Friday, 28 December 2012



After 30 years of free promotion for the blood bank over summer the police withdrew 
from the MRA BLOOD CHALLENGE in Victoria. The Red Cross approved. Emergency 
services would have their own challenge, which never happened. The bikies could organise themselves.

The Red Cross told me there was no shortage of donors over the summer holidays.

A great community service that also promoted motorcycle & scooter safety was killed off. Other states followed.

In the summer of 2012/2013 blood stocks are running short again. In spite of the lack of a BLOOD CHALLENGE, please give blood if you can.

Call 13 14 95


1st FAIR GO RUN - MARCH 16, 2013.


Do you remember when motorcycle riders with a pillion were not allowed
to  go  faster  than 80 kph in Victoria. Country, two-lane roads where
semis  often  did  120  kph,  were  scary. It was dangerous but no one

In  the  1970s there was the pillion law. And, motorcycle & scooter
learners had different speed limits  to  licenced  riders.  That meant
experienced riders could not easily  teach  novices  on-road which was a
feature of the club scene.

And,  bikes  had to have front number plates. Bikes could only park in
marked  car  bays which drivers hated. There were moves to make riders
wear  yellow  and  have  all machines painted yellow. Similar laws and
proposals existed across Australia. And there was more planned to get
motorcycles & scooters off our roads. Antibike taxes were called for and
road authorities actively opposed rider training.

In 1978 we started the Motorcycle Riders' Association (MRA) in Melbourne.
Bikers  Ltd began in Sydney that year. They were people power organisations
responding to a grass roots need. They encouraged rider involvement.

In 1980 we initiated the 10,000 BIKE RUN and   worked   with  Bikers  Ltd
and  the  Federation  of  Australian Motorcyclists  (ACT) to make it happen.
We rode on Canberra to let all governments  know  that  we  were a well-organised
voting block and we were  not  going  to  take it anymore.

More than 12,000 bikes from all over Australia rolled into the nation's capital
demanding to be heard.

Big  runs demonstrated rider groups organising abilities and political muscle.
Thousands of riders in disciplined columns showed politicians that  we  would
would remember them at the next election and told car drivers  that we have a
right to ride.

There were far fewer registered motorcycles  &  scooters  in the 1980s but
the protest runs were much, much bigger. In the early 1980s there were about
80,000 road-registered motorcycles & scooters in Victoria. In 2012 there are
over 165,000 and 1.3 million plus nationally.

The B&W pictures are from the second pillion law protest run. It went  from  Melbourne
to Geelong, obeying the law, riding at 80 kph in the  left  lane. Traffic that usually
travelled at over 100 kph banked up as only one lane was available to pass the
column of more than 4000 bikes stretching an estimated 10 kilometres.

One  of  the  pillions  that  day was a young back-bench MP named Jeff
Kennett.  Kennett was on Chris Swalell's Kawasaki 900. As semis roared
passed  in  the rain Kennett came to understand why the 80 kph pillion
speed  restriction  was just plain dangerous (as were the differential
limits for novice riders). He took the message back to state parliament.

The 80 kph pillion law was repealed that year.

Since around 2000 rider representation became the role of the few, not  the  many.

Moves  to bring back front number plates, make flouro gear  compulsory,  govern
bike motors, bring in anti-association laws, restrict  Victoria's footpath parking,
separate motorcycles & scooters from  car  traffic and more have been made by
various authorities. TAC used  our  money  to  make  a  series  of  TV ads vilifying riders
and justifying bad/aggressive car driving. These moves are shelved, not gone.

Rider   participation  in  public  events  dwindled.  Even  the  BLOOD
CHALLENGE  ended  after 30 years in Victoria when police withdrew with
Red  Cross  blessing.  Again  this  summer  the  blood  bank is making
desperate  appeals  for  donors  as  blood  stocks  dwindle  over  the
holidays. Call 13 14 95 if you think you can give blood.

The  Melbourne  TOY  RUN  is no longer in Melbourne.

Driver Awareness Rides ended.

The  MRAV  declined  and  became  a  social  club!  Of  necessity  the
Independent  Riders  Group  (IRG),  which began as a think tank around
2006, went formal on July 1, 2012.

In  2012,  400  bikes at the A'Beckett Street Protest on October 29 was considered
a  reasonable  show of strength. That event grew out of a facebook  page.  It  was  a
grass  roots  response  to discrimination against motorcycle & scooter riders.

In  December  2012 the Parliamentary Inquiry into motorcycle & scooter safety  (PIMS)
delivered it's report. The recommendations are good but they   are   just   that,  recommendations.
If  you  don't  want  the recommendations brought in, DO NOTHING.

The  PIMS  recommendations  include  abolishing the discriminatory TAC antibike tax.
This hidden TAC tax means riders pay over $70 a year on most road bikes. It was indexed by
the last government so it automatically increases every year. It is not charged on any other
vehicle. It is wrong.

If YOU want the PIMS recommendations to become realities, YOU have to use political  muscle.
That means very public, on-road people power, as in the  1980s.  We  have  to  tell our politicians
that we know there's a state  election  in  2014  and  we'll  vote according to their actions
implementing the PIMS recommendations.

We  also  need to send a clear road safety message to car drivers.

Too many of us are having our property smashed, our bodies broken and, too often,  our lives
taken because a car driver does the wrong thing. Too often  car  drivers  get  a slap on the wrist
for it, like the cup cake killer. Take a moment to think about the last rider you visited in hospital
or the last riders' funeral you attended. We are legitimate road users who pay our way and
we demand a fair go on our roads.

The first FAIR GO RUN will be on Saturday, March 16, 2013.

Riders are invited to assemble at the BP servo on the corner of Cooper Street  and Scanlon
Drive in Campbellfield - Melway map 181, reference E  11.

All welcome. The more flags and banners the better. Businesses and  organisations are welcome
to attend to show solidarity with their customers.

The  column  will depart for the marginal seat of Seymour at 10.00 am. It is about an hour's run
up the Hume to the electorate office of Cindy McLeish  MP in Wallis Street. Riders from the
north, east and west are invited to join us there. We are all in this together.

About  11.30  am speakers will tell the government, opposition and the media  what  can  be
done to win votes from Victoria's 326,000 strong motorcycle  & scooter community.
Members from both sides of parliament will be asked to speak to the assembled riders.

After the speeches riders are invited to lunch at the Flowerdale Pub - Melway  map  X927,
reference J 2. The Flowerdale is the hub of some of the best riding roads in Australia.

PLEASE  use  this  material  as  you  see fit - put it on webistes and facebook,  pin  it  on  notice  boards, email it to friends, use it in magazines  and newsletters and raise it at club meetings. Get the word out there. Watch this blog for more details.

Join  the  IRG.  It's free. You can withdraw anytime. All we need is a name, post code and email address.

Please pass this on.

Have a safe & happy new year!

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group

Monday, 24 December 2012


G'day to Ride Listeners

Thanks for your support in 2012.

Ride is taking a break until its new timeslot on Tuesday January 29 at 7pm EDT.

Hope you will join us then. In the meantime ride safe and maybe we can catch up again on February 2 at the Bathurst Street and Custom Motorcycle Show.



Saturday, 22 December 2012

VAGO - 2012

The Victorian Auditor General's Office (VAGO) audited motorcycle safety programs.

The report was released in February 2011.

The Independent Riders' Group is asking the AG to audit  road signs and barriers. 

We think VicRoads can use our money better to make our roads safer for ALL road users.

If you think VicRoads can do better with our money, write to the AG and ask him to audit signage and/or barriers.



Road Users are getting hit again with cost increases. More road tolls are proposed and now VicRoads will hit us with a huge increase in driver/rider licence fees.

The Victorian Auditor General should have a good look at VicRoads, especially at the way they spend our money on road furniture. We reckon signage overkill and roadside barriers cost this state more each year than Myki and the desal plant.

Victoria would run much better with cost effective road authorities.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group

Tuesday, 18 December 2012



There were 241 comments on this article which make interesting reading. It worth noting that The Age's Drive section took a different tack on December 13 to the Herald Sun's editorial on December 14.


Monday, 17 December 2012


The Herald Sun editorial that caused all this reaction is in the first BIKE BIGOT blog. Scroll down.

If The Herald Sun does not respond we will make a formal complaint to the Australian Press Council.

Independent Riders' Group

David Reynolds commented on Wayne Nunn's post in "NO" TO UNFAIR DISCRIMINATION AGAINST MOTOR CYCLISTS.

David Reynolds
9:28pm Dec 17

I have written to the editor of the HS with appropriate CC. Here is a copy of my complaint.

Dear Editor,

I am writing to you to complain about the editorial piece, regarding motorcycle filtering, published in your newspaper on December 14, 2012.

Firstly, there are numerous inaccuracies in this piece and statements that are clearly contrary to the PIMS recommendations recently submitted to the Victorian parliament. These recommendations are well researched and put together by a diverse, well educated and experienced group.

By contrast your piece looks like it was written by a sad middle aged man who had a rough day in traffic. If he had done any research (as opposed to writing something he just lazily thought up on the spot), he would realise that there is plenty of evidence to support filtering as a safe and intelligent technique to both keep motorcyclists safe and help alleviate the traffic congestion in our city. This in turn should reduce driver frustration. The arguments could go on, but I am sure that you get the gist of what I am writing.

This alarmism appears to be a cynical attempt to undermine intelligent research into improving the safety of motorcycle riders.

By not researching properly (or indeed at all), and by attempting to sway opinion in a direction that may well jeopardise motorcyclists in this state, you show no respect or regard for your profession…..or just people.

To be honest, I have grown to accept that your newspaper has a tendency to write alarmist and inaccurate claptrap of this nature, and yet I still find myself astonished on occasion by articles such as this. This is a shame, because I once was a daily reader.

So, I ask that you please correct these mistakes and retract your inaccuracies where applicable. I would also invite you to do your job and start talking to actual researchers, people who have done their job. Write a piece that you can be proud of.

Of course I don't expect you to comply with any of my requests, so in the meantime please be assured that I will be referring to your paper as "The tabloid for the masses who dwell on the left side of the IQ bell curve".

Yours Sincerely,

Comment History

Andrew Popovic
1:21pm Dec 15

a friend said to me we should lobby the mp's that are only holding their seats by 1 - 2%

Skye Mitchell
8:10am Dec 15

They are undermining a legal process and it is deplorable they would spread such a hate mongering message toward an issue that increases motorcyclist safety. Motorists are going to consider this an acceptable attitude towards motorcyclists. I cc'd my email to I put aside my general distaste for their style of reporting to write a letter addressing what I believe were the key shortcomings of the editorial. Hopefully enough riders will do it and we will receive better press.

Damien Codognotto
7:27am Dec 15

The issue is not the quality of the Herald Sun. The issue is the damage it is doing to the credibility of the PIMS recommendations. Several of us have demanded a correction and apology from the HS editor and cc'd the Press Council. The more people that do that, the more likely we are to start getting the recommendations implemented. There's more info on the blog.


Skye Mitchell
12:47am Dec 15

I've sent my complaint ... but the Herald Fun (that's my name for them) will continue on this path of flaring up non issues. They've been doing this for a long time.

Skye Mitchell
11:56pm Dec 14

I am still seething over that tripe the Herald Sun editorial had in it. But it's not completely unexpected with that hack piece of rag.

View All Comments

Original Post

Wayne Nunn
7:00pm Dec 11

Motorcycle awareness video

7 December 2012 09:33

The best motorcycle awareness video

Length: 0:31

Dec 7, 2012 9:33am
The best motorcycle awareness video

Thursday, 13 December 2012


Please read this and pass it on.

If the December 14, 2012 Herald Sun Editorial does not meet with your approval,
write a complaint.

and cc it to

We just spent a year working with the government in Victoria trying to get a FAIR GO for riders and improve our safety on our roads.

It seems that's not important to the Herald Sun.


The  Editorial  in  today's  Herald Sun is biased and factually wrong.
That  would  be  bad  enough  but it directly, negatively effects road
safety  and  attacks  the  credibility  of the Victorian Parliamentary
Road Safety Committee.

Please  find  attached  the offending editorial and two letters to the

If  the Herald Sun does not fix the problem by publishing a correction
and  apology  to  its' readers for misleading them on this road safety
matter, I would like to make a formal complaint against the paper.


Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group

Tel: 03 9846 8621

Page 72 - December 14, 2012.


The  editor  of  the  Herald Sun is clearly ignorant of the facts where
motorcycles & scooters in traffic are concerned.

Obviously  one  main  contributor  to  road rage associated with traffic
filtering  is  the  paper today. In an extraordinary editorial showing
contempt   for   the  Parliamentary Road Safety Committee and apparent
prejudice  against Victoria's motorcycle and scooter riders, the paper
misleads its' mostly car-driving readership.

The  parliamentary  report is based on over a year of good science and
hearings  involving VicRoads, TAC, police and medical practitioners as
well as a wide range of stakeholders. But the editor of the Herald Sun
knows  better  than  all  of  them  blurting out a bias against riders
rather than a balanced view promoting road safety.

The  fact  is  motorcycle  &  scooter  riders are at less risk when they traffic
filter. There is no evidence from anywhere in the world that riders
crash while moving between slow moving or stationary cars on congested
roads. Crashes while traffic filtering are very rare events and likely
to be minor.

Most serious crashes are due to car driver error at intersections, when changing
lanes without looking and when bikes are hit from behind.

Riders are far safer moving to the front  of  lines  of  cars than sitting stationary
in a lane taking up most of a car space.

The  fact  is that motorcycles & scooters reduce traffic congestion by
leaving  their  cars  at home, by assisting traffic flow in peak hours and they
free up parking spaces for people who have to use their cars.

The  fact  is that there is no specific law against traffic filtering. Various  rules
about  indicating  and overtaking on the left  (a thing that  road  authorities
encourage  bicyclists to do)  give police some excuses  to  book  riders  for  a  safe,
sensible practice that eases congestion and happens every day in our cities.

In   my  opinion,  the  editor of the Herald Sun using emotive phrases
like -

"...lane changers are likely to be hit by a zigzagging motorbike, with the rider being
thrown under the wheels of other cars."

"The  worst  offenders  are  often  bikies  on big bikes with 'gorilla' handlebars."

"Anyone  who  has  seen a motorbike rider thrown into the air, or left sprawled unconscious
on the road, will judge this as a disastrous idea and one that's likely to add to the state's road toll."

- degrades the editorial to propaganda. This editorial is not evidence based, it's opinion/prejudice..
That's what the Road Safety Committee warned about. Road safety measures must be
evidence based.

I  think the editor of the Herald Sun owes the Parliamentary Road Safety Committee an apology.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group


A  paper  that  prides  itself  on  "...  accurate,  fair and fearless
publication of news and commentary." should not have run the editorial
"LICENCE FOR ROAD CHAOS". It was factually wrong, full of biased and
emotional  phrases  that  vilify  motorcycle  &  scooter riders and it showed
contempt for the all-party Victorian Road Safety Committee.

There  is  no  evidence  showing  traffic  filtering  is dangerous. It happens  routinely
everyday  in  our cities. There is no specific lawagainst traffic filtering. Promoting
road rage is likely to add to our state's  road  toll.  Road authorities encourage bicyclists
to traffic filter.  And,  in  40%  of bike insurance claims the rider is hit from behind
while  sitting in the lane taking up nearly as much space as a car.

Traffic  filtering  is  a  safer way for riders to travel on congested streets and it shortens
trips but it also helps traffic flow and frees up car parking space. The Road Safety Committee recommended looking at traffic  filtering  because it exists and could benefit all road users
if done safely.

Let's  hope  the Herald Sun is committed to "... the highest editorial and ethical standards." 
and will "...promptly correct errors when they occur."

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders Group

This negative editorial straight after the very positive parliamentary inquiry report indicates that we have not won a FAIR GO yet. It makes the Melbourne to Seymour FAIR GO ride more important than ever. Saturday, March 16, 2013. Put it in your diaries and on club calendars. Spread the word. Lunch after wards at the Flowerdale Hotel. Publican Steve will put on a sausage sizzle.

Herald-Sun Newspaper

Dear Sir,

Your Editorial (Licence for Road Chaos - 14th Dec) is neither responsible nor evidence based. The filtering recommendation of the Vic Parliamentary Inquiry, as with many of their recommemdations, was based on the weight of evidence, experience in many European countries, and with SAFETY in mind.

In the vast majority of motorcycle accidents and fatalities involving another motor vehicle, it is the motor vehicle at fault. Filtering has been shown to be a safe practise to reduce the vulnerability of motorcyclists. Experience with congestion filtering in the UK, where it is actually promoted, with courses conducted by Police, has shown that such filtering reduces congestion by as much as 40%.

Had you taken time, as the Inquiry members did, to acsertain the facts, rather than promote road rage, you would have quickly recognised the inherent community benefits and safety features in the Committee's recommendation for filtering to enhace safe motorcycling.

Peter Baulch
Victorian Motorcycle Council
0428 246 174.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012



·         We talk to Rob Salvatore of the Victorian Motorcycle Council about the findings of the Victorian Parliamentary  Inquiry into motorcycling

·         Damien Codognotto from the Independent Riders Group joins us to share his views on this landmark Inquiry
·         Ferret from the Finks Motorcycle Club updates us on the recent case before the High Court of Australia regarding the Queensland Anti-association laws

·         Wayne Baffsky reports on the state of the legal challenge to the NSW Consorting Laws
·         I report on some motorcycling fun that I had in South Australia in the Adelaide Hills and at the MRA Toy Run last weekend

·         And I announce a new Tuesday night timeslot for Ride in 2013 plus lots of news, views and music from Australia and beyond

TUNE IN in Sydney live on 90.5 FM and across Australia on www.alive905.comfrom 7pm -9pm EST on Sunday. Please check out Facebook and if you like the programme don't forget to Like this page and recommend it to you friends.              


What’s the next best thing to having some motorcycle fun? Listening to others who are having it as well!And you can do that on Sundays for two hours from 7pm EST. on Alive FM 90.5 when national motorcycling identity Greg Hirst will entertain you with

      ·Humorous stories of a motorcycle nature

      ·Interviews with well known motorcycle riders

      ·Stories from Aussie motorcycle clubs about their positive activities

      ·Update of key some motorcycling issues

      ·News on local and national motorcycle events (especially for those listening online)

      ·Studio guests to talk about their personal motorcycling experiences                                                

And lots of great Aussie rock, blues and alternate music, plus a little overseas stuff. So listen in every Sunday for some motorcycle radio fun: on radio in Sydney or online on www.alive905.comaround Australia.Alive 90.5 FM broadcasts all its programmes online and so Ridecan be heard in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania at 7pm,Qld at 7pm, South Australia and Broken Hill 6.30pm, the Northern Territory at 6.30pm and in Western Australia at 5pm.

        ·For more information contact Greg on

Thursday, 6 December 2012


We’ve  just  posted  this  to the Stop SMIDSY Facebook page to try and
encourage  riders  to  attend Parliament next Wednesday – feel free to
share – cheers:

FREE  (or pay-what-you-want) SMIDSY/'Take a Longer Look' t-shirts
for 1 day  only!!!  -  Outside  the  Victorian  Parliament,  Spring  Street,
Melbourne - 11.30am–12noon, Wednesday 12 Dec.

The  Inquiry  into  Motorcycle Safety is finally delivering its report
and  we  would love to see a big crowd of riders in the public gallery
backing   the  Victorian  Motorcycle  Council  on  such  an  important

So  come  along  and  grab  a t-shirt and then watch statements on the
report;  proceedings are due to kick off at 12.15pm in the Legislative
Assembly  -  we'll  look  to get a few pics on the steps of Parliament
after things finish up at around 1pm.

Hope to see you there!

Adam Kostick | Community Engagement

Maurice Blackburn Pty Limited
Level 10, 456 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
T (03) 9605 2688 F (03) 9258 9600 |

Maurice  Blackburn  is  a leading Australian law firm certified to the
international  ISO  9001:2008  quality  standard.

Maurice  Blackburn  is proud to be carbon neutral. Please consider the
environment before printing this email.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012



The Independent Riders' Group lobbied the Baillieu Government, when it was in Opposition, for a parliamentary inquiry into motorcycle & scooter safety. We got it. It's been almost 20 years 
since the last one so this is a very important report.

Independent Riders' Group members Damien Codognotto OAM (L) and Michael Czajka (R) talk motorcycling with Terry Mulder MP at The Society. Terry Mulder is now the Victorian Transport Minister.

The Victorian Parliament's Road Safety Committee is made up of five MPs. Chairman Murray Thompson MLA (Lib) with Bill Tilley MLA (Lib), Jude Perera MLA (ALP), Telmo Languille MLA (ALP) and Andrew Elsbury MLC (Lib). The RSC has spent over a year talking to riders, industry and government departments and studying their input.

The RSC and their staff have worked hard and looked at submissions objectively. I sat through most of the public hearings  and after hearing their questions, particularly when they questioned VicRoads/TAC/Police representatives, I think the motorcycle & scooter community in this state is going to get a fair go in their report.

The RSC report on bikes will be tabled in state parliament on the morning of Wednesday, December 12, 2012. This is your democracy at work and it's free. Well, it's not exaqctly free. You  already  paid for it with your taxes. The MPs work for you and  me.  Sometimes a reminder that we care and we vote, like a public gallery full of riders, is a very good thing. That's especially true when road authorities and others are pushing compulsory flouro vests, front number plates (again), more consorting laws and 
the TAC antibike tax keeps going up.

Our parliament is a great place. Any rider who can should be there. It will probably be another 20 years before anything like this report happens again.
Find out more about your system of government by ringing this number and asking for a copy of this FREE DVD to be posted out to you. Tel: 03 8682 2653.

Latest News from the Road Safety Committee.

Inquiry into Motorcycle Safety - Tabling Date UPDATE.

The  Report  of  the  Inquiry into Motorcycle Safety will be tabled in
Parliament on Wednesday 12 December 2012.

Tabling is likely to occur around 9.30am.

In terms of process, please note:

.  A short statement will immediately follow the tabling of the Report
   in the Legislative Council

.  No  statement  will  be  made in relation to the Report until about
   12.15pm in the Legislative Assembly

The times provided are indicative only.

Once  tabled,  a  copy  of the Report will be available from the Table
Office in Parliament House, and via the Road Safety Committee website:

Members  of  the  public are welcome to be present in the gallery when
the Report is tabled and statements are made, however please note that
persons  in  the  gallery  are  expected to remain quiet at all times.
Failure to do so may result in persons being asked to leave.

Sunday, 2 December 2012


Last Saturday the Hobart TOY RUN drew 8000 bikes and filled 4 trucks with gifts for the Salvos to give to needy kids.

Next Sunday is the Melbourne TOY RUN at Calder Raceway.

Here's a link to a story on the Ballarat TOY RUN.


FRENCH motorcycle & scooter riders used people power to defeat government proposals for a high visibility vest law. 100,000 rider took to roads across France to protest against bad laws including mandatory flouro clothing. 100,000 voters on bikes sent a clear message to their government that they were not going to take it anymore. They also sent a clear message to other road users that they had a right to be on the road and they were going to stay there.

Australian road authorities have gone quiet on high viz vests and compulsory protective clothing for now but they have a folio of measures designed to make it difficult and expensive to keep a bike on the road and a bike licence in your wallet.

The inquiry into motorcycle & scooter safety will release its' report at Parliament House in Melbourne on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 from 9am. The more riders that can make it in there the better.

The first FAIR GO RUN will be on Saturday, March 16, 2013. It will depart Melbourne's northern suburbs for a run up the Hume to the marginal seat of Seymour and the electoral office of Cindy McLeish MP. Then it's on to the Flowerdale Pub for lunch.

In the lead up to the next Victorian election we will target marginal seats, regardless of political party. The candidates who support or right to ride, in writing, will get our support, the candidates that don't will not.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group

Sent: Sunday, 2 December 2012 11:24 PM
Subject: Re: [New post] France: compulsory reflective clothing suspended

"UK France"

Sun, 2 Dec 2012 10:20:54 +0000
Subject: France: compulsory reflective clothing suspended

Good news  for  riders  in  France: the new French Interior Minister,
Manuel  Valls,  has  decided to suspend the forthcoming obligation for
all  riders (whether residents or visitors) to wear at least 125cm2 of
reflective  clothing  between  the  waist and the shoulders.

Bikers who were  caught  not wearing the appropriate reflective clothing
from 1st January  2013 would have been liable to a 68 euros fine payable
on the spot  and two points taken off their licence.

The battle has been very long  for  the  bikers to achieve such a good
result. Despite national demonstrations  gathering  over  100,000 bikers
and bringing the whole country  to  a  complete  stop, the previous Interior
Minister, Claude Guéant,  refused  to  abandon his proposals. Guéant initially
proposed the  compulsory  wear  of  reflective  jackets  and, with the enormous
pressure  he  was  put  under  by  thousands  of angry bikers who kept
blocking  the  roads  all over the country, he decided to back off and
restrict  the  reflective clothing to only 125cm2 between  the  waist  and the
shoulders. But this was not good enough - the  bikers  demanded  full  scrapping
of the proposals, which Guéant refused  to accept.

Manuel Valls, Guéant's successor following the recent elections, seems to be more
reasonable and has now accepted to  listen  to  the  bikers'  concerns  and  suspend
his predecessor's proposals.

Unfortunately, suspend does not mean scrap - the proposals will  be reviewed in
detail before Valls may decide to scrap them for  good.  This  is  one  of  the most
laughable and absurd pieces of legislation  we  have  ever heard of because a) reflective
clothing is precisely  not  reflective  during  day  light  and  b) those who ride
machines  of  up  to  125cc  would  have  been exempt from wearing any
reflective  clothing  on  the  grounds that they don’t ride a powerful
enough  bike to be considered dangerous on the roads!

Let’s not forget that  a very large number of motorcyclists who ride a moped or a
125cc bike  are precisely those who don’t hold a full motorcycle licence and
have  only  attended at the very most a one-off 7 hour training course all  together.
But,  as  usual,  bikers  who ride larger machines arealways  the ones who cause most
concern to the government because they have  been much better trained than every other
biker! Whilst it makes perfect  sense  to  educate  bikers to be more visible on the roads to
minimise  the risk of collisions resulting from car drivers not seeing (DKC - looking for them)
them,  it  also  makes  sense  to  educate car drivers, including taxi drivers,  to  share  the
roads with bikers and make them realise that they  don’t  own  the roads. Why are car
drivers not forced to apply a yellow  sticker  at  the  back (and front) of their vehicle to
make it more  visible?  Why  are riders and drivers not treated equally on the
roads  and,  more importantly, why are bikers being constantly treated as  irresponsible
and  rogue  citizens?

Statistics show that the vast majority  of  road accidents involving motorcyclists are caused
by car drivers  not  paying  attention  to  what's around them, including the presence
of  bikers.  So  instead  of  imposing  radical  and useless measures  on  the bikers and
treat them like children, governments had better address road related issues by implementing
training and safety awareness  sessions  for  all, not always and constantly victimise the

Whilst  bikers in France are delighted to hear the good news, the battle is not yet totally over.
Manuel Valls has yet to review and consider  his  predecessor's  proposals  in detail before
he makes his final  decision,  which  will hopefully be the full scrapping of these proposals.
In  the  meantime, the French Federation of Angry Bikers - FFMC (Fédération Française
des Motards en Colère) continues to put the government under pressure to achieve the
desired full scrapping of the proposals.

If  you're based in France and want to take  part in the fight against the Government's
proposed introduction of  a  compulsory  annual  environmental  and  road  safety  test  for
motorcycles  and  their  continued  policy  to  ban motorcyclists from filtering  through
traffic, then contact the FFMC.

Please  join  and  support  the  campaign  to stop Westminster  Council  from stealth taxing motorcyclists to park before their  scheme  spreads  all  over  the  UK and the rest of Europe.
For further details, visit

URL: Comment See all comments

Saturday, 1 December 2012


The Herald Sun. Monday, December 3, 2013.



Ambulance  Victoria's  Tony Walker said scooters on trial had problems
but  the  idea worked. That they bought the wrong machines for the job
does   not  mean that Victoria doesn't need paramedics on motorcycles.
They operate successfully interstate and overseas.

The $3 million trial is about finding the problems and fixing them.

Fix the specially trained paramedics safety and pay concerns. Buy some
mid-sized  bike with big wheels and an electrical system that can cope
with  the lights, sirens and communications gear required.

Get  the two-wheeled ambos working in areas where full-size ambulances
are  scarce  or can't attend easily. An ambulance can't get to a heart
attack victim or a birth in a car on a freeway in peak hour quickly. A
paramedic on a motorcycle with the gear to save lives can.

Paramedics   on   motorcycles  shorten  response  times  and  free  up
ambulances  for  urgent  tasks. Learn from the first year of the trial
and fix the problems.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group


LIVES PUT AT RISK. Ambos forced to wait. (HS 28/11/2012) Our ambulance
service and hospital arrival areas are dangerously under-resourced.

When  hospitals  have  to  make  ambos  wait long periods to hand over
patients/victims   two   things   are   clear.  First,  hospitals  are
under-staffed. Two, our limited fleet of ambulances is limited further
by drop off delays.

One  way to shorten response times and free up full-size ambulances is
to  give  hospitals  what  they  need  to  facilitate quick, efficient
patient/victim  admissions.  Another  way is to put more paramedics on
motorcycles on the road.

The  current  trial of motorcycle paramedics in Melbourne is less than
it should be. A couple of scooters ridden by three or four ambos in an
area  with good coverage is not enough. Minister Davis should put more
bikes on more roads in areas where ambulance cover is less than in the
CBD.  Gridlocked  main  roads  and  freeways are places where the most
efficient ambulance has two wheels.

Paramedics  on motorcycles are cost-effective and efficient interstate
and overseas. They save lives.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group