ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER TRAFFIC
VICTORIA POLICE CENTRE
GPO BOX 913,
MELBOURNE, VIC. 3001.
The Independent Riders Group (IRG) represents individual motorcycle &
scooter riders not clubs. TAC surveys indicate that 80% of riders are
not members of clubs. The IRG is not represented by the Victorian
Motorcycle Council (VMC).
On Monday, March 16 the IRG held its' first RIDE TO WORK BREAKFAST at
the Queen Victoria market. Police did not attend.
TAC promoted motorcycle & scooter safety. VicRoads' Paul Matthews attended.
Speakers included Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, Roads Minister Luke Donnellan
MP, Greg Pond from the Victorian Scooter Riders Association (VSRA) and
Father Bob Maguire AM.
Minister Donnellan said traffic filtering (TF) rules would be introduced
in Victoria on September 1, 2015.
|Roads and Road Safety Minister Luke Donnellan MP speaking to at Melbourne's first RIDE TO WORK BREAKFAST. Traffic filtering for motorcycle & scooter riders will start on September 1, 2015. The new filtering laws are being developed.|
Four TV news crews attended the RIDE TO WORK BREAKFAST. But the good
news story on motorcycle & scooter rider safety was swamped by
"bikie invasion" stories.
Riding in Victoria is safer than it has ever been. Many more machines
are doing more kilometres with fewer casualties. Most motorcycle &
scooter casualties are caused by car driver error. The data is solid but
the media doesn't tell this story.
TF has been discussed at the Motorcycle Advisory Group (MAG) at
VicRoads. IRG had no input because MAG members are appointed by
VicRoads. As I understand it, the Police member on MAG is Stuart McGreggor.
There was a TF workshop on March 2, 2015 at 1 Spring Street, Melbourne.
Police had a seat but did not attend. I attended. Steve Bardsley
attended for the VSRA. He outlined a TF "framework". See attached. IRG
supports the VSRA. VSRA is not represented by VMC.
It was suggested that Victoria Police wanted TF defined and new offences
with harsh penalties introduced. Since the IRG cannot put its' TF
position on behalf of IRG members to police through MAG or the workshop,
our position on TF is as follows:
1. TF has existed as long as there has been traffic. It is done safely
across Australia and around the world every day. There is no evidence to
suggest that TF is a significant cause of injuries. Experienced riders
told the 2012 Parliamentary Inquiry into motorcycle & scooter safety
that TF was the safest way to ride in traffic. In some 40% of bike
insurance claims (Swann C2006), the bike was hit from behind by another
vehicle. See the video on a recent ACT crash. Link below. TF is not lane
splitting. Dangerous driving/riding laws already cover that.
2. Many people riding to work do so to save time and money, not because
"it is faster". These people include bread winners for families,
students, job seekers and pensioners. These people are the least able to
afford heavy fines and loss of points for riding in a safe manner. The
number of people commuting on two wheels will continue to increase as
the population increases.
3. TF reduces traffic congestion and frees up car parking space. Single
occupant cars make up 70% of traffic. You can park 5 to 10 motorbikes
where 1 car will fit. More secure bike parking and lockers for
protective clothing will compliment legitimising traffic filtering as a
road safety initiative and encourage the use of protective clothing.
There needs to be a campaign to educate car drivers about the benefits
to all road users of safe two-wheel commuting.
4. To legitimise TF and make it even safer, overtaking rules for
motorcycle & scooter riders need to be similar to those for pushbike riders.
5. Pushbike "safety boxes" need to be expanded across all lanes at
suitable intersections and motorcycle and scooter riders permitted to
use these areas. An example of the type of stop line arrangement exists
in Latrobe Street, Melbourne. See attached. A car stop line then a two
wheeler stop line then the pedestrian crossing. TF without this means
riders will either be stuck between cars or will end up in the
pedestrian area. The concept exists and operates well in the pushbike
6. The IRG strongly opposes the introduction of new TF offences with
harsh penalties as in NSW. TF can be done safely at speeds up to 40 kph.
Constantly checking your speedo in heavy traffic is dangerous.
7. The IRG strongly opposes a TF ban in 40 kph speed zones as suggested
by VicRoads and reportedly supported MAG members Moira Stewart and Wendy
8. The IRG strongly opposes a TF ban on overtaking stationary or slow
moving large vehicles in heavy traffic such as on Hoddle Street, Melbourne.
9. The IRG strongly opposes a TF ban on riding between parked cars and
slow moving or stopped traffic.
10. The IRG supports TF bans on overtaking stationary trams.
11. The IRG supports TF bans in school zones.
12. Motorcycle & scooter riders should be permitted to use bicycle lanes
for short distances when filtering.
13. Motorcycle & scooter riders should be permitted to use most bus
lanes as interstate and overseas.
14. The IRG strongly opposes the "one metre rule" because safe distances
are covered by existing laws and overtaking at distance of less than 1
metre in heavy slow moving traffic is often the safest way to travel.
In the interests of motorcycle & scooter safety please take a few
minutes to watch these video clips.
The following clip clearly demonstrates why experienced road riders,
that is people who know what they are talking about, say TF is the
safest way to ride a motorcycle or scooter in traffic.
Restrict the traffic filtering STATUS QUO in Victoria and people will
die, especially inexperienced riders.
This video on WA Police motorcycles clearly documents three things.
First. The value of bike traffic filtering in congested cities.
Second. Mid-sized police bikes are by far the best way to enforce laws
relating to in car offences in heavy traffic. Motorcycles smaller than
the luxury tourers used by the Victoria Police handle heavy traffic
better, cost a lot less to buy and maintain and make the bike unit more
accessible to more officers.
Third. Helmet cameras are obviously a road safety asset. They are legal
for bicyclists (?) in Victoria but banned for motorcycle & scooter riders.
A car/bike crash from the rider's point of view.
Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group (IRG)
PO Box 4330
Doncaster Heights Vic 3109