Sunday, 24 February 2013


Hi all,

This was one of the worst accident scenes a police officer or emergency service worker would want to attend! (Scroll down to see the blog entry ANOTHER RIDER DIES AT A WRB SITE. DC)

The officer first on scene had the sad "Duty" to describe the crash scene to the online operator to report to Vicpol  Metro.

This was unforgettable to me listening to our Emergency services channel.

Sadly we can't change the past but we can direct the future by introducing safer road systems for vulnerable road users.

It is crucial that accident scenes have priority in setting up Traffic Management Points (TMPs). Crash scenes must be secured from contamination so reliable data can be collected. 
In this case some heavy vehicles where sent through the crash site from the Bombala end,  interfering with the officers' duty at the the scene.

The time between a crash and crash investigation members attending must be addressed! It would have been several hours before appropriately trained officers could get there. Surely we can deliver the team using Air 900 for crash scenes where distance is a major factor! 

(The parliamentary inquiry into motorcycle & scooter safety mentions both WRB and the way Victoria collects crash site data in its' recommendations. DC)

In saying this my thanks goes to the local officer at the scene for his great work in what was a horrible accident scene.

The Ring Road at Thomastown north of Melbourne. Lots of run-off space protected by deadly wire rope barrier. It did not matter what this rider was doing when he lost it. His fate was sealed by the WRB.
WRB should not be on roads frequently used by motorcyclists. WRB kills & has done on more than one occasion.


Dale Robert Maggs
Mob 0432 776 458
Independent Riders Group 



Dear Ms Dore.

The  Independent Riders Group strongly supports Motorcycling Australia
and  the  Victorian  Motorcycle  Council by calling for The Ride media
campaign to be withdrawn immediately and never used again.

The  IRG thanks Rob Smith of MA and Rob Salvatore of the VMC for their
accurate and timely letters published in the Herald Sun. See attached.

Given  your  letter  justifying the TAC's rerun of the discredited The
Ride   campaign,   we  invite you, or a TAC representative  to  attend
the  1st  FAIR  GO  RUN on March 16.

The Member of Parliament for Seymour, Cindy McLeish MLA and the Shadow
Minister   for   Roads   &   TAC,  Luke  Donnellan, will  address  the
assembled  motorcycle  &  scooter  riders. This is your opportunity to
explain to the people who pay TAC premiums how The Ride campaign is in
their best   interests.

The overwhelming majority of people paying TAC bike premiums and taxes
also pay car premiums so they have a greater vested interest in seeing
their road safety dollar well spent.

Damien Codognotto OAM
The Independent Riders Group

Friday, 22 February 2013


at a wire rope barrier (WRB) site in Victoria's east. 

The Independent Riders' Group offers sincere sympathy to family and loved 

Media was sketchy but as we hear it, on  February 21, 2013,
a mature Sydney woman was riding the Monaro Highway from Bombala
to Cann River in Victoria. She was on her way to the Superbikes on
Phillip Island. She did not make it. For some reason she dropped the 
bike about 27 kms from Cann River and slid into a WRB.

Apparently she had traveled this route to the Supers before, as a pillion,
but this was her first trip on this road as as rider. She got her 
probationary licence in November 2012. That may mean she was a novice. 
It probably means she had recently completed training courses, her gear 
was new and she was riding conservatively and within the speed limit.

It's a while since I rode the Monaro Highway but I thought it was a
fairly safe bike road. Not much WRB up that way then. There's 
nothing to suggest another vehicle was involved in this crash at this 
stage, but the Coroner has not heard the evidence yet.

We are told it was wet. She was riding downhill into a left hand bend.
Perhaps, not knowing the road well, she was going a bit quick for the
conditions? She dropped the bike and slid across the road. If there 
had been no barrier she would probably have slid over a steep 
embankment and may have survived.

If there had been a smooth concrete barrier, or w-beam barrier with a
skirt, she may have rolled along it and survived. BUT it was wire rope
barrier (WRB). Barrier posts are the killers. WRB has the most exposed
posts of any barrier system and, as sliding riders usually hit the WRB
posts at a shallow angle, their bodies collide with many WRB posts even
at low speeds. These multiple impacts are killers.
WRB site at Ferntree Gully in Victoria where Toby Noble died in 2002.

As we understand it, this is what happened to the lady from Sydney. She
suffered horrendous injuries from multiple impacts with WRB posts and

Witnesses said trucks and other traffic were allowed through the crash
site. That would make it difficult for trained investigation officers to 
accurately assess the scene. Especially since they probably came from 
Melbourne and took several hours to get there. The further from Melbourne 
you crash the less likely it is that your crash site will be adequately 
assessed. BUT VicRoads will tell you that there is no evidence to suggest 
that WRB presents a danger to motorcyclists. Because road authorities don't 
do the required research.
From the 2005 Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into crashes involving roadside objects. 


Victoria's Transport Accident Commission (TAC) spends a lot of our money
telling all and sundry that riders are responsible for reducing our own
risks on the road. But road authorities have a duty of 

care to reduce the risks to road users by providing 
a safe, well maintained road environment.

WRB is a hazard to ALL road users because, as well as the threat it presents
to motorcycle & scooter riders, it does not stop large vehicles. There have
been several fatal, cross-over smashes at WRB sites. 
Obviously the WRB on the median did not stop this truck. What stopped it crossing into oncoming traffic like the Yatala, Qld. fatal crash in 2006 was the massive pylon the truck hit after brushing aside the WRB. Many people believe that WRB should never be used on roads where speed are relatively high and heavy transport is common.

To the best of our knowledge, no report on impact testing of WRB in Australia, 
with or without post pads, has been released.

The 2012 inquiry into motorcycle & scooter safety in Victoria recommended
improved crash site data collection to be done by an independent authority.
Recommendations 1, 2 & 3. Recommendations 46 & 47 say VicRoads should update
it's road safety guidelines and specifically mention WRB as an area to study.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group
Tel: 03 9846 8621

Wednesday, 20 February 2013


TA Series 2 Update

Series 2 of Temporary Australians, which was due to air from early March,will now

go to air later in the year. The change will allow the programme to have enough time to finish

the editing within budget.

Everyone at Temporary Australians is looking forward to getting Series 2 on air as soon as possible

so keep an eye on   for more news

Kind regards,
Greg Hirst.


Tuesday, 19 February 2013


$30 each

Limited supply.

Send $30 per shirt plus $5 postage to:

PO Box 3091, Doncaster East, Vic. 3109.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group

Sunday, 17 February 2013


Independent Riders' Group member Rod Brown has produced a letter for riders to send to their Victorian Members of Parliament. It calls for recommendations from the motorcycle & scooter safety inquiry to be implemented. The government has until June to decide which recommendations to adopt. This is a one in twenty year opportunity. We need thousands of these letters to cross MPs desks. Print it out. Pass it on. Encourage your family and friends to send one.

All you have to do is fill in a date, your details and the MP's details. You will taking an important step in defending your right to ride. Don't wait for others to do it. Write to your MP now.

If you need help finding your MP's details, email me with your location and post code. Eg Geelong 3220 or Wodonga 3690.

Don't forget the 1st FAIR GO RUN on March 16, 2013.

MP name                                                                                                                            Your Address
Street number and name or PO Box                                                                         Your phone number                   
Suburb VIC Postcode

Dear (insert MP name),

Support for approval of recommendations made in the Inquiry into Motorcycle Safety

I am writing to you regarding the recent Parliament Inquiry into Motorcycle Safety.  As you may be aware, the Committee tabled their report containing 64 recommendations on 12 December 2012. This timely report was based on detailed and sound research into the safety of vulnerable motorcycle & scooter users.

As a motorcycle rider, improved safety is of vital importance to me and a key issue in the next State and Federal elections. I strongly support that the Government needs to commit to approving the recommendations, which will significantly improve motorcycle safety, resulting in fewer lives lost, reduced trauma and a huge saving in health costs.
 Some of the key recommendations include that:

Ø  the motorcycle safety levy be abolished

Ø  the benefits and risks of filtering as distinct from lane splitting be reviewed with the aim of introducing filtering in Victoria

Ø  an independent office of road safety data be created

Ø  Motorcycle Advisory Group (MAG) be expanded to include additional representatives from the scooter and moped, off-road and accredited provider segments of the motorcycling community.

Please forward this letter to the Hon, Terry Mulder MP, Minister for Public Transport and Roads for his attention and a formal response.

Yours sincerely,

Sign your name
State your name

Thursday, 14 February 2013


Your premiums at work.

TAC  held its' marketing session for stakeholders on Thursday,
February 14 in Melbourne so this SMIDSY publicity is timely and
welcomed by motorcycle & scooter riders generally.

If you want to support the SMIDSY campaign be on the 1st FAIR GO RUN
to Seymour on March 16, 2013. 

If you can't do the whole ride from Epping or Wodonga turn up at the start 
for half an hour. Or, get into Seymour for the speeches about 11.30am.

Scroll down for more details on the FAIR GO RUN. Spread the word.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group

Thursday, 7 February 2013



* We talk to David Hawker, a former Federal House of  Reps. Speaker and who is now a mad keen Harley rider, about motorcycling developments in Victoria over the last few months in Parliament and the Vic Roads Motorcycle Advisory Group.

* We chat with Damien Codognotto OAM, spokesman for Independent Riders Group, about the 1st FAIR GO RIDE'  in Victoria's regional Seymour area on March 16.

* Black Dog ride founder Steve Andrews talks from Perth about this year's rides around the country and to the Red Centre.

* We start to speculate about this year's Federal Election and the motorcycle community's response to it.

Plus lots of other info about motorcycle fun around Australia.

Tune in 7pm-9pm Sydney time on Alive 90.5 FM or listen online through the Alive website and by smart phone.

Ride is proudly sponsored by:

Fraser Motorcycles: check out their stores in Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle, Melbourne and Perth.

Saturday, 2 February 2013


These junkets are not a new line in custards, although the way some public servants consider their status in our society, such a marketing campaign would not surprise me.

These junkets won't taste good to many road users who have to put up with badly neglected roads, dangerous railway crossings and traffic congestion contributed to be bad design and never-ending congestion on city roads.

Did you know that 70% of city traffic in Australia is made up of single-occupant cars?

These junkets taste real good to the "international business" experts at Vic Roads who's advice is "highly sought". Possibly advice on how to sell a good junket to your boss because it's probably not advice on how to keep Victoria's road well maintained economically.

We'll have to talk custard at the 1st FAIR GO RUN on March 16. Scroll down for details.

It doesn't seem to me that the fact that VicRoads HQ is in Melbourne has any bearing on the way Victorian roads seem to get worse the further you go from the capital. I reckon it's all about the custard. To paraphrase Jack Thompson in the film about the shearer's strike. Victoria's roads have gone downhill because VicRoads staff spend all our time and money on milky jelly. Friday too broke (spent it on custard), Saturday too full of it and Sunday too bloody far away (on a junket).


Spending  $195,000  of  taxpayers'  money  on  trips tom India, Chile,
Mexico,  Canada, Germany and the USA is wrong when VicRoads can't
even maintain  our  roads  or fix level crossings in the pothole state.(H/S
28/01/2013. Page 11.)

That  we road users must pay air fares, accommodation and expenses for
officials  to  promote  the  VicRoads  "brand"  internationally  is  a

VicRoads is a local licence, registration and road building department
not a multi-national corporation. The trippers are public servants who
get good pay, hours and holidays, they are not corporate executives.

It  is  time  for the Victorian Auditor General to have a good look at
what VicRoads does with our money.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group