Monday, 29 April 2013


List of your Members of Parliament.


The Victorian Auditor General's Office will publish its' annual plan on the VAGO website in May.

The Independent Riders' Group has asked that VicRoads be audited.


Car parking costs in Melbourne are about to sky rocket. 

Up 37%! 

Saturday, 27 April 2013



In Victoria the Napthine Government holds power by a single MP. That means both sides of Parliament needs every vote they can get for the 2014 state election. That means people who get political and lobby now have more chance of being heard and of getting at least some of what we  want. And, what's good for bikes safety is good for all road users.

We want the government to adopt the parliamentary inquiry into motorcycle & scooter safety (PIMSS) recommendations.

From meetings and talks we know that VicRoads/TAC/police are not happy with many of the recommendation and are working to stop as many of the PIMSS recommendations as they can. Some 80 experts and organisations, including VicRoads/TAC/police, made PIMSS submissions. Now VicRoads/TAC/police show their utter contempt for the parliament by trying to block the PIMSS recommendations.

VicRoads are also moving to make it a $176 fine to ride without VicRoads approved boots on in this state. Real good if you're from interstate and want to go to the GP or Supers or just visit a mate. A definition of a boot is not yet available but, even if it's a slack description, it's a start. You can bet they will tighten it up later and introduce more items on their compulsory list. Nobody's telling me I can't wear my Medals!

VicRoads is also delaying permitting motorcycle & scooter riders to use bus lanes even though the 2012 Hoddle Street trial was a success. Bicyclists can use bus lanes in speed zones up to 70kph. No trial required for them.

VicRoads is delaying allowing legitimate stakeholder groups like the Independent Riders' Group (IRG), the Victorian Scooter Riders' Association (VSRA)  and the Australian Trail Riders' Association (AMTRA) to be on Victoria's Motorcycle Advisory Group (VMAG). 

VicRoads is also delaying the requirement for riders to display registration labels. Other states got rid of them. There's no reason to keep them. It's just another thing to book you for.

The point is that right now we have some political muscle but it's up to you to use it. The IRG has written to every Victorian MP, both Houses, all parties and independents. The letter is elsewhere in the blog and on the facebook page. Use the link below to look for MPs with electoral offices near you. You have both upper and lower house MPs. The staff in their electoral offices will be able to confirm who you MPs are and make an appointment for you to see them.

Remember, you elect these people. You pay their wages. You have every right to ask them to represent you by telling Cabinet members what you think about the PIMSS recommendations and the way you are treated by road authorities.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group

Thursday, 25 April 2013



  • We talk to Speed TV's Kevin Magee about the rise on new Honda Moto GP Star Marc Marquez and the progress of Moto GP with out Casey Stoner
  • We catch up with the Australian Motorcycle Council's Shaun Lennard after the Ulysses AGM and catch up on all things motorcycling from the Federal sphere
  • Streak from Ozstoc (Honda ST Owners Club) in Queensland tells about their recent hugely successful national gathering
  • And we catch up with Mike Costa from Perth and find out how the Jap Bike Show went recently

So don't forget to tune in 7pm-9pm Sydney time on Alive 90.5 FM or listen online on the Alive website and smart phone.

Ride is proudly sponsored by:

Fraser Motorcycles: check out their stores in Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle, Melbourne and Perth.
Newhaven Park House Bathurst for your AGM, weekend ride or just lunch 



Hi Damien,

Ken got a response today from Vic Police in reply to his email.  
He was quite pleased!

You can see what he wrote in his email under the police response.

Funnily enough, in today's snail mail was a letter from Vic Police 
telling him that an infringement notice for speeding has been 

He got a fine in the mail and went in to see the photo, because 
he was not even on his Honda on the day in question.

It turned out it was a NSW bike with the same rego, and all the 
guy at the counter said was "Um that's not right.  Don't worry 
about it".

Ken has been pissed off ever since because he got no letter of 
apology or recognition that there was a mistake!  I told him to 
get real, did he really expect all that?

Anyway, the withdrawal of infringement notice was better than 




-------- Original Message -------- Subject:  Victoria Police - response 
Date:  Tue, 23 Apr 2013 23:04:35 +0000 
From:  Yates, Kelly <> 

Dear Ken,

Thank you for participating in our live chat about motorcycle safety in the lead up to Easter.

Apologies we weren't able to get to your question on the day. We had an overwhelming response
so it's taken us some time to get back to everyone.

Please find a response to your question(s) below.

"Many thanks for the opportunity to get in touch regarding motor cycle safety.

I have been riding motor cycles for just over 50 years and still ride into East 
Melb from Eltham four days a week during am peak  as well as the pm peak rain, 
hail or shine and have not had a crash in any shape or form in all these 
years of riding.

I'm  currently employed by a Melbourne based urgent Blood courier and drive 
six times a day up and down the Monash Freeway in peak hours both am and pm, 
which I've been doing for almost 9 years without a crash, sure there have been 
a few close calls by car and sometimes truck drivers who cut across in front of 
you, who either don't look or don't see the stop lights of the vehicles in
front of them, especially in wet conditions, and expect you to pull up safely as 
sometimes you will come across a vehicle without stop lamps and have drive 

I guess I learnt a lot about road safety from my father who when I was a small 
child would ride in an old 1938 fast back ford without stoplights, without blinkers, 
and had vacuum windshield wipers, no window demisters and the brakes weren't too 
crash hot either. Later he worked with the SEC and drove their vehicles until he 
retired and in all those years never had a crash. He used to say to me. "Treat 
everybody on the road as a B idiot and try to work out what they  were  going  to do, 
like have their right indicator on then turn left."

Travelling at 100 km and leaving a safe distance between yourself and the vehicle in 
front of you, especially in the wet, others see the gap and then you have to brake 
to avoid running into them.

Back in the early sixties the RACV of that era wanted everyone to get a motorcycle 
licence and experience  the  road conditions first hand for example; tram lines in the 
wet, slippery white lines, steel expansion strips and plastic delineators. But this was 
laughed out of the Government and by car manufacturers as they would lose too much  revenue.

To be quite honest I don't see any easy answers as so many of the younger generation of 
today have no respect for police, the law or other road users.  In the early sixties Vic 
Police use to issue motorists with rear window logos in blue and white saying COURTESY IS CATCHING.

I also see motor cyclists do things that I would never dream of doing for I ride with my 
head and not my hands. Also, for what its worth, the roads are not as good as they were 50 years ago 
what with more cars, more diesel spills more oil and oily air con. fluids all make the roads a death trap 
and yet we are slugged an extra $70 dollars (TAC antibike tax - DKC) a year levy for safer roads for motorcyclists.

In  parts  of  the  main  road  in  the  Templestowe area there are 17 different sections of bitumen in a two kilometer distance. There are also a lot more potholes, deep grooves, to contend with.

I also worked in the motor cycle industry for just over 20 years. Back in the early sixties we encouraged 
first time buyers to start off with a 125cc and work their way up from there making them appreciate the larger powered machines. Once again that ruling didn't last long as factories were building faster 125cc machines to make up for the reduction in big bike sales. Hoping some of these views will be of some help.


Hi Ken,

Thanks for sharing that with us and for being such a conscientious and safe rider.

Safe travels,

Kelly Yates

Victoria Police Solo Unit

Monday, 22 April 2013


The following letter has been posted to every Victorian member of parliament - both the upper and lower houses.

You have more than one MP.

A decision on which of the PIMSS recommendations will be announced on June 15, 2013. The decision makers are considering those recommendation right now. Your MP can influence that decision. Go see him/her and let them know that we ride, we pay and we vote and we want the PIMSS recommendations implemented.



Hi Damien,

These strategies were sneaked out very quietly:

...and yes compulsory boots are in there.

Michael Czajka

These strategies, particularly compulsory boots for motorcycle & scooter riders, demonstrate the government's contempt for the Parliamentary inquiry into motorcycle & scooter safety (PIMSS) and the ineffectiveness of the VicRoads dominated Motorcycle Advisory Group (MAG).

Compulsory protective bike clothing will mean much higher costs and far less choice for consumers as governments approve only products from big suppliers who can afford the testing. Most smaller local companies will not be able to compete.

The proposed fine for not wearing state approved boots while riding in Victoria is $176.

Make no mistake, if this "council of ministers" get compulsory bike boots in Victoria it opens the way for more compulsory protective clothing in coming years across Australia. Police have called for five items of compulsory gear for riders - helmet, gloves, boots, pants and high-visibility jackets. They don't give a damn about the expert submissions to the PIMSS inquiry.

Go see your local member of parliament now.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group

Tuesday, 16 April 2013


Good morning All.

The IRG now has a facebook page, thanks to Leah Muffin, as well as the

Please  spread  the  word. The more members we have the more political
muscle we have.

Michael  and  I  are meeting VicRoads staff next week. If you think an
item  should be on the agenda please let us know and we'll see what we
can do.

Send suggestions to:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    


Last night, April 17, we attended a committee meeting at the Melbourne
Town  Hall.  On the agenda was the Road Safety Plan 2013 to 2017. Five
speakers  told the committee that the plan lacked positive initiatives
for    motorcycle   &  scooter  riders. All the speakers called on the
committee  to  defer  adopting the RSP until further consultation with
stakeholders took place.

The   Independent Riders' Group   pointed  out   that  the  government
would   decide   on   the   recommendations   from  the  parliamentary
inquiry  into  motorcycle & scooter safety  on  June 15  and that this
would effect all bike safety.

The   speakers  were  from   the  IRG,  the  Victorian  Scooter Riders
Association, the Victorian Motorcycle Council and an independent.

Cr Foster moved to defer the RSP. Lord Mayor Robert Doyle seconded the
motion. The RSP was defered to July 9.

The  minutes of the meeting will be available on the City of Melbourne
website soon.

Thanks to Cate Hughes, Georges Gouron, Rod Brown and other IRG members
for supporting us at the Town Hall.

Photo: Steve Bardsley for the VSRA and Damien Codognotto for the IRG.

T      The VSRA are pleased to have contributed to last night’s big win for Scooter and Motorcycle Riders when a coalition of Rider Groups comprising the VSRA, IRG and the VMC made a joint submission to the Melbourne City Council requesting the vote on adoption of the Road Safety Plan in its current format be deferred, this until a submission supporting Scooters and Motorcycles in the CBD is submitted. We put our case formally addressing the council meeting explaining the current Plan ignores Scooters and Motorcycles. The Lord Mayor and Councilors then took a vote. They unanimously  voted in favour of our request to defer the decision to adopt the Road Safety Plan, this until the 9th July 2013. We thank the MCC for this. Now the work on our submission in support of Scooters begins!
R    Regards
S    Steve Bardsley
S    Spokesperson - VSRA

Saturday, 13 April 2013



Riding seems to be on the rise in Brooklyn

Dale Robert Maggs
Mob 0432776458
Independent Riders Group

Begin forwarded message:
From: Dale Maggs <>
Date: 13 April 2013 8:12:30 PM AEST
To: Dale Maggs <>
Subject: Vroom! Bikers boom in Brooklyn | Crain's New York Business

Dale Robert Maggs
Mob 0432776458
Independent Riders Group

Friday, 12 April 2013


MelbCity has left a new comment on your post "Independent Riders' Group launched by Damien Codog...":

This meeting is an important meeting for motorcycle and Scooter riders.

There are a number if issues that directly effect motorbike/Scooter riders. The information in this report is used to justify City Council Engineering Plans and Traffic Management. What happens here effects all other Municipalities.

Motorbikes and Scooters are often overlooked or action is not taken. More consideration is required to consider our needs. Too much policy development is focuses on Bicycle riders to our detriment. Now is the time to speak up.


Please attend the

City of Melbourne
Future Melbourne Committee
16 April 2013, 5.30pm
Council Meeting Room, Level 2, Town Hall Administration Building
Meeting No. 10

6 Reports from Management
6.5 Road Safety Plan 2013-2017 (5.5 MB, PDF)

Posted by MelbCity to Damien Codognotto OAM at 12 April 2013 03:41 
Parliament House in Melbourne. 1986. This was the protest run that won us the right to park free, without time limits, on footpaths across Victoria. People power works. Apathy will get you taxed and regulated off our roads. Be at the City of Melbourne planning meeting on Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Thursday, 11 April 2013



PRINCES BRIDGE IN MELBOURNE is a traffic choke point. The bridge is the southern end of Swanston Street. South across the Yarra River is the wide, tree-lined boulevarde St Kilda Road.

Flinders Street runs parallel to the river and crosses Swanston Street at what is arguably the city's most famous intersection. On each corner are the inspiring station, the ancient pub, the majestic cathedral and the horrible square.

Cars are banned from Swanston north of Flinders Street so two lanes of car traffic turn to and from Princes Bridge. VicRoads says 27,000 cars cross the bridge each day. Bicycle Network Victoria says 4,900 pushbike riders use Swanston Street every day.

So with Princes Bridge jammed with cars most of the day, VicRoads has approved a plan to give bicyclists a  lane to themselves by reducing two car lanes in each direction to one each way! The City of Melbourne ear-marked $150.000 for the bike lanes.

Last Wednesday the City of Melbourne hosted a presentation on the proposed bicycle lanes. All the usual suspects were invited - police, taxis drivers, bus people, cyclists and other stakeholders. Motorcyclists and scooter riders were not informed as far as I know. If a motorcycle organisation was asked to attend, they kept it to themselves.

My opinion is that single occupant cars make up 70% of Melbourne traffic on week days so discouraging those drivers from making unnecessary trips is good but what about taxis, buses, tourist coaches and motorcycle & scooter riders that must use Princes Bridge? Did the crew that thought this one up even consider motorcycle & scooter riders? If they did, they didn't contact us.

In the past I've felt that being permitted to use bus lanes, like bicyclists are, was the important issue. I felt it was not good strategy to compete with bicyclists for their exclusive pushbike lanes. BUT, this Princes Bridge plan signals the need to review that policy and seek to allow motorcycles & scooters to use bicycle lanes for short distances starting with Princes Bridge if the plan goes ahead.

Bicyclists get a very, very fair go considering what they contribute to the system compared to road motorcycle & scooter riders. Their argument that most pushbike riders pay rego on cars does not hold water. Most motorcycle & scooter riders pay rego on cars too. PLUS we pay extortionate fees to ride on road including the TAC antibike tax.

Claims that bicycle riding is good for the community because of health benefits hold some water (in a leaky brown paper bag) but there are health benefits for society as a whole from riding motorcycles & scooters too. If your compared the serious injury rate for on-road pushbike riders with that for on-road motorcycle & scooter riders, I think you would find that we cost society less because we wear better protective gear than bicyclists.

So why do bicycle riders get such a good deal from governments?

I reckon there are three main reasons:

  1. Bicyclists do what we used to do. They lobby hard and professionally. They attend a lot of meetings, not just transport, planning, health, education and so on.
  2. Bicyclists do not suffer the apathy of the motorcycle community. Their events are big and their industry supports them both with sponsorship and mainstream advertising. The public see them.
  3. Bicyclists work hard on their public image. here is always a bicycle event in the paper or on the telly. The only thing the motorcycle community and industry gives serious support to is competition. That's not bad but we won't get a fair go till we do more.
  4. Positive media on pushbikes is everywhere. Negative media on motorcycles & scooters is everywhere.
The Independent Riders' Group is working on a TOY RUN in Melbourne's CBD and a ride-to-work-day. Interested? Join now. It's free and you can withdraw whenever you like. All we need is your name, post code and email address sent to:

Have a look at the IRG facebook page.



Thanks to everyone who have kept me in their prayers. I am making a quick recovery from knee surgery and am getting active again.


I will be down at the 110 Year Celebration of Harley Davidson at Williamstown this weekend filming for Series 2 of this popular national community television show. Hope to start editing soon for airing late in 2013. Don't forget Series 1 is available through


I will be back live on Ride on 90.5 FM out of Sydney next Tuesday from 7pm. Issues looked at will include the current status of the controversial anti-association laws, a report on filming from the 110 Celebration as well as what is happening in Melbourne to mark 110 years of motorcycling in Elizabeth Street, news of the upcoming Silverwater Motor Festival in Sydney and we hope to find out what has happened with the Stone Music Festival.



Tuesday, 9 April 2013


Have a look at our new facebook page.



CAR PARKING shortages have one main cause, single-occupant cars.

To  ease  the  problem  government  and  councils  must encourage more
efficient, space-saving transport, especially in business districts.

Motorcycles,  scooters  and bicycles use far less space than a car. If
five lone  drivers  ride  to work at least four car bays are available
for people who really need to use their cars.

Road  authorities  can encourage two-wheel transport by lowering costs
for  riders,  providing  more  centre-of-the-road  and off-street bike
parking,  encouraging traffic filtering and permitting motorcycles and
scooters to use bus lanes.

Simple logic.

Damien Codognotto
Independent Riders' Group



The  City  of  Melbourne  plan  to  put bicycle only lanes on Princes
Bridge at a cost of $150,000 is controversial. (HS 25/3/2013)

Princes Bridge is already a traffic choke point in both directions.

Single   occupant   cars  make  up  most  of  Melbourne's  traffic  so
discouraging  those  vehicles  is a good thing to do. BUT discouraging
motorcycles & scooters is a bad thing.

It's time to review policies on permitting powered two-wheelers to use
bicycle  lanes for short distances. Motorcycles & scooters pay as much
to  use  our roads as cars but use less space, do less road damage and
pollute  less. Giving riders a fair go when it comes to  road space is

Damien Codognotto
Independent Riders' Group