Thursday, 31 January 2013


The TAC Board can have up to 9 members. Currently there are 7. All of them are administrators, lawyers, ad men etc. None of them have expertise in road safety or transport. The independent Riders'
Group wants this situation to change and supports candidates with road safety and/or transport skills.

The minister responsible, Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips agrees with the IRG that there should be a balance of skills, including road safety and transport, on the TAC Board.

If there had been such a balance perhaps the recent, costly TAC motorcycle TV ad farce would not have happened.

One of the TAC Board positions is being advertised in the Financial Review today (Feb 1, 2013).

Since at least 2007 decisions on Board Members have been made by the minister on the advice of TAC.  Minister Rich-Phillips agrees that these decisions are his responsibility.

About a year ago the Baillieu Government hired a company to head hunt people for government boards.


The City of Melbourne will spend $2.4 million on bicycle lanes on both sides of LaTrobe Street between Victoria and Spencers Streets.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

1st FAIR GO RUN 5 - MARCH 16, 2013.


The Melbourne Crusaders Scooter Club, Lambretta Club of Australia, Vespa Club of Melbourne and the Victorian Scooter Riders' Association have all made the 1st FAIR GO RUN an official event on their calendars in March 2013. 

Let's get all Scooter Clubs and Scooterists together to be counted and be part of it.

Should be a lot of fun !

Steve Bardsley
The Victorian Scooter Riders Association

Ask your club to make the 1st FAIR GO RUN an official event. It's in the interest of all riders.




Don't forget to tune into Ride next Tuesday Night from 7pm -9pm Sydney time

on Alive 90.5 FM and around Australia online or on smart phone.

Starting off 2013 Ride will discuss:

* The new series of Temporary Australians

* Riding in WA

* How did the fight against the anti-association laws begin in SA

* Green slip increases in NSW

* Tattoo Expos around the country

* The Bathurst Street and Custom Motorcycle Show

So don't forget to tune in Tuesday night at 7pm.


Proudly sponsored by Fraser Motorcycles


On January 1, 2013, registration labels were abolished in NSW. Other state's got rid of them too. The Independent Riders' Group has been calling for Victorian rego labels to be abolished for years because they serve no useful purpose. Any information police require can be gained from the number plate and the bike has to be stationary for the rego label to be read. Failure to display this anachronism in just the right position is just another reason for a fine.

The IRG wrote to VicRoads in 2012 asking when/if Victoria would abolish rego labels. No reply yet.

June 17, 2012.

James Holgate
60 Denmark Street,

Dear Sir,
              We understand that West Australia (2010) and South Australia (2011) have abolished vehicle registration labels/stickers. New South Wales will abolish registration labels from 2013.

Will Victoria abolish vehicle registration labels for cars, motorcycles, scooters and other vehicles?

If so, when?

If not, why not?

Victoria Police motorcycles are exempt from displaying registration labels while road riders must meet strict display requirements (recently slightly relaxed).

Vehicle registration labels cost money and serve no real purpose since information on labels is easily accessible via number plates and driver/rider licences.


Cc        The Hon Ted Baillieu - Premier
            The Hon Daniel Andrews - Leader of the Opposition.

Damien Codognotto OAM
P O  Box  3091,  East Doncaster,  Vic.  3109.
Tel: 03 9846 8621.  Email:

Thursday, 24 January 2013


Have a look at this youtube item on where motorcycling fits in the general scheme of things.

Wouldn't it be great if the Australian motorcycle industry could pool its' resources and produce something like this, but home grown, then distribute it widely?


Thursday, 17 January 2013



Both  the  Australian  Motorcycle Trail Riders Association (AMTRA) and
the   Victorian   Scooter  Riders  Association  (VSRA)  should  be  on
Victoria's Motorcycle Advisory Group (VMAG) in their own right, as per
the  Parliamentary  Inquiry  into  motorcycle  & scooter safety (PIMS)
recommendations - December 2012.

That  VicRoads'  CEO Gary Liddle denied VSRA, and likely AMTRA, places
on  VMAG  is  wrong.  In  this case, a six-month delay is a refusal to
accept the PIMS recommendation. It demonstrates VicRoads' bias against
motorcycle  &  scooter  riders, contempt for a parliamentary committee
and a disregard for road safety except when it suits their agenda.

A road safety committee comprised of people picked by a road authority
rather  than  picked  for  their  expertise  and the stakeholders they
represent is a liability, not an asset, to road safety.

VicRoads   has  a  duty of care to all road users. VicRoads is subject
to the Victorian Parliament, not the other way round.

The  Independent  Riders'  Group  supports VSRA's and AMTRA's right to
have  representatives on VMAG in line with the PIMS recommendation.

This  important  issue  will be a major part of the 1st FAIR GO RUN on
March 16, 2013.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group



Both  the  Australian  Motorcycle Trail Riders Association (AMTRA) and
the   Victorian   Scooter  Riders  Association  (VSRA)  should  be  on
Victoria's Motorcycle Advisory Group (VMAG) in their own right, as per
the  Parliamentary  Inquiry  into  motorcycle  & scooter safety (PIMS)
recommendations - December 2012.

That  VicRoads'  CEO Gary Liddle denied VSRA, and likely AMTRA, places
on  VMAG  is  wrong.  In  this  case a six-month delay is a refusal to
accept the PIMS recommendation. It demonstrates VicRoads' bias against
motorcycle  &  scooter  riders, contempt for a parliamentary committee
and a disregard for road safety except when it suits their agenda.

VicRoads   has  a  duty of care to all road users. VicRoads is subject
to the Victorian Parliament, not the other way round.

The  Independent  Riders'  Group  supports VSRA's and AMTRA's right to
have  representatives on VMAG in line with the PIMS recommendation.

This  important  issue  will be a major part of the 1st FAIR GO RUN on
March 16, 2013.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group

Sunday, 13 January 2013

WRB SMASH 2 - JAN 11 2013

G'day All.

I'm still looking for any information or media links 
on the smash involving a large truck crossing a 
median strip "protected" by a wire rope barrier 
then careering into oncoming traffic. See WRB 
SMASH 1.  Miraculously no one was killed. 

A policeman on site said the WRB had absorbed 
much of the truck's momentum. Why did he pre-empt
legal proceedings? How could he know? What were 
his qualifications to make an "instant" assessment 
of this smash? 


Hi Damien,

It  seems  that the police are free to make any comment they like. And
it has been going on for years.

Some time back (25 years at least) I had a car "taken" illegally and it
subsequently   was   crashed.  A  policeman  at  the  scene  suggested
mechanical  failure  as  a  cause of the accident (before he was aware
that it was taken illegally)

My  insurance  company  refused  to  pay for the repairs based on this
policeman's appraisal of the accident.

It  took many months and great expense to me before it was resolved in
my  favour.  To my knowledge the policeman involved was never asked to
qualify or recant his assumption.

Seems nothing has changed.

Love the blog,

Billy Kaylock

Thursday, 10 January 2013

WRB SMASH - JAN 10 2013

G'day all.

Got a glimpse of a truck smash on the TV news in Melbourne last night,
January 10, 2013. Probably a commercial channel.

It looked like a major country highway, 2 lanes each way, grass median
strip with wire rope barrier down the middle, bit of a curve and I got
the impression the truck was going up hill on the inside of the curve.

It could have been a b-double.

The  truck  seems to have gone straight ahead, over the WRB, onto its'
side and slide into oncoming traffic.

Then  a  policeman  came  on  to tell us that the WRB had absorbed the
impact  and  probably saved lived! What training did that officer have
to  make  that  assessment? How  much  time did it take to assess the
crash site while managing the crash scene? How many police were at the
crash site?

If this was a robbery or an assault an officer would not be allowed to
pre-empt  any  legal  proceedings  with his opinions in the media like
this.  And,  why  defend  WRB?  I've never heard a policeman go public
defending other barriers after a crash.

Could  it  be  that  a  police  road  authority "partner" has a vested
interest in WRB not being seen to fail?

The  Victorian  Parliamentary Inquiry into motorcycle & scooter safety
(DEC  2012)  came up with recommendations that call for an independent
authority to handle ALL road crash data. The Independent Riders' Group
strongly  supports  those  recommendations.  The  current  system is a
bureaucratic mess with various vested interests squabbling over who is
in charge of what and who gets what information related to road trauma. 

We  would  appreciate any links to reports on this truck crash and any
other information on it that's available.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group

Sunday, 6 January 2013


JAN 1, 2013.


IS it just me or are there other drivers out there who feel that the number of
road rage incidents has sharply increased since the introduction of those ridiculous
magnifying side-mirrors on modern cars?

I cannot understand why safety authorities have been so awesomely silent on
these monster mirrors.

Even prestige vehicles are fitted with these imbecilic engineering adornments that
offer absolutely no benefits.

If governments are fair dinkum about road safety they should take a closer look at
vehicle specifications before allowing these types of errors on our roads.

Lakes Entrance, Vic.

Here's what I wrote in reply.


Graham from Lakes Entrance (1/1/2013) stretches credibility a long way
suggesting  side  mirrors  on  cars  increase  road  rage  and have no benefits.

Wing  mirrors  reduce  cars'  blind spots IF they are used. That saves lives.

Drivers  who  do  not used their wing mirrors are more likely to cause road
rage  incidents.

Drivers  who  do use their wing mirrors will see road users behind and overtaking
them. That's good for motorcycle and scooter riders as well as bicyclists.

Damien Codognotto
Independent Riders' Group

Here's what they printed.

JAN 3, 2013


GRAHAM from Lakes Entrance (Jan 1) stretches credibility a long way suggesting
side mirrors on cars increase road rage and have no benefits.

Side mirrors reduce car blind-spots and save lives.

Damien Codognotto

It makes the point ... just.


Saturday, 5 January 2013

1st FAIR GO RUN 3 - MARCH 16 2013

The FAIR GO RUN rolls on Seymour on Staurday, March 16, 2013.

Clearing up a few misunderstandings.

The protest rally in A'beckett Street, Melbourne on Monday, October 29, 2012, was a protest against discriminatory proposals including wire rope barriers, the TAC tax, consorting laws, front number plates/stickers/tags, mandatory day glo vests and compulsory protective boots, pants, jackets and gloves picked for us by a committee of bureaucrats.

That protest run grew out of a face book page. Ordinary road riders were angry at the crop of proposals and wanted a very public say. As the move to hold a protest rally gained momentum, it became clear that a stage and PA was required and the Independent Riders' Group took that on.

The October 29 rally was well-attended for a weekday with about 400 bike parked in and near A'beckett Street. The speakers were Steve Bardsley for the Victorian Scooter Riders Association, ; Heather Ellis member of the Motorcycle Advisory Group at Vicroads, ; Luke Donnellan, Shadow Minister for Transport ; John Voyage for Maurice Blackburn Lawyers promoting the SMIDSY (Sorry mate. I didn't see you.) campaign .

On December 12 the Victorian Road Safety Committee reported on its' inquiry into motorcycle & scooter safety.

The PIMS report recommendations were better than we hoped for, in fact the recommendations were very good indeed. But good recommendations are not laws or programs or active policies. The Road Safety Committee made the recommendations but it has no power in itself to implement its' recommendations.

If rider representatives relax now it may be that little or nothing will get done and the PIMS recommendations will slip into limbo like the trial to permit motorcycles & scooters to use bus lanes in Victoria which was supposed to be done by June 2012.

And, sooner or later the negative proposals will resurface.

Certainly face to face meetings with politicians and public servants are important and will continue. The Independent Riders' Group met with several MPs at Parliament House in Melbourne the day after the report was released. One topic was the 1st FAIR GO RUN to Seymour. In view of the PIMS recommendations a focus of the ride will be to support the recommendations and lobby for their speedy implementation.

In view of the road casualties caused by car driver error, the Seymour ride would also be a driver awareness ride promoting road safety.

Both clear, positive aims.

Nothing says we are here and we are well-organised and we vote like a big column of disciplined riders.
The 1989 OZ GP RUN to PHILLIP ISLAND. Not a protest run but it sent a message loud and clear. Photo courtesy The Age, Melbourne.

Driver Awareness Rides in Melbourne attracted thousands of riders. There were no problems. Far from upsetting relationships between rider reps and politicians these rides generated respect for motorcycle & scooter riders and their organisations. The October 29 protest rally demonstrated a need for that kind of respect again and the desire of a significant number of riders to do something for themselves, to have a say by getting their bikes and riding.
Budget sponsored Melbourne MRA Driver Awareness Rides supplying truck and driver to lead the column of bike. Pictured are Bernadette McMillan  and Peter Donnellan on the right.

MPs from both sides of politics rode pillion on Driver Awareness Rides and that generated a lot of positive publicity for motorcycle & scooter safety and for our right to ride. The Seymour ride gives road riders a chance to send those messages again.

Assemble from 9am at the BP on Cooper Street, Epping on Saturday, March 16, 2013. After speeches at the office of the local MP in Seymour riders are invited to the famous Flowerdale Hotel for lunch. All the usual road laws apply. 

More details in other blogs. 

If you think this would be a worthwhile ride, please send this information to as many people as you can.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

1st FAIR GO RUN 2 - MARCH 16 2013

Saturday, March 16, 2013.

All motorcycle, scooter, sidecar and trike riders and their passengers are invited. Flags & banners welcome. No fees or registration. Just roll up.

All usual road laws apply.

The ride sends two messages. 

One is to road authorities. 

We will use our votes in the 2014 Victorian elections to get a fair go for the motorcycle & scooter community. 

  • Yes to the PIMS recommendations.
  • Yes to an independent road safety authority.
  • Yes to a serious blitz on mobile phone use by car drivers. 
  • No to front number plates/stickers/tags, 
  • No to mandatory flouro vests.
  • No to compulsory boots, pants, jackets & gloves picked by Canberra. 
  • No to consorting laws.
  • No to wire rope barriers
  • No to the TAC antibike tax.

The other message is to car drivers.

We have a right to ride. You have a responsibility to drive with due care near other road users.
"Sorry mate. I didn't see you." is an admission of negligence or incompetence or both.

ASSEMBLE from 9am at the BP service station on the corner of Cooper Street and Scanlon Drive in Epping. Melway map 181, reference E 11.

DEPART at 10am for Seymour. About 80 kms north on the Hume Highway. Riders from the west north and east are invited to meet the Melbourne column in Wallis Street, Seymour.

SPEECHES at 11.30am outside the office of Cindy McLeish MP at 30 Wallis Street in Seymour. Seymour is a marginal seat that the Victorian Government can not afford to lose. The electorate includes many riders, their families and their friends. Riders touring the great roads in the area contribute to the local economy every day.

326,000 plus Victorians are licenced to ride motorcycles & scooters. We are legitimate road users and we more than pay our way. That is a large voting block. Candidates for seats at the 2014 state elections, who publicly lobby for the recommendations of the parliamentary inquiry report (December 2012) to be adopted will get support from riders.
Fund raiser for the Country Fire Authority at the Flowerdale Pub in 2009 after the Black Saturday bushfires.

DEPART at noon for Flowerdale. About 50 kms via Strath Creek.