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Wednesday, 20 August 2014


August 21, 2014.

Mr Gordon Lewis
Traffic Camera Commissioner

Dear Mr Lewis.

It seems to me that your statistic that 69% of riders who are photographed by your traffic cameras have prosecutions dropped is less than credible if you imply that this is because motorcycles have no front number plates. Can you explain this statistic for our members/readers please.

It also seems to me that if, over the 10 months of your latest survey, the number of riders photographed by your traffic cameras was down 30% and the number of riders was up around 25% then an improvement in rider behaviour is indicated. Is this a reasonable assumption?

A couple of observations. I know of nowhere in the world that requires front number plates on motorcycles & scooters. I know of no manufacturer that designs machines to display front plates. How can you justify a tiny market like Victoria, that no longer manufactures motorcycles or scooters (or many vehicles of any kind) telling the rest of the world how to build bikes?

It was the speed camera industry that put the cameras in facing the wrong way, not us.

Motorcycle & scooter riders more than pay their way on our roads being taxed/charged as much as a large car for registration and CTP and the unfair TAC tax. See recommendation 25 in the report from the 2012 Parliamentary Inquiry. To say that we do not want front number plates on our bikes to avoid fines is wrong. The vast majority of the 326,000 Victorians licenced to ride motorcycles & scooters are law-abiding citizens.

Please note that the Parliamentary Inquiry did NOT recommend front ID for motorcycles or scooters.

It is the opinion of most of the riders we are in contact with that a major road safety improvement, particularly for vulnerable road users, would be more uniformed police on our roads rather than more traffic cameras. Car driver error causes most pedestrian, bicycle and powered two-wheeler casualties in this state.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders Group

Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2014 7:59 AM
Subject: RE:Cameras and front plates


Saw your interview last night.  Can you please ask for the figures to be justified?

They said that 69.9% (last time it was 70% - 69.9 sounds more legitimate) of all riders who are booked for speeding get away because there is no front number plate.  That means that only 30% of all cameras are shooting rear plates.  Well all the red light cameras and all the mobile cameras and all the Eastlink/Citilink tolls and most of the cameras mounted in police cars shoot the rear number plate.  I think this just leaves the fixed cameras on the freeways.  This means there must be a phenomenal number of riders speeding on freeways if they make up 70%.  Simplest solution is change the cameras on the freeways to shoot front and back.

Also another reason against front number plates on current bikes is the cost to riders to have them mounted and then put in the electrics for a light.


Sent: Thursday, 21 August 2014 9:08 AM
Subject: Re: RE:Cameras and front plates

G'day C.

As I understand it, and I'm no statistician, the 69% figure represents all motorcycle & scooter traffic photos that are rejected. Only part of that figure is because the camera faced the front of the bike.

And, in the 10 months of the survey total bike photos were down 30% while the number of bikes on our roads went up 25%. That indicates improved rider behaviour.

Unfortunately we do not see improved bureaucratic behaviour by Camera Commissioner Gordon Lewis. It seems to me he has selected statistics to suit the anti-motorcycle culture in VicRoads/TAC/police.

I'll put your request for justification of the camera survey's bike figures on facebook and the blog if you like. I can remove your ID and pass any responses on to you. On the other hand we could plug the Herb & Chilli Festival. 

Good to hear from you.


Thanks Damien

I think if we all ask this same question there is a chance the media or someone might pick up on it.
Please put the post on Facebook.  I will ask the same question on my page.

I am sending this question to 3AW and anyone else I can think of as I personally have no problem with front plates.  I don't want to have to spend the money and I hate misuse of statistics.


G'day again C.

The Independent Riders Group and most motorcycle & scooter organisations I know of have a major problem with front number plates/stickers. The short explanation is front ID does little or nothing for bikes safety inspite of projections by police and the camera commissioner. Front plates will cost riders money to install and can make insurance claims greater so we pay higher premiums. (Swann Insurance). Front plates are a revenue raiser for departments with an antibike culture. No where else in the world, as far as I know, requires front ID for motorcycles & scooters.

If anyone knows a place where front ID for bikes is still required by law, please let me know.

And, maybe worst of all, if they can get front plates made law in Victoria on such obviously "cherry picked" stats, what's next? They are already going for mandatory dayglo vests and boots and a totally unnecessary lights-on law which may change our legal standing after a car smashes into us and the driver says. "Sorry mate, I did not see you."


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