Tuesday, 11 September 2012

FRONT NUMBER PLATES

PLEASE PASS THIS VMC MEDIA RELEASE ON

Media Release – For Immediate Release
 
Victorian Government agencies front number plate proposal, $29m for no road safety benefit.
 
In response to a call for the introduction of motorcycle front number plates by Victoria Police, the Road Safety Camera Commissioner, Victorian Auditor General and Vicroads, motorcyclists have hit back claiming that the agencies have misrepresented the truth and have misused statistics to mask other agendas. 
 
In a transparent push to plug a 0.4% issue, the call for FNP’s would cost the Victorian community $29m to retro-fit today’s motorcycle fleet. This does not include the cost of developing safe and reliable identification which Vicroads research (conducted between 2000 – 2008) proved was not technically feasible. 
 
Rider representatives believe that the figures used as justification for FNP’s are an attempt to mislead the public and misrepresent motorcyclists. The claims that 60% of allegedly speeding motorcycles have failed identification due to a lack of frontal identification are false. Traffic Camera Office data shows that the actual figure is half what’s claimed and that these failed detections represents a paltry 0.4% of all motorcycle and motorcar speed camera detections.
 
The push for FNP’s for the sole purposes of the camera enforcement system would make Victoria singularly unique in the world and impose a complex Australian Design Rules problem for Australia.
 
Peter Baulch – VMC Chairman said, “Simply turn the cameras around and take the pictures from the rear.” He went on to say, “The logic that frontal identification is required to save lives is elusive. Riders have recorded solid fatality and injury reductions without FNP’s, which flies in the face of the hyperbole around there being more speeding motorcyclists. There’s never been a safer time to ride a motorcycle – clearly there’s some other agenda at play.”
 
Rob Smith of the Australian Rider’s Division cautioned, “Untested retro fitted number plates could lead to safety and stability issues on some motorcycles increasing the risk of injuries and even deaths.” 
 
Rob Salvatore from the VMC said, “Is it the Government’s contention that spending $29m to fix a 0.4% issue is really the best way to improve safety and lower the road toll?” Rob went on to say, “The agencies are trying to blame riders for an inherent camera system flaw that’s been there from day one.” 
 
Like all other road users, motorcycles have experienced a greater number of speeding detections over the last decade. Coupled with the proliferation of speed cameras, motorcycles have also experienced an explosion in kilometres travelled and a massive 70% increase in registrations. 
 
“The apparent increase in failed detections from the front is a numerical artefact from an increased probability of detection. The agencies however, have spun the figures in a negative light to vilify riders.” Rob Salvatore said. “Relatively speaking, it’s no worse than the situation in 2002, where we have our last solid piece of research.”
 
Recent results from the reputable Yellow Flag/Black Flag study showed that motorcyclists were generally law abiding road users and actually recorded a decrease in average speed during the study period, directly contradicting the inferences made by the agencies. In light of these independent findings, the VMC calls for the agencies to retract their misrepresentative statements, drop the misleading campaign and to start talking and working with rider representatives frankly and honestly towards a shared goal of safer roads.
 
“Of course we understand the speed issue and do not condone speeding, but road safety involves more than one dimension. Road safety is a shared responsibility. Our agencies should never be playing fast and loose with the truth in the area of road safety and should be called to account for vilifying motorcyclists, a legitimate road user.”  

Peter Baulch.
Chairman
Victorian Motorcycle Council 
 
- ENDS –

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