In Victoria the Napthine Government holds power by a single MP. That means both sides of Parliament needs every vote they can get for the 2014 state election. That means people who get political and lobby now have more chance of being heard and of getting at least some of what we want. And, what's good for bikes safety is good for all road users.
We want the government to adopt the parliamentary inquiry into motorcycle & scooter safety (PIMSS) recommendations.
From meetings and talks we know that VicRoads/TAC/police are not happy with many of the recommendation and are working to stop as many of the PIMSS recommendations as they can. Some 80 experts and organisations, including VicRoads/TAC/police, made PIMSS submissions. Now VicRoads/TAC/police show their utter contempt for the parliament by trying to block the PIMSS recommendations.
VicRoads are also moving to make it a $176 fine to ride without VicRoads approved boots on in this state. Real good if you're from interstate and want to go to the GP or Supers or just visit a mate. A definition of a boot is not yet available but, even if it's a slack description, it's a start. You can bet they will tighten it up later and introduce more items on their compulsory list. Nobody's telling me I can't wear my Medals!
VicRoads is also delaying permitting motorcycle & scooter riders to use bus lanes even though the 2012 Hoddle Street trial was a success. Bicyclists can use bus lanes in speed zones up to 70kph. No trial required for them.
VicRoads is delaying allowing legitimate stakeholder groups like the Independent Riders' Group (IRG), the Victorian Scooter Riders' Association (VSRA) and the Australian Trail Riders' Association (AMTRA) to be on Victoria's Motorcycle Advisory Group (VMAG).
VicRoads is also delaying the requirement for riders to display registration labels. Other states got rid of them. There's no reason to keep them. It's just another thing to book you for.
The point is that right now we have some political muscle but it's up to you to use it. The IRG has written to every Victorian MP, both Houses, all parties and independents. The letter is elsewhere in the blog and on the facebook page. Use the link below to look for MPs with electoral offices near you. You have both upper and lower house MPs. The staff in their electoral offices will be able to confirm who you MPs are and make an appointment for you to see them.
Remember, you elect these people. You pay their wages. You have every right to ask them to represent you by telling Cabinet members what you think about the PIMSS recommendations and the way you are treated by road authorities.
Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group