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Saturday, 9 April 2016



Dear Mr Noonan.

T  TWENTY FIVE DEAD in 100 dayNot a thing easily swept under the carpet with words like the victims should have been aware of their surroundings. Ask yourself what Victoria's reaction would be to 25 Victorians killed by sharks, or burnt to death, or run down on pedestrian crossings in the same 100 days.

Sincere sympathy to this rider's loved ones and friends.

What police say after a crash is a major road bike safety problem in itself.

If fault is not attributed then this kind of road trauma can't be reduced in future. With respect to the families of downed riders, some hard questions must be asked after crashes like this by the courts NOT by police on site or the media. Was this rider hit from behind (Again! 40% are.)? Was the driver/rider speeding to catch the lights? Crossing lanes without due care? On the phone? Drunk?

Road authorities can't, in good conscience, tell crash victims to be aware of their surroundings and keep themselves safe then consider their departmental duty of care re bike safety to be done!
Some facebook comments (10/4/2016) on this fatal crash:

Damien Codognotto Sincere condolences to this riders loved ones. Regardless of what police say, if fault is ignored this will keep happening.
Like · Reply · 3 · 21 hrs

Pete: I may be wrong but, does the photo indicate that the car has actually rear ended and gone over the bike and rider? If so, the statement of riders having to be more careful is well beyond the pale.
Condolences to family and fiends of the rider, RIP.
Unlike · Reply · 5 · 21 hrs

Jim: Car crossed over 3 lanes of traffic. Bike locked up and slid into the car. Similar thing happened to me a few years ago on the same road - Burwood hwy. riding my ZX14 in the right lane a car flew across 3 lanes to make it to a slip lane to turn right....See More
Unlike · Reply · 4 · 21 hrs

Damien Codognotto: The way this policeman told it to the media the story twanged of the rider being at fault for not being aware of his surroundings. Cops should not be allowed to put their "opinions" to the
media like this. It is wrong.
Like · Reply · 5 · 18 hrs

Peter: Driver at fault and motorcyclists need to take more care wtf
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 18 hrs

Steve: picture worth a 1000 words .......... looks like car ran over bike to me!
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 17 hrs

Steve M: Agreed the officer did not know the facts and therefore should not have spoken his mind, And sad to say this will keep happening until the powers that be start to charge cage drivers with vehicular
manslaughter when they are in the wrong, My condolences to the family and friends of the rider lost today, too many lives lost so far this year.
Unlike · Reply · 2 · 17 hrs

Jo: The driver will forever have to live with the fact that she killed someone in a manner which was avoidable.
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 17 hrs
2016 began badly in Victoria. 24 dead on road bikes in the 1st quarter. Many more injured. The Herald Sun newspaper began a welcome campaign to reduce the motorcycle & scooter road toll. It lasted a couple of days. Police began a campaign based on opinion to make protective clothing compulsory ... again.

The awful numbers are tragedies for the families and loved ones of the dead and injured. The Independent Riders' Group (IRG) offers condolences and tries to understand their loss and Pain.

But awful numbers should NOT trigger knee-jerk reactions by governments nor to excuse road authorities pushing bogus policies based on opinions rather than real science.

2015 saw opinion based laws introduced forcing novice riders wear high-visibility vests and switch their headlights on in daylight. These laws were based on opinions not facts.

One over-paid Victorian law maker, Dr Alexandra Douglas, did not even know that most motorbikes sold in Australia for the last 20 years have no headlight switches! This window dressing is so road authorities are seen to be doing something. Laws like these do not save lives. They divert attention from the real problems and waste resources that could/should have been used to cut the killing.

Hard facts show steady growth in legitimate motorcycles & scooters on Victorian roads since 2001. Facts show Victorian riders & pillions are safer than they have ever been. This steady improvement in safety, in
spite of the recent terrible spike in crashes, is more to do with improved equipment & better training than expensive shock/horror ad campaigns and police blitzes targeting riders. The long term improvement in bike safety is certainly not due to quality data collection and assessment and it's not due to the discredited Motorcycle Advisory Group (MAG) at VicRoads.

There are serious, on-going problems with road crash data. That's been documented by several Victorian Parliamentary Inquiries. Do something about crash data. Reform MAG and make the Victorian road crash site investigation unit independent to improve road safety in Victoria.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group (IRG)
PO Box 4330, Doncaster Heights, Vic. 3109.


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