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Wednesday, 19 June 2013

UNBIASED REPORTING?

When a motorcycle rider is speeding the Herald Sun sets up a man hunt that generates hate on the roads which is dangerous. By all means catch this lunatic but report the incident in a balanced, unbiased way.

When a car driver is caught speeding and gives a smart answer to police the Herald Sun runs the item as a humorous filler. See the earlier blog on the 273 kph bike chase that the Herald Sun ran as front page and editorial wanted posters.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

273 KPH CHASE!

A  rogue  rider  has  given  police  the opportunity to push for front
number  plates yet again. Melbourne's Herald Sun is only to happy to back
their  call  regardless of the facts they printed in this case and the
fact that front ID on bikes is a discredited concept.

Please consider writing to your local papers about this one.

Damien
IRG
THE HERALD SUN
LETTERS

Police renewed their call for front number plates on motorcycles after
a  race replica recorded doing  146  kph  on  the Hume Freeway at 10am
on a Sunday. (Hoon Hunt 18/6/2013)

The Independent Riders' Group condemns the irresponsible and dangerous
actions  of  this rider but he or she should not be seen as typical of
Victoria's 326,000 licence holders.

On  The  Hume  in  good  conditions  146  kph is not necessarily  life
threatening.

Constable  Piscioneri gave chase. The bike accelerated to a deadly 273
kph.  Maybe  the  rider  did  not  have  a  licence  or  the  bike was
unregistered  or  stolen. That's no excuse, but it looks like the chase
pushed  the speed up. How fast did the police car have to go to get to
"within four car lengths" of the bike from a standing start?

Would have been a front page story with editorial and a follow up item
the next day if the bike had been a sports car?

How  often during this dangerous chase did the constable see the front
of the bike?  By  all  means  catch  and  punish  speedsters but do it
reasonably safely and   don't   use  an  isolated  case  to push front
number plates on a generally law-abiding community.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group
Melbourne


ANOTHER ON-ROAD PUSHBIKE LANE

Update: Herald Sun. June 20, 2013. Scroll down.
********************************************
5500 PUSHBIKE RIDERS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN 34,000 MOTORISTS.

5500 PUSHBIKE RIDERS GET $5,600,000 SPENT ON THEM BY CoM WHILE 326,000
MOTORCYCLE & SCOOTER RIDERS HAVE TO PAY $70+ A YEAR ON MOST BIKES. NOT
THAT THE TAC ANTIBIKE TAX IS IMPOSED ON US BY THE COUNCIL BUT IT STILL
IRRITATES.

WE WILL WATCH THIS TRIAL AND KEEP YOU INFORMED.

DAMIEN
IRG


















































































Tuesday, 11 June 2013

INCOMPETENCE OR BETRAYAL?

TO ALL VICTORIAN MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT 
AND TO INDEPENDENT RIDERS' GROUP MEMBERS
After  months  of  trying  to  find  out  when the  "all of government"
response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into  motorcycle & scooter safety
(PIMSS) recommendations   would   be   tabled,  The Independent Riders'
Group (IRG)  was  contacted  by  Minister Mulder's office at 1.35pm  on
Tuesday, June 11, 2013.

The message was detailed.   The document would be tabled in "government
business" from noon or from 3pm on Wednesday, June 12.  The information
was false. The document was tabled at 3pm on June 11.

The  IRG issued a media release, attached,  and contacted members so we 
could   have riders  in  the  public  gallery  when  the  document  was  
tabled.  The  government  response  to the PIMSS directly effects rider 
safety and we had a right to be there when it was tabled.

Two  hours  later,  about  3.30pm,   the  IRG  got  another  call  from
Mulder's office to say the document had already been tabled.

This was a once in 20 years opportunity. We were betrayed.

Many rider are not happy.    It seems to us that the shift to table the
document   on   June  11  rather  than  June  12,  and  the  associated
misinformation was a ploy to avoid negative publicity.

Many  of the PIMSS recommendations were rejected.  Others are likely to
be delayed and altered to better suit VicRoads/TAC/Police agendas.

The way I see it, the "all of government" response to PIMSS does little
for  safety  while  maintaining  the status quo for VicRoads/TAC/Police
and it will weaken the motorcycle & scooter community in the long term.

I doubt  traffic  filtering  (I use the politically correct term)  will 
be adopted in spite of the recommendation being "accepted". As with bus 
lanes,  they will talk about traffic filtering in private,  but  not in
public.  They will delay,  or  not  do anything until forced to,  about 
either of these safety and traffic flow initiatives,  probably  because 
they would benefit riders.   VicRoads/TAC/Police  only  say  they  have 
scrapped their policy not to do anything that might encourage riders.

The  Motorcycle  Advisory Group (MAG)  at VicRoads won't be expanded as
recommended.   As  people like Stuart Strickland OAM and Rob Smith from
Motorcycling  Australia  leave  MAG  they  will be replaced with people
acceptable  to  VicRoads.

The  Victorian Scooter Riders Association  (VSRA)  and  the  Australian 
Motorcycle Trail Riders Association (AMTRA) probably won't  be  allowed  
on MAG and the Independent Riders Group (IRG) will remain black listed.

The   recommendation  to abolish the TAC antibike tax was rejected. The 
TAC tax is morally wrong. No other form of transport suffers a punative
targeted tax like this.

The  argument put by some "rider reps" that the tax gives them a budget 
to work for motorcycling is not even close to credible.   It gives them 
a  budget  to  sit  on committees and do nothing but stroke their egos. 
These rider reps have sold out.  They  are most acceptable to VicRoads-
/TAC/Police.

The TAC antibike tax was introduced by stealth 10 years ago.  If it has 
been working for us, where are the decade's worth of results? While the 
TAC tax exists motorcycle & scooter riders will never get a real safety 
budget like bicycle riders get.  This  lack  of appropriate funding for 
real  safety  research  and  countermeasures  gets  riders  hurt    and 
killed. VicRoads/TAC/Police know this.

The  tax  also  discourages  low-income riders from buying safety gear, 
good tyres and paying for quality machine servicing. 

VicRoads/TAC/Police know this too.

Both Liberal Premiers, Ted Baillieu and Denis Napthine, promised to rid 
us of the TAC antibike tax while in Opposition. 

Both broke their promises.

Rejecting  the PIMSS recommendation to set up an independent crash data
collection authority entrenches the old flawed system and maintains the
departmental empires, budgets and agendas.

An  independent  crash  data authority would benefit ALL road users and 
would save the state money in the middle and longer terms. VicRoads/TAC-
/Police et al  crow  about  their world-leading road safety systems but 
it's all window dressing to hide their cosy little fifedoms.   Too many 
rider reps see a place for themselves in those hidden communities.
L to R: Damien Codognotto OAM, Terry Mulder MP and Michael Czajka discuss motorcycle & scooter issues. Mulder has the facts on our inadequate crash data collection and assessment system.


Roads  Minister  Mulder knows very well of the problems with crash data 
collection. He was on the all-party Road Safety Committee that produced 
the 2005 report on Crashes Involving Roadside Objects. 



Page viii of the Executive Summary:

"The Committee noted a number of areas where crash 
information was missing or could be more detailed. 
The difficulty obtaining adequate data  ...  is  a
continuing  issue  in  Victoria,  coming  up  time 
and  time   again  in  Committee  inquiries.  Gov-
ernments  agree  to improve crash information, yet 
crash  and crash risk information continue  to  be 
an  impediment  to  the  improvement  of  roadside 
safety in Victoria."







I'd say  unreliable crash data continues to be an impediment to reducing 
all  road trauma in 2013 and Minister Mulder knows it. I think rejecting 
the  first  three  PIMSS  recommendations is a betrayal of all Victorian 
road users, especially motorcycle & scooter riders. 

The  transcripts   of  the  PIMSS  submissions put the problems with the 
current crash data system on the record for all to see. 
www.parliament.vic.gov.au/rsc/inquiries/article/1407

The  next  Victorian  election is in November 2014. Motorcycle & scooter 
riders won't forget. 

We Ride. We pay. We vote.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Spokesman
Independent Riders' Group
Melbourne

DON'T BE THERE TOMORROW.


DIRTY TRICKS OR JUST INCOMPETENCE?

After  months  of  trying  to  find  out  when the "all of government"
response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into motorcycle & scooter safety
recommendations  would  be  tabled,  The Independent Riders' Group was
contacted by Minister Mulder's office at 1.35pm today.

The  message  was  detailed telling the IRG that the document would be
tabled from noon tomorrow, June 11.

See attached.

Two  hours  later the IRG got another call from Mulder's office to say
the document had already been tabled.

Apparently,   the  23  page  response  rejects  many  (HALF?)  of  the
recommendations.   This  would not make riders happy.     Many believe
the shift to table the document  today,  probably   before  the  first
call  from  Mulder's  office  was  a  dirty  trick  to  avoid negative
publicity.

I'm told you can go to:

www.parliament.vic.gov.au/rsc/inquiries/article/1409

then  click  on "response" for a pdf file.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Spokesman
Independent Riders' Group
Melbourne

Monday, 10 June 2013

BE THERE TOMORROW

GOOD NEWS! BAD NEWS!

The good news is that the "all of government" response to the 64 recommendations from the parliamentary inquiry into motorcycle & scooter safety (Dec. 2012) will be tabled in the Victorian Parliament tomorrow, June 12, and you have a right to be there.

The bad news is that we only got verbal confirmation of this an hour or so ago on June 11. We have been trying to get information on this for months.

I am going to try to be at Parliament House in Melbourne by 9am. The public galleries should be open by then. If you can, I urge you to attend even if you can only stay a short while at lunch time or after work.

I'm told the document should be tabled in "government business" from noon or 3pm. No set time.

After the document is tabled you can pick up a copy from the Clerk of Papers office or find the response online. Start your search here.

www.parliament.vic.gov.au/rsc/inquiries/article/1409

Don't wait outside. Go through security and ask to sit in the public gallery. There should be papers in there telling you the running order.

If you see the media. Don't be shy. Tell them what you think.

The last parliamentary inquiry in this state, into motorcycle & scooter safety was in 1992. So this is a 1 in 20 year opportunity.
If the response to the 64 recommendations is good, say so. If the response is bad, say so. We need to send a message to our elected representatives, and to the public, we are a community, we are concerned citizens and we are organised.

We ride! We pay! We vote!

The next Victorian election is in November 2014.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Spokesman
Independent Riders' Group
Melbourne.

PS The front number plate issue yesterday was a Furphy. It was just about road safety slogans on car plates.  

Sunday, 9 June 2013

WARNING! BAD WEEK COMING?

The item on front number plates may be about the Victorian Government's plan to put road safety slogans on car number plates.

I got the info out as soon as I've confirmed it. Still nothing on the PIMSS recommendations.

FRONT NUMBER PLATES AGAIN!
PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY RECOMMENDATIONS RESPONSE
NOT OPEN TO STAKEHOLDERS?


Luke A Donnellan MP
Shadow Minister for Roads and the TAC.

G'day Luke.

I rang Jude's (Perera MP) office and some Liberal people but no one knows anything about  any  announcement  regarding  the  government's position on the PIMSS  recommendations.  

www.parliament.vic.gov.au/rsc/inquiries/article/1409

As  you  know they have to do something  next week. Something must be in the works somewhere. It beggars belief that nothing is planned and that stakeholder groups are not informed.

I  think  the  government's  spin  doctors are paranoid about negative publicity after Ted Baillieu MP resigned as Premier, probably well before that too.

I  think  VicRoads/TAC/Police  are  playing  one stakeholder group off against  another  to advance their own agendas and they definitely do not want a lot of the PIMSS recommendations.

We already know that VicRoads dominates Victoria's Motorcycle Advisory Group and secrecy is a top priority. They have made it very clear that some stakeholder groups are black listed.

TAC too. TAC holds meetings where only selected people are allowed in. I know. I have been told to leave one meeting this year, not because I could  not  make a valid contribution, because my contribution was not what  they  wanted  to  hear.  I  was not on their invite list for the second half of the meeting and was told to leave.

Anyway,  I  think  the  PIMSS announcement will be made next week with "tame"  stakeholders.  I  think  it  will  be  kept  as low profile as possible because I think the response to the  PIMSS recommendations is going to be a very serious disappointment to the  motorcycle & scooter community. I hope I wrong.

Please see if you can get a straight answer on the PIMSS  announcement from Minister Mulder when you see him next.

terence.mulder@parliament.vic.gov.au

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group
Melbourne

***********************************************

Dear Damien, 

they are doing a release on number plates today (motor
vehicles) so I have a feeling it may be a road safety week theme. 

I will keep asking around but your comments on the government being paranoid are spot on. 

Luke

WHAT'S UP DOC?

Doctor Napthine, Premier of Victoria, what's up with our inquiry response? We want to be there when you announce your government's response to the 64 PIMSS recommendations. 

www.parliament.vic.gov.au/rsc/inquiries/article/1409

www.parliament.vic.gov.au/members

Email Dr Napthine and ask him why Roads Minister Mulder won't tell us what they are doing with our inquiry results. Stakeholders have a right to be involved.

denis.napthine@parliament.vic.gov.au

JUNE 6, 2013.

The Hon Terry Mulder MLA
Minister for Roads
Victoria

Dear Sir.

I understand the   Government   is  due  to  announce  its'  decisions on  the  64  recommendations  from   the  Parliamentary  Inquiry  into motorcycle & scooter safety 
(Dec 2012) by June 12, 2013.

How will  this  be done? If it is to be tabled in Parliament, we would like to be in the public gallery. If it is to be done by media release we would like to obtain a copy at the earliest time.

We would very much appreciate information on this as soon as possible.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Spokesman
Independent Riders' Group


Tel: 03 9846 8621.

Keep up to date. Visit the Independent Riders' Group facebook page.

Damien


CASEY STONER AM

World MotoGP Champion Casey Stoner gets a gong in the Queen's Birthday honours list. Congratualations Casey.

Photo courtesy Australian Motorcycle News.
































Casey  is a  clean-living  family  man. He  is  a  sportsman  who left
motorcycle  racing  at  the  top  of  his   game.  He has been a great
ambassador  for  Australia  and  is  an excellent role model for young
Australians.

Membership in The  Order  of  Australia is awarded for service in a particular
locality or field of activity or to a particular group.

www.itsanhonour.gov.au 


































Casey's   award   is   well-deserved   and   excellent  publicity  for
motorcycling.  Good  PR  can  save  lives  on  our roads and result in
positive decisions by authorities.

Write to your local paper and/or your favourite bike mag to congratulate
Casey Stoner on his career racing and his AM.

The Order of Australia is our national honours system. It's not British.
Australians nominate Australians and a committee of Australians considers
each nomination and decides on the awards. It is very rare that a non-Australian
gets an Order of Australia award.

Watch  our  facebook page for the latest on issues effecting your safety and
right to ride.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Spokesman
Independent Riders' Group
Melbourne

Well Done Damien.

Casey certainly has encouraged many riders World Wide
Promoting the sport in a great way!

I met Casey in 2004 he was promoting Safe Riding at Cowes on Phillip Island prior to the Moto-GP

Well Done Casey Stoner :-)

Dale Robert Maggs
Mob 0432 776 458
@convictstock
Independent Riders Group

Friday, 7 June 2013

WRITE TO YOUR LOCAL MP

The more people who contact their local MP, the more effect it will have. That's how our democracy works. Letting someone else do it just means the people making the most "noise" have the greatest influence. As far as a politician is concerned the loudest group is the one that influences the most votes.

Contact your MP.

www.parliament.vic.gov.au/members

Here's a reply to a riders who got in touch with his MP. Ken Wilson wrote to Steve Herbert MP who passed it on to the Minister for Roads and the Shadow Minister.


































Contact your MP. Use this link.

www.parliament.vic.gov.au/members

Want to know more about how to defend your right to ride by using your democracy? Call 03 8682 2653 and ask them to post you out a copy. IT'S FREE! No steak knives though.


































It's your democracy. If you don't use it, you could lose it.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group
Melbourne

Thursday, 6 June 2013

PIMSS RECOMMENDATIONS ANNOUNCEMENT

The Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into motorcycle & scooter safety produced 64 recommendations. These were tabled at Parliament House in Melbourne in December 2012. The Government had 6 months to say what it would do with the PIMSS recommendations.

Time's up next week.

































Oddly, we can't find out where, when or how the Government's decisions will be announced.

This is a once in 20 year inquiry. The recommendations are very important.

The Independent Riders' Group would like to be at any PIMSS announcement. Any info would be most welcome.

RADIO SHOW FOR RIDERS

ON RIDE THIS TUESDAY NIGHT FROM 7PM
  • C J Burns from the Motorcycle Council comes in to chat about the latest green slip crisis in NSW
  • We update on how the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry Recommendations are progressing at a government level
  • We look forward to this year's Australian Moto GP at Phillip Island
  • And we ask which are the best motorcycle rides in Australia

So don't forget to tune in 7pm-9pm Sydney time on Alive 90.5 FM or listen online on the Alive website and smart phone.

Ride is proudly sponsored by:

Fraser Motorcycles: check out their stores in Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle, Melbourne and Perth.
Newhaven Park House Bathurst for your AGM, weekend ride or just lunch   www.newhavenparkhouse.com.au .