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Saturday, 23 September 2017

INVITATION TO RIDE TO THE NEWCASTLE TOY RUN 2017

BIG JOHN'S NEWCASTLE TOY RUN NUMBER 40!

That makes this TOY RUN the oldest and the biggest TOY RUN in OZ. Big John OAM organised his first TOY RUN in 1978. The same year the Melbourne Motorcycle Riders Association TOY RUN began. The organisers of the two events did not know about each other back then.

TOY RUN spread across the country. In 2017 there are only three big, traditional TOY RUNS left - Hobart, Adelaide and Newcastle. In 2016, 5000 bikes attended the Hobart event, 6000 bikes went on the Adelaide TOY RUN and a monumental 12,000 machines turned out in Newcastle.

Riders from all over OZ are invited to the 40th NEWCASTLE TOY RUN. Southerners are invited to experience/enjoy some of the best motorcycle roads on the planet by heading north on a feeder run to Newcastle.

VIC-TAS-NSW FEEDER RUN TO THE OLDEST & LARGEST TOY RUN IN AUSTRALIA


4 day weekend option: Friday, December 1 - Monday, December 4.

7 day-fun riding week:  Friday, December 1 - Thursday, December 8.
OR join the run where ever/when ever suits!
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30 – Make your own way to Wodonga/Albury for overnight stay*

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1. 

BP North Albury – From M31 Hume Highway take Thurgoona Drive exit towards Jindera/Thurgoona, then 1st right to enter rear of service centre car park. 8.00am Arrive. 8.15am ride briefing. 8.30am depart.

Caltex Tarcutta – 10.15am depart.

BP Cootamundra – 11.30am depart.

BP Cowra – Lunch stop - 2pm depart.

BP Bathurst – 3.15 arrive – overnight stay*.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2. 

BP Raglan (A32 Great Western Hwy) . 8.00am arrive. 8.15am ride briefing. 8.30am depart.

Bikes & Buds Kandos – Museum - 11.15am depart.

Bylong General Store – Lunch – 1.00pm depart.

Shell Denman – 2.15pm depart.

Caltex Greta – 3.00pm arrive – overnight stay**.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 3. 

Caltex Rutherford (138 New England Hwy) 7.45am arrive. 8.00am ride briefing. 8.15am depart for Ballast Park Stockton

40th Anniversary Newcastle 'Bikers for Kids' Toy Run

*Overnight accommodation: details on request or make your own arrangements.
**2 nights accommodation for riders continuing on via Putty Rd, Windsor, Bowral to Nowra, Bombala, Eden, Cann River, Cooma, Khancoban, Tumbarumba, Jingellic, Tallangatta and Wodonga. 
Depart Monday, December 4.  Arrive Wodonga Thursday, Decemebr 7 night.

- MUST be comfortable with extended touring ie 335 to 470km days on some excellent twisty roads!
- MUST have fuel range to 250km; 98 fuel not available at all stops some routes; carry 5lt container if in doubt.
- Support vehicle towing motorcycle trailer for breakdowns only; must be able to carry own personal gear including tent &/or swag/bedding, as vehicle will be carrying camp kitchen, esky's, food & toy run stuff.
- Please advise preference for accommodation and/or camping asap; Maitland-Newcastle area limited already.
# One able bodied passenger needed with own gear for option to ride pillion into TOY RUN on Sunday (1 hour return trip & 1/2 hour on Run); need to be available for whole week, to assist loading break downs on to trailer if required.
- All ride at own risk; observe road rules, ride safely and courteously within group.  There will be a tail rider each stage; will be shared if no volunteers.
 
Info: 0412 049 504 or email: independentridersgroup@iinet.net.au

https://www.facebook.com/events/1526337230756496/?acontext=%7B"source"%3A5%2C"page_id_source"%3A1755287724699749%2C"action_history"%3A[%7B"surface"%3A"page"%2C"mechanism"%3A"main_list"%2C"extra_data"%3A"%7B%5C"page_id%5C"%3A1755287724699749%2C%5C"tour_id%5C"%3Anull%7D"%7D]%2C"has_source"%3Atrue%7D

TOY RUN FOR FATHER BOB

THE TOY RUN FOR FATHER BOB IS ON AGAIN IN MELBOURNE IN 2017.

TOY RUN for FATHER BOB AM 

Sunday, December 10, 2017.

11am - 2pm
1-11 Wharf Road, Port Melbourne


The Father Bob Maguire Foundation feeds & supports many homeless people and families facing financial hardship. 

Donations of NEW non fluffy toys, non-perishable food (cans with ring pulls), long life milk, toiletries, NEW clothes, clean blankets (New or 2nd hand) and cash are needed. 

Outer Melbourne ride assembly points are needed so regional riders to join the fun - please advise if you are able to lead a group on the TOY RUN and nominate an appropriate meeting place. 


ToyRun4FrBob@iinet.net.au
Prizes awarded for best decorated motorcycle, sidecar, scooter & trike; and to best dressed male & female riders. 
Everybody welcome.
We have rides coming in from Healesville-Yarra Valley, and Tallarook-Epping. 


* Need riders to bring other feeder runs in from south, south east, south west & west.

* Cranbourne riders - if anyone can help out - 2 pillions needing ride into Toy Run this year.
Please advise if you can assist ToyRun4FrBob@iinet.net.au or 0412 049 504.

* Volunteer Marshals needed on day; any licensed Traffic Controllers most welcome!

* A medium rigid truck, preferably with roof/curtains, needed for stage.

* Expressions of interest from bands welcome.

* Toy Run for Fr Bob t-shirts available $30 for S, M, L, XL & $35 for 2XL, 3XL, 4XL & 5XL

Contact: 

ToyRun4FrBob@iinet.net.au  

Mobile: 0412 049 504.

https://www.facebook.com/events/114530219259711/?acontext=%7B"source"%3A5%2C"page_id_source"%3A1755287724699749%2C"action_history"%3A[%7B"surface"%3A"page"%2C"mechanism"%3A"main_list"%2C"extra_data"%3A"%7B%5C"page_id%5C"%3A1755287724699749%2C%5C"tour_id%5C"%3Anull%7D"%7D]%2C"has_source"%3Atrue%7D

Saturday, 16 September 2017

VALE BARBARA MAGGS OAM

BARBARA MAGGS OAM and Tony Jenner ran the Cranbourne TOY RUN for decades. They were a formidable team in the Victorian Motorcycle Community.

Barbara was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for her work in motorcycling. She also earned an Honourary Life Membership in the original Motorcycle Riders Association.

BARBARA MAGGS OAM front and centre with Santa May. Standing (L to R) Tony Jenner, Fr Bob McGuire and Rod Brown.  October 2014.
Barbara's son Dale just rang me. It makes me very sad to have to inform you that Barbara Maggs passed away last night. Her going is a terrible loss to our community.

Sincere sympathy to Tony, Dale and all Barabar's loved ones.

Damien Codognotto OAM

BEWARE THE GOR

https://www.facebook.com/groups/808459792533247/permalink/1520959781283241/

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

MANY HAPPY RETURNS TO FATHER BOB.

MUCH LOVED MELBOURNE PRIEST FATHER BOB McGUIRE TURNS 83 TODAY!

September 14, 2017.

Send Father Bob a birthday greeting.

info@fatherbobsfoundation.com.au or info@fatherbobs.com
Father Bob at the 2016 TOY RUN in Melbourne.

Damien
IRG

Saturday, 9 September 2017

MOTORCYCLES NOT INCLUDED ... AGAIN!

MELBOURNE WILL HAVE ANOTHER MEGA-BUCK TRANSPORT EXPERIMENT.

Melbourne Uni's Professor Sarvi said.

"This will enable us to see the whole picture - trams, buses, cars, freight, cyclists and infrastructure."

If this is as it appears to be in the newspaper, motorcycle & scooter riders are outside the "whole picture" yet again.

Damien
IRG


Thursday, 7 September 2017

CAMERAS = REVENUE + ?

54% OF RESPONDENTS TO THIS VIC SURVEY THINK ROAD CAMERAS DO MORE THAN JUST MAKE MONEY. BUT WHAT?

In our system, road cameras and road repairs are in two different cash flows. One works. One does not. 

Cameras certainly generate revenue and that revenue is used for stuff. What stuff is a bit fuzzy but we can be fairly sure it does not go to road repairs. More cameras maybe.

Our taxes from sources other than speed cameras, go to keeping our roads in tip top condition. But they don't. If you look when driving, a new concept for some drivers, you can see that a lot of money is being spent on a few show roads while way too many roads are neglected and dangerous.

When someone crashes on a neglected road, authorities immediatel-y blame the victim and call for changes to driver/rider behaviour. This diverts attention from the road authorities neglect and creates a plausible excuse for more cameras and show roads. 

Police crash investigations are often inadequate and police opinions too often taken as fact by Coroners and Courts. Loved ones are often too shattered to fight for justice and hold the road authority to account. Speed and drugs do contribute to crashes but so do neglected roads.



If the two cash flows were not different and these huge amounts of money used efficiently to keep Victorian roads in safe condition and justice was done for crash victims, fewer people would die or be horribly injured on our neglected roads.

Speed and drugs do contribute to our road toll but so do pot holes, broken edges, road debris, damaged/inappropriate signage and barriers of the wrong type, in the wrong place.

Australian roads would be a safer place for our families if more road authorities were held to account in front of objective Judges with impartial, expert advisors.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders Group 
Melbourne


Wednesday, 6 September 2017

FREEWAY WHAT?

WHAT DO YOU CALL A MOCK UP OF AN IMPROBABLE ROCK IN AN IMPOSSIBLE COLLISION WITH AN UN LIKELY POWER PYLON?

Art? Doubtful. The artistic value of "freeway art" is generally less than the value of good graffiti.



If I was an accountant, which I'm not, I'd say this "art" was a way to wash off corporate profit so to pay less tax in Australia. These multi-national companies have not demonstrated to me that they are remotely interested in real art.

Nor are they concerned with road safety. You need only look at the box steel posts they used in the wire rope barriers on Melbourne's Eastlink to know that.

And "freeway art" can only be distraction to drivers on toll roads. Driver distraction was identified and documented in the 2006 Victorian Parliamenary Inquiry into road safety. Of course the data on distracted driver crashes on toll roads is simply not collected so they can safely say there is no evidence to suggest "freeway art" may distract drivers and cause crashes.

And, they do not appear to be interested in giving their customers a fair deal by ensuring good traffic flow. They toll motorcycles & scooters which they shouldn't.

And, they care little for Victorians paying higher prices for goods and services. They charge tradies and commercial vehicles tolls that would make Mad Dog Morgan sigh with pleasure.

Toll companies' reason for being is to make profit. They sell trips on their roads making money out of Australian drivers who pay for a quicker trip but often get a bumper to bumper crawl. But, the toll company won't refund drivers for a slow trip let alone pay the repairs after a nose to tail smash which their overcrowded toll roads contribute to.

Profit is what it's about. A bit goes to local shareholders but most goes overseas. None is used to keep other Victorian roads safe.

If Victorians owned the toll roads then drivers' money that goes overseas could be used to keep all Victorian road users safer. But we don't own the toll roads and our money will continue to leave our country ensuring corporate profits continue.

You can tell the system is working well in their favour every time you spot a new dollop of corporate crap like Iconoclast next to our toll roads.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group
Melbourne


Tuesday, 5 September 2017

A VISIT TO A MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

On 5 Sep 2017, at 8:03 pm, Heather Ellis <h.ellis@bigpond.com> wrote:
CINDY McLEISH MP
MEMBER FOR EILDON
VICTORIA

Hi Cindy,

As members of the IRG, which advocates for motorcycle road safety and riders' rights in Victoria, Cate Hughes and myself would like to meet with you to discuss the following important issues concerning motorcycle safety in Victoria. Some of these issues also directly affect motorcyclists in the Eildon electorate. 

If you are available, we would like to meet with you around 4:30pm on Thursday, 14 Sept. If this does not suit then we are available on 19/10 and 20/10 anytime after 11am. 

1. EDGE FILTERING & KERB FILTERING: Edge filtering as outlined in the National Transport Commission amendments to the Australian Road Rules.The IRG submission proposes that motorcyclists can safely filter on the left side of a highway or road, where the speed limit is 80km/h or higher, when the traffic is stationary or slow moving and it is safe to filter. This is particularly important when there is traffic congestion on freeways and motorcyclists are forced to filter in congested traffic and especially between trucks, while the edge or the road or emergency lane remains free of traffic. If emergency vehicles were using this lane, the motorcyclist will not hinder movement as they can easily move aside.

The IRG proposal is consistent with the principles of vulnerable road user traffic separation. An example where filtering on the left of a road works very well is on Phillip Island in Victoria after motor sport activities. In Queensland, riders are allowed to “edge filter” on roads marked at 90km/h or more. It is currently the only state to allow edge filtering.

The IRG also proposes that motorcyclists be allowed to filter between traffic and the kerb like cyclists do already. It also proposes that fines for lane filtering that don't meet the present road rules should be lowered and no demerit points.

2. RECYCLED PLASTIC POSTS FOR ROAD SIDE SIGNS AND WIRE ROPE BARRIERS: The use of recycled plastic sign posts to replace presently used metal posts particularly on directional signs on winding roads. Recently, many more of these directional signs have appeared on mountain roads throughout the Yarra Ranges. These are very large signs attached to metal posts on a bend. There are four to six of these signs per bend and pose a hazard to motorcyclist if a crash was to occur. A plastic post is softer, reduces impact forces flexible and thus would not cause as serious an injury on impact. The posts will also be better for the environment... and cheaper.

Originally RMIT proposed replacing WRB posts with recycled polymer posts... which would have addressed one of the major criticisms of WRB... by reducing the impact forces experienced when hitting the posts. VicRoads also decided to try replacing the more common roadside posts with a recycled polymer version, but this does not appear to be happening as with the recent installation of directional signs in  the Yarra Ranges (Myers Creek Road and Chum Creek Road).

We believe the RMIT research department for these polymer posts is in a stalemate with VicRoads. The guidelines for expenditure of the TAC motorcycle safety levy require that 1/3 of funds to be spent on research, but it appears this is being ignored. Currently a high proportion of the funds are being spent exclusively on road projects...(roads that benefit all road users), which is not addressing the identified deficit in motorcycling research despite complaints.

3. WIRE ROPE BARRIERS ON POPULAR MOTORCYCLE ROADS: IRG member Heather Ellis is an advisor on the MEAP (Motorcycle Expert Advisory Panel), which reports to the Transport Minister. Heather has raised the issue of VicRoads installing Wire Rope Barriers on the Elthan-Yarra Glen Road when VicRoads has a specific policy not to do this

The VicRoads policy is not to install WRBs on winding roads and on popular motorcycle roads. In this instance they failed to follow their own policy. VicRoads have advised they will review their procedures to ensure this does not happen again. 

4. MOTORCYCLE STOP LINES AT TRAFFIC LIGHT INTERSECTIONS IN METROPOLITAN AREAS: The IRG proposes that Victoria metro areas install special motorcycle forward stop lines at traffic lights so riders can filter to the front of the traffic as used in Europe. The IRG, as a member of the Motorcycles In Melbourne Committee, has proposed a stop line trial in the Melbourne CBD and this is now being rolled out at six CBD intersections as an action item in the five year Motorcycles In Melbourne plan. The contact at the City of Melbourne is Haig Poulson in Engineering. Tel: 9658 9423.

Best regards,
Heather Ellis
0425 720 193
*******************************************************************************************************
Dear Motorcycle & Scooter Riders.

Heather and Cate live in Cindy McLeish's electorate in Victoria. 

They will follow this letter up with a face-to-face meeting with Cindy to emphasise the issues facing Victorian motorcycle & scooter riders. They won't try to cover every issue in a single meeting, just those most important to them and theirs.

If two riders see their MP, it has an effect. If 200 riders see their MPs, it has 100 times the effect.

There are plenty of riders out there who bitch about this issue or that, but, they don't do anything about their issues. Do not leave it all to others. Have your say, in your words. Increase the effect. Go see your MP.

https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/members/results

Damien
IRG 

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

SUBMISSION TO THE NATIONAL TRANSPORT COMMISSION

The Independent Riders Group made a submission on amendments to the Australian Road Rules in August 2017. Motorbike writer published an article on it.

https://motorbikewriter.com/call-kerb-filtering-lower-fines/?mc_cid=8692efdf53&mc_eid=8af2e873d3




MEETING AT MINH MINH

AUGUST 30, 2017. Independent Riders Group Members met for lunch at Minh Minh in Melbourne. 94 Victoria Street, Richmond. Tel: 03 9427 7891. L to R: Michael, me, Heather, Cate and Bernie.

LUNCH AT CATERINA'S

Another great lunch at Caterina's. www.caterinas.com.au  221 Queen Street, Melbourne. L to R: Steve, Caterina, me and Elizabeth. August 29, 2017.

Friday, 18 August 2017

CONTACT YOUR LOCAL MP

IF ONE PERSON DOES IT. IT HAS AN EFFECT. IF ONE THOUSAND PEOPLE DO IT. THE EFFECT IS ONE THOUSAND TIMES GREATER.

Don't sit there waiting for someone else to do it! Don't put it off till tomorrow! Contact your local MP now.

www.parliament.vic.gov.au/members

Change the vic to your state or territory for your local members. Remember, they work for you.


On 11 Aug 2017, at 15:03, Nick Wakeling <Nick.Wakeling@parliament.vic.gov.au> wrote:
Dear resident

Re: Victoria’s Road and Freeway System – have your say

I have spoken to many residents throughout Knox who have raised concerns about Victoria’s road and freeway system.
It is essential that Victorians have access to an efficient road and freeway system that meets the needs of our community. 
With Victoria’s population growing at over 100,000 residents every year, it is important that the State Government is building the necessary road and freeway infrastructure that will meet the needs of our community.
Unfortunately, Daniel Andrews spent over $1 Billion of taxpayers money to not build a road when he cancelled the East West Link contract.

I would welcome your feedback by return email on how Victoria’s road and freeway network can be improved.

As your local State MP, I will raise these concerns directly with the Andrews Government in State Parliament.

Regards

Nick Wakeling MP
State Member for Ferntree Gully

 Sent: Tuesday, 15 August 2017 4:34 PM
To: Nick Wakeling
Subject: Re: Victoria’s Road and Freeway System – have your say

G'day Nick

Firstly I welcome your efforts to make Victorian roads accessible. But sadly they are full of unskilled drivers who make unnecessary trips in mostly large SUVs. 

Vicroads has an unspoken policy of NOT ENCOURAGING MOTORCYCLES and we are being swept under the carpet to be out of sight and out of mind. 

The TAC has placed a tax in the form of a so called safety levy. No other road user group is subjected to such a tax. It makes a mid size motorcycle as expensive to register as a large car. 

I have years of experience in lobbying for a fair go and safety for motorcyclists. Current and past governments have allowed Vicroads to be belligerent and ignorant towards us   Yet motorcycles are a part of the solution to the traffic and congestion problems facing us today. 

I'd like to meet with you to discuss the government negative attitude to motorcycles. 

Kind regards 
John Nelson 



From: Nick Wakeling <Nick.Wakeling@parliament.vic.gov.au>
Date: 18 August 2017 at 17:00:21 AEST
To: 'John Nelson'
Subject: RE: Victoria’s Road and Freeway System – have your say
Good afternoon John,

Thank you for taking the time to make me aware of your views and concerns.

I have received a number of responses from the community regarding concerns about Victoria’s Road and Freeway System. I will raise these concerns in Parliament.

If you have any further issue please feel free to contact me.

Regards,

Nick Wakeling MP
State Member for Ferntree Gully

John will contact his MP about a face to face meeting.

Damien
IRG

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

TOY RUNS

THE LAST THREE BIG, OLD SCHOOL TOY RUNS LEFT IN OZ.

NEWCASTLE


ADELAIDE


HOBART (whole state event)


Damien
IRG

Friday, 11 August 2017

TAC MEDIA BLUNDER REPEAT

The Transport Accident Commission in Victoria has been caught, again, producing an expensive media campaign that is just plain wrong.

It seems like only yesterday when TAC made that terrible TV ad on motorcycles & scooters. They got that wrong too. Consultation with users was token. The motorbike ad was withdrawn. The latest bicycle ad was too.

How could a corporation like TAC get it so wrong ... twice???

Well, these campaigns are taxpayer funded so there is little incentive to get it right there. TAC CTP insurance is a compulsory product and TAC has a monopoly.

Then there's the TAC Board. It has never, to my knowledge, filled all 9 seats. It has a high turnover so the part time board members are mostly not very experienced in TAC operations. And, the board members that attend meetings are administrators and financiers skilled at balancing books and keen on corporate image.

There's little or no road safety or transport expertise on the TAC Board.

It is time to review the way the TAC works and let the Auditor General study what TAC does with our taxes and premiums.

In my opinion TAC should concentrate more on helping crash victims and their families and less on expensive media campaigns, sponsorships and corporate image. If they must make TV ads etc.,  at least get it right. Victorians pay a lot of money for the TAC. They and TAC front line staff deserve a lot better.

Damien
IRG


BICYCLISTS BLAME CAR DRIVERS FOR CRASHES

BICYCLE RIDERS BLAME CAR DRIVERS for the majority of pushbike crashes.

Motorcycle & scooter riders also blame car drivers for the majority of casualty crashes. The science supports both motorcyclists and bicyclists claims about the cause of most road crashes being due to car driver error.

The difference between pushbike and motorbike riders safety claims is close to nil in on-road situations. But when Victorian motorcycle or scooter riders complain about car driver negligence or aggression we get VicPol telling the media that riders are to blame for 86% of bike crashes and the TAC putting about that motorbike riders are 34 or 36 or 41% more likely to get hurt on their bikes than drivers are in their cars.




























































































Wednesday, 9 August 2017

DRIVING TO BE ILLEGAL?

LATELINE - ABC TV - AUGUST 9, 2017.
I admit it was late but I think I heard a Monash University Professor (first name Rob?) say that when robot cars came in driving should become illegal!
This bloke was an "ethisist". I gather that's an academic with a licence to pontificate about everything even if he/she is totally ignorant of the subject being discussed.
Personally, I resent automatic gear boxes because they remove control of the vehicle from the operator. Don't get me started on cruise control and sat nav and all the rest of the reduce-human-involvement product they want to sell us. Blokes like Rob are social engineers for hire.
His call to ban human involvement in the driving (and presumably riding) task is based on opinion and what will get on TV, NOT science. This is an opportunity to pontificate on possible gizmology, probably for a fee, that Monash, and other, academics are not shy of leaping to. Like the conclusions they leap to when telling us that wire rope barriers are good for us.
I won't be getting into a driverless car.
Anyone got a link to this segment on Lateline???
Damien
IRG
Melbourne

Thursday, 3 August 2017


LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Not printed to August 4 2017.

CAR CRAZY is right. (H/S 28/7/2017) Melbourne is one giant smelly traffic jam.

Good on the Herald Sun for printing the ABS figures  showing 500,000 more vehicles on our roads in five years. Too many cars are bad for productivity and bad for health.

The ABS figures do not show that more than half the cars on our streets are oversized 4WDs/SUVs. They don’t show that three quarters of all private cars carry just one person. They don’t show that many trips are unnecessary. This car boom is as nonsensical as the “yank tank” madness in the 1960s.

Solutions include more people walking, bicycling, riding motorcycles & scooters and travelling by tram, train or bus.

Part of these solutions must be a reform of the Transport Accident Commission (TAC). Compulsory third party (CTP) insurance premiums don't reflect the efficiency of privately owned vehicles or the space they take up. So bicycles no premium, motorbikes & scooters 20% of the current rate and cars according to size, efficiency the largest and dirtiest paying a lot more than they do now.

Damien Codognotto
Independent Riders Group
Melbourne

www.facebook.com/independentridersgroup 






































Just an after thought. If they can find stats on which houses, where, have 4 or more cars, why can't they find out how many motorcycle & scooter riders have paid the unfair TAC tax more than once?

Damien
IRG

















Saturday, 29 July 2017

WRB PROPAGANDA 2017

" NEW wire rope barriers on the Goulburn Valley Highway are already saving lives ..."

This is the latest propaganda from the tax-funded spin doctors at VicRoads. It come via Roads Minister Donnellan in Melbourne's Herald Sun this time. Please note, the lack of advice from anyone who might offered a balancing comment.

The key word in this article is "may".

























































































I know from Parliamentary Inquiries and from personal experience at the Victorian Coroner's Court that crash site investigations in this State do not always yield reliable crash data. In this case the Minister parrots opinion, he does not present facts. I thought Donnellan MP was better than this.

The data from these seven WRB strikes almost certainly does not come from forensic investigations of crash sites by specially trained officers. Most likely bent WRB post are spotted by VicRoads' staff who drive the road every few days to check the new barrier. No training. No method.

If just one of these seven vehicle strikes on this part of the Goulburn Valley Highway was a tired driver who drifted into the fence in the small hours of the morning, bent ten or fifteen posts and kept driving then there was no threat to anyone in one in seven of these crashes.

And reduced speed limits may mean there were fewer, less-severe strikes than will occur when normal highway speed return ... if they ever do.

If speed limits do return to normal how will this WRB perform? Legitimate question. There's no test results available for reliable, independent experts to study. 

The old WRB test videos I have seen show the WRB stretch when hit by a car.  It allows cars that are caught just right, that do not cross the WRB to move to the other side of the WRB post line then get slung back into same direction traffic. Cars that cross the post line face oncoming traffic. And they do cross WRB post lines too often. This fact this is rarely identified in police crash reports. The data is "cleansed" by a team at Vicroads. 

Cleansed is a quote from the 2012 Parliamentary Inquiry transcripts. That Inquiry recommended that a road crash data authority be set up independent of VicRoads and VicPol. That is unlikely to happen, regardless of public safety, because the Victorian Government's response to Parliamentary Inquiries into road safety matters is mostly written by VicRoads/VicPol/TAC.

IF a dividing barrier is required, and I'm not convinced it is, then a smooth concrete barrier is more effective at stopping head-on crashes. It lasts a lot longer and requires far less costly maintenance and repairs. All round a much better deal for tax payers and road users. 

The bonus for us is that smooth concrete barriers are safer for motorcycle & scooter riders. BUT, the culture at VicRoads is to discourage motorcycling. Making roads safer for us is less likely if there's no positive spin to be gained from it for VicRoads.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders Group 
Melbourne

Sunday, 23 July 2017

HIRSTY'S LAST PROJECT

Hi Damien
This is Colleen - Hirsty's wife
I am writing to you because I know that you had special connection with my husband Greg.  
I apologise if this feels intrusive - but I am hoping you might be able to support Greg's last project.... (so it will be the very last time Greg ever asks you for a favour 😊). 

Greg had just started filming series 6 of Temporary Australians. And I am really determined to get this to air. I want to honour my husband and finish the show well. The final episode will be his farewell service/tribute.

But - as you are probably aware - Greg made no money from this show. It was all funded through sponsors. I don't know anything about organising sponsors - but one of our daughters has set up a GOFUNDME page so we can try and raise the money to put the last series together. It will only be 4 episodes - but there's still a lot of work to be done.

I would be very grateful if you could consider even a small contribution, even just a few dollars would be great! Or, if you were able to pass on the info about the GOFUNDME page that would be wonderfully appreciated


Or just go to the Temporary Australians Facebook page
                      Colleen Hirst 

Sunday, 16 July 2017

PHONES NOT INCLUDED??!?

TASSIE PROPOSES TOUGH NEW LAWS making some driver/rider behaviour criminal offences with tough penalties. OK. But did they include using a hand-held mobile phone while driving?

The Hobart Mercury.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

If you are travelling and you want to ride a motorcycle or scooter, make sure you travel/medical insurance covers motorbikes and makes sure you wear the proper gear. Shorts and thongs while riding do nothing for you at the equator or the poles.


THE LAST TIM TAM

http://events.unimelb.edu.au/allsearch=ROD+QUANTOCK&event_type=%2Fall%2F%3Fsearch%3DLAST%2BTIM%2BMONDAY 

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Dr BOBBINS

1976. GEOFF "THE DOCTOR" BOBBINS. Elizabeth Street, Melbourne.

Not the Federation of Australian Motorcyclists (FAM) protest rally promoted on the bike shop window. I those days there were lots of smaller bike businesses who supported the riders who were the reason the businesses existed.

The shops behind Geoff are gone. Now it's Melbourne Central. That's my Honda 4.

Geoff is no longer with us but he is well remembered. Vale Geoff.

These shots were taken when the Elizabeth Street  motorcycle strip was the heart and soul of Australian motorcycling. The gatherings of riders on Friday nights and Saturday mornings were world famous.

The first motorcycle shop was opened by the Milledge Brothers in 1903. In 2003 the Centenary Celebrations were held.

Damien
IRG







































Monday, 10 July 2017

FOOTPATH PARKING LAW CHANGE (Vic.)

The prototype signs presented to VicRoads in the late 1980s.


In 2009 I was carer for my parents and so somewhat out of touch with motorcycle & scooter politics. The government of the day quietly footpath parking laws for motorbikes in Victoria. Rider reps at that time did not do much. Perhaps they did not see the longer term effects of the parking law change. The change was subtle. The wording remained the same or similar but the game changed.

Put simply, in 1988 riders were allowed free footpath parking, with no time limit, as long as they did not block or hinder pedestrians. This was in after an 8000 bike MRA protest/park-in in 1986.

The system worked very well for around 20 years with few complaints. Few complaints about motorbikes on footpaths were in writing. Most were verbal from the big end of town. Every few years a corporate type or a developer would try to get motorcycles & scooters off Victorian footpaths. Each time rider reps successfully opposed these moves.

The 2009 law/policy change effectively took motorcycle & scooter footpath parking control away from state government and put it in the hands of local councils. This change did not happen overnight but I believe the change was calculated.

The signs, pictured above, were designed and made by the MRA in the 1980s. The artist Robin Redman. Lost track of her. 

Anyway, from memory, in those days VicRoads (or the nearest equivalent), jealously guarded its’ right to approve all road signage. BUT, there were few motorcycle specific signs. Road surfaces, paint, tram tracks and road grooving, among other things, were considered hazards by riders. The MRA designed and produced 4 prototype signs. Two were left with VicRoads, two hang in my garage.

VicRoads had a fit. No one was allowed to design their own road signs, especially not bikies! it could be seen as legitimising motorcycling.

VicRoads admitted its' anti-motorcycle policy at the 1992 Parliamentary Inquiry into motorcycle safety. It claims to have scrapped the policy but in 2017 there is little evidence of that.



The grooving sign went nowhere but VicRoads produced a slippery-for-riders sign similar to the Redman design some time later. They never acknowledged the origin of “their” design.

What I put up on Facebook about the change in parking laws was, in hindsight, inadequate and possibly misleading but the effect of the law policy change happened. If a person did not know the background from the days of the Motorcycle Safety Forum in Victoria in the 1980s they may have been confused by the change claim when the Ministers letter claims the footpath parking rule just moved from one raft of legislation to another. There was more to it than that.

When the motorcycle footpath parking law was changed (read moved) in 2009 the VicRoads policy to strictly control signage councils could use was further relaxed.

The St Kilda footpath parking bans are an example of that law/policy change. Unfortunately, it's an example other Victorian counciuls may follow. It's also an example of what happens when riders do not have strong rider reps, as bicyclists do. It's an example of things to come in the nanny state.

Riders can't complain about the anti-motorcycle lobby doing long term damage to motorcycling when rider apathy is rife and when our reps proclaim their non-confrontationist policies as if that's something to be proud of.

Damien
IRG