourne"

The Herald Sun

Thursday, September 15, 2011.

Your Say

Page 36

"KEEP EYE ON ALL ROAD USERS

I took up motorcycling later in life than most.

I'd never heard of the acronym SMIDSY (Sorry mate. I didn't see you.) before I rode.

Now, after two years on two wheels, I think it should be changed to SMIJDL 9Sorry mate. I just didn't look.).

C'mon, drivers, it's not hard, turn your head and look before you try to run into me.

Does my life really mean that little to you?

Peter Faulks, Candelo, NSW."

The Herald Sun

Friday, September 16, 2011

Page 32

50/50

"THE pros and cons of riding my motorcycle to work: I don't pay tolls, I beat the traffic, parking is free and it's fun. I get wet when it rains - and I can get killed by a moron who pulls out in front of me.

Mark, Parkville."

The Herald Sun

Saturday, September 17, 2011.

Your Say

Page 83

"BRIGHTEN UP MOTORCYCLISTS

MOTORCYCLISTS who want to stay safe on the roads need to take some responsibility themselves. If the common comment after an accident (DC - crash) is that the driver did not see the bike - help fix the problem.

Dark clothing/helmets/bikes disappear blending with the road colour.

Start wearing bright helmets, bright protective clothing and ride a bike with lots of colour and lotes of sparkling chrome.

Give motorists a good chance to see you! - it is in your own best interests. Stop passing the buck to anyone else but yourselves.

Lynda, North Balwyn"

Lynda tells motorcyclists to take responsibility by wearing brightly coloured gear and riding bright coloured, shiny bikes. She accuses us of passing the road safety buck.

Too many car drivers like Lynda don't look for motorcycles & scooters in traffic. If they did look they would see many bikes are very brightly coloured. They would see lots of silver and chrome on most bikes. They would see gaudy helmet designs and clothes, with body armour, covered by all sorts of paterns and colours. But they do not look for anything but excuses.

Some bikes are dark coloured but all have reflectors front, side and rear by law. Most bikes are hard wired so the head lamp is on when the motor is running, not that that stop cars from hitting bikes. Audible conspicuity helps but if conspicuity, or high-visibility was a primary safety factor for bikes, why do cars hit police motorcycles?

Motorcycle & scooter riders, bicyclists and pedestrians can be seen by drivers if they LOOK. 

"Sorry mate. I did not see you." is an admission of negligence or incompetance or both by any vehicle operator.

Damien Coidognotto
Independent Riders' Group
Melbourne

The Herald Sun

Tuesday, September 20, 2011.

Page 24

50/50

"MARK of Parkville (50/50, September 16), if you and all your motorcycle buddies rode in the middle of the lane instead of zigging and zagging between two lanes on the freeway you wouldn't face being cut off.

Jason, Berwick"

The Herald Sun

Tuesday, september 20, 2011

Page 24

Your Say

"DRIVERS NEED TO LOOK AROUND

LYNDA ("Brighten up, motorcyclists", September 17), I could dress up as Elmo from Sesame Street and ride a flouro pink bike but if you don't head check before changing lanes, you won't see me.

Why don't we address the root cause of the problem? Drivers need to make the effort to actually look.

Take some responsibility for your bad habits.

Tom, Melbourne"

Another letter rings true. VicRoads is being sued for over $1,000,000 by crash victims who blame the road environment for their injuries/damages. I am very uncomfortable with VicRoads having anything to with road safety, particularly with motorcycle & scooter safety. Just the state of disrepair our roads are in, especially in regional Victoria is enough to convince many that VicRoads should concentrate on road building, maintenance and repair. We need an independent road safety authority.

"OFF THE ROAD

GOOD article, Peter Rolfe ("$1 million bad road cliams", SHS August 28).

Privatise VicRoads. We pay incredible fees and we get everything from poor roads to poor service, not to mention their far from adequate office locations and opening times. One would think it's time for VicRoads to have a major roadworthiness check.

James Towers, via email"