Monday, 27 May 2013


The Melbourne Herald Sun could put a negative spin on Ularoo is it was on a motorbike!

Have a look at this story. Law firm Slater & Gordon do a survey that, to me, says we just might have a serious road safety problem with distracted/negligent car drivers hitting vulnerable road users then saying.

"Sorry mate I didn't see you."

Motorcycle & scooter riders, bicyclists, pedestrians and their loved ones suffer terribly because too many car drivers have almost non-existant operating skills and the attention span of a gold fish on a bowl of gin.

Too often when a car driver does the wrong thing and hits a bike police don't lay appropriate charges and many courts take the attitude that riders put themselves at risk by riding.

76% of respondents to this survey and the parliamentary inquiry into motorcycle & scooter safety say there has to be a greater emphasis on changing other road users' attitude to motorcycle & scooter riders.

So the Herald Sun comes up with.



THE CAMPAIGN to get riders to contact their Members of Parliament face to face or by mail is paying off. Several MPs have made representations to the Victorian Cabinet about adopting the recommendations of the parliamentary inquiry into motorcycle & scooter safety (Dec. 2012) before the next state election in 2014.

Cabinet is due to announce its' decisions on the 64 recommendations on June 15, 2013.

So it's not too late to get in touch with your local member and make a difference.

It's your democracy. Use it or lose it.



The town that brought you Sgt Gore's demand for compulsory dayglo vests on all motorcycle & scooter riders in 2012 now sends the message that two-wheel tourists are not welcome in regional Victoria.

An Independent Riders' Group member from the area sent me this Voxpop from the Wangaratta Chronicle.

Does anyone know what rally inspired this bout of police paranoia where we are concerned.

Saturday, 25 May 2013


ROAD TOLLS make cents and big bucks for toll companies, who send much of their income overseas, and maybe some landlords, but the average road user is not better off. In fact they get ripped off.

The cost of road tolls is passed on to consumers in retail prices. Some you can see as in taxi fares, some you can't as in shop prices. Any benefit road users get in reduced travel times is eaten away as more single-occupant cars cram the roads until freeway speeds go lower than bicycle speeds more often. That's the case in Melbourne anyway.

Motorcycles & scooter riders should not be tolled anywhere in Australia. Bike tolls are a very small part of toll companies' income. Bikes help traffic flow. They do little or no damage to infrastructure. And freeways can be safer than major roads for riders because there are no intersections. Tolls encourage some riders to commute by car which increases traffic congestion, road damage and pollution.

Last week the Property Council of Australia (PCA. See earlier blog.) called for existing freeways to be tolled to pay for more infrastructure, read toll roads. The PCA apparently represents property owners and developers who have a vested interest in toll roads. The PCA is apparently not concerned with average Australians who have to use roads in one way or another to earn a living. I think toll roads are literally highway robbery. Toll roads should not exist in this country.

If they toll existing roads in Melbourne, they will do it in other cities. How long before the cost of a trip from Melbourne to Albury/Wodonga is increased by tolls on The Hume?

Friday, 24 May 2013


Some Independent Riders Group members are having great success getting the message to their MPs that we want those parliamentary inquiry recommendations adopted.

OK. If you can't go see your MP, write to him or her.



  • Adam Wright from Harley Davidson Australia joins us to discuss the aftermath of the 110 Year Celebration in Williamstown and what is happening around the world.
  • Steve Andrews from Perth updates us on the progress of this year's Black Dog Rides and the big one to Central Australia in August
  •  We talk to David Smith about the 2013 Tumut Motorcycle Accessories / Honda Central Coast Cup  meeting  staged at the Central Coast Junior Motorcycle Club  Inc. complex at Somersby, near Gosford on May 25 and 26.
  • Plus we have news on podcasts of Ride interviews that will be available on the Alive website very soon

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 .


Wednesday, 22 May 2013



Go and see your MP or at least write to him/her demanding the parliamentary inquiry into motorcycle & scooter safety (Dec 2012) recommendations be adopted before the 2014 Victorian election.

At least write to them.

In 2002, on the steps of Parliament House in Melbourne, Denis Napthine MP promised to abolish the unfair TAC antibike tax if they won government. That tax is now over $70 on most bikes. No other type of vehicle is targeted like this. Napthine is now Premier of Victoria.

Go see your local MP and demand Premier Napthine keep that promise and adopt the other PIMSS recommendations.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group


Tuesday, 21 May 2013



This propaganda is presented as credible information based on real science.

To me this newspaper article demonstrates police attitudes to riders. Regardless of the facts, blame the victim.


The  Property Council of Australia has called for existing freeways to
be  tolled.

You can vote against this in a Herald Sun poll by calling
1900   956   435.  It  costs  38.5  cents.

You  can  have  a  say  at


TOLL EXISTING FREEWAYS says the Property Council of Australia.

Taxpayers paid for those roads. Now the PCA wants us to pay again for infrastructure 
we already own so big companies can build more toll roads and send more Australian 
dollars overseas.

Traffic congestion costs Melbournians $4.6 billion a year. More toll roads won't 
reduce that amount, they will just make more money for toll companies.

To reduce congestion in the short term, at little cost, ban single-occupant cars from
more lanes on major roads and permit motorcycles and scooters to use bus lanes. 

To get medium term traffic reductions, increase fees for less efficient private vehicles. 

For long term benefits improve and expand public transport.

Damien Codognotto
Independent Riders' Group

Monday, 20 May 2013


Hi Damien

Below is a link to some photos of our new bikes, taken last week at the truck crash on the Bolte Bridge.





If you are reading this or you visit the Independent Riders' Group facebook page you are probably involved in, or at least interested in, protecting your right to ride motorcycles and/or scooters.

If you want to ride free of discriminatory taxes and restrictive laws you need to be involved. Getting involved at this time means going to see or writing to your local member of parliament and telling him/her that you want the recommendations of the parliamentary inquiry into motorcycle & scooter safety (PIMSS) adopted in Victoria before the 2014 state election.

If you want a $176 fine for not wearing boots that a car-driving bureaucrat at VicRoads says are good for you or compulsory front ID (plate or electronic tag) on your bike or to continue being ripped off $70+ a year by TAC, do nothing. VicRoads/TAC/Police have no respect for the PIMSS. They still have a swag of antibike measures. They will use them unless more riders complain to their local MPs. Find your through this link.

Unless more riders get involved in the democratic process riders will pay more and suffer more restrictions in the coming decade. Apathy is our greatest enemy. VicRoads/TAC/Police work for us. We pay them. We elect MPs to manage the public servants, not the other way round. If you want to ride free tall your local MP that we ride, we pay and we vote and we won't forget what happens with the PIMSS recommendations at the next state election.

It's one thing for me to be writing all these letters and going to see my MPs at their electoral offices, it's quite another when a lot of local voters see their MPs with the same message. We ride. We pay. We vote.

And we'll remember what happened with the PIMSS recommendations at the 2014 state election.


Tuesday, 14 May 2013


Hi there Damien,
                          Damien I have been keeping J D who is
a personal friend as well as his involvement with the VJMC for which I am
also a member, and keeping him up to date as to whats been happening with
the IRG and forwarding your emails on to him.

Damien I received an email from J D tonight and told me the good news that
he has also joined the IRG and has sent off a letter to his MP which in turn
I did myself .

Damien I am into my fifty second year of riding and when the front number
plate issue raised its ugly head again I nearly went off the planet with here we
go again.  Forgetting the aerodynamics, pedestrian choppers, engine cooling
especially with the old steel east west plates and brackets, a lot of motorcycles
suffer from high frequency vibrations which is my own personal case with an
early model Velocette. After splitting two steel front guards at the number plate
mount holes, I put the front plate in the tool box and made my own plate up
out of black & white fablon and stuck it to the inside of perspex on the
fairing. I was pulled over for a licence check and got booked for no front
plate. The cop wasn't interested that there was a plate on the bike
issued by the licence  branch of the day. I had to go to court.

Damien I am sorry to bore you with the datails but I still remember it quite

Just one other thing comes to mind Damien is the Government of the day,
back in the late sixties tried to make it compulsory for all car drivers to wear
crash helmets to help protect against facial and head injuries.Why doesn't the
government try to reintroduce that again, cause there a still a great number of car
drivers suffering both head and face injuries even although just about all cars have
air bags.

Sorry for getting carried away there Damien but I am just sick and tired of being a
victim of law and order politicians for riding  motorcycles. I am still the same guy that
gets behind the wheel of a car and very seldomly gets looked at let alone
being pulled over for a licence check or where am I going etc.

Sincerely yours



  • We talk to the Live to Ride Crew who are celebrating 300 issues since 1988
  • We find out how the challenge of the NSW Consorting law is going and update on Charlie Fosters case which is due in court very soon
  • We examine the very successful Silverwater Motor Festival last Saturday and reflect on comments made on the day by Tony O'Donnell from the Australian Confederation of Motor Clubs concerning the introduction of new regulations for custom motorcycles and modified cars in NSW and on the anti-hoon laws in Queensland.

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 .


Monday, 13 May 2013


Hi Peter,

Thanks for facts on FNP. Hopefully 3AW will take it on board and not be so biased. I also smell a smoke screen as VicPol et el want to detract attention away from the PIMS recommendations as that is what is on the table and not FNPs.


Saturday, May 11, 2013, 5:25:33 PM, you wrote:

This week the FNP issue flared up again because the Victorian Road Safety Camera Commissioner made another call for them. He was disappointed that the Government hadn't acted on his recommendation to have FNP's fitted to motorcycles. He publicly stated that it's just a matter of affixing a simple bracket to mount a plate on the front of bikes. This was repeated by VicPol and several times by Neil Mitchell on 3AW.

They keep saying that it's simple despite the DoJ, VicPol and the RSCC being aware of the official VicRoads research that confirms it is NOT FEASIBLE. What does that say about how this issue is being carried out in the public?

The following excerpt comes from the ***official*** VicRoads submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Motorcycle Safety.

“Between 2002 and 2008, VicRoads investigated the front Identification of motorcycles using decals (sticky labels) and fittings (brackets) to suit the many different designs of motorcycles

However, the Corporation was unable to develop a common decal type and fixing method that would be suitable for every motorcycle model. Decals were identified as being difficult to implement and as modern designs evolve, particularly for sports type motorcycles it will become more difficult to attach decals and mounting brackets. Other issues identified included a requirement for the fittings to be fixed by a certified installer and the associated costs. Consultation with senior officers of other transport agencies at that time indicated that a decal solution was not generally preferred.

In March 2009 the Standing Committee on Transport endorsed the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) as the agency to lead the national development of a technology-based solution for identifying motorcycles. In undertaking this role, TMR commissioned a consultancy to examine Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies and digital speed camera equipment to see how well RFID technology met the required performance criteria.

The examination concluded that RFID is not a practical solution to complement existing speed enforcement practices for the identification of motorcycles, and is unlikely to be for the foreseeable future and that new speed cameras that can target speeding motorcycles from the front and identify them from their rear plates are being trialled in Australia.” Full submission:

So there is the truth.

It just goes to show how badly the agencies want FNP's and what lengths they've gone to try and create a public groundswell against riders. Please share this information.

The Final report from the PIMS - which says nothing about FNP's clearly suggesting that FNP's are not a genuine road safety improvement is here:

All riders and ideally non-riders, (including Neil Mitchell) need to know the truth.
Peter Baulch
Chairman - Victorian Motorcycle Council
0428 246 175
Best regards,


Jon Faine. ABC radio this morning.

Someone  at  VicRoads leaked some paperwork that seem to show VicRoads
inflating  figures  to  make the multi-billion dollar east west tunnel
project look a better investment than it is.

A  professor  questioned  their  methods  and whether we need to build
major  projects  with BPPs (business/private partnerships) at all. Our
taxes used to build infrastructure that we taxpayers own.

In my opinion, no Victorian should be paying road tolls and motorcycles &
scooters should certainly be exempt because the do little road damage and
they help traffic flows. Tolling bikes is counterproductive. It does not benefit
share holders and profits tend to disappear overseas.

The  point  is,  if  VicRoads  has  cooked  the  books on this massive
project,  why should anyone trust the integrity of VicRoads figures on
anything else.

Apparently  the  Greens  made  an FoI request for about 300 pages from
VicRoads  and  most  of  it  was  blacked  out.  Not  sure  if that is
significant.  There's  a  story on it in today's Financial Review I'm

What  is  significant  is  that  VicRoads  considers  itself  to be an
international  corporation  held in high regard around the world. That
was  published  recently.  VicRoads  is a public service road building
organisation with an oversized ego and a lust for big road projects.

The  Independent  Riders'  Group  has  been  asking  for the Victorian
Auditor  General's Office  to  conduct  an  audit into VicRoads use of
signage  and roadside barriers. We were told the next VAGO annual plan
would be on the VAGO website in May 2013. See attached.

Can someone please check the VAGO website  to  see if that plan is out
yet?  I'd  be  interested in any other media on the VicRoads documents
and leaks mentioned above.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group

Sunday, 12 May 2013



On  introducing  front  number  plate  laws for motorcycles & scooters
Craig  Travis  wrote  that "an electronic transmitter ... would be the
best option".

Compulsory   tracking  devices are reserved for criminals. They should
never be used to track, toll and fine a minority group  of  legitimate
road users.

The only way riders  should  even consider mandatory tags, is if  they
are  made law for ALL vehicles across  Australia.    Even  then  there
would   be  grave  civil liberties problems with gathering data on the
movements of our population and on individual citizens.

Damien Codognotto
Independent Riders' Group

Saturday, 11 May 2013


Hi Damien,

Thought you might be interested in the response I received from Victoria Police online chat in the lead up to Easter.

It clarifies a question I've always had regarding the final section of the Eastern Freeway coming up to the Hoddle street exit, which is part of my daily commute. I see a lot of riders staying in the traffic where they could be using the last part of the bus lane to transit into Hoddle Street. I'm sure most of them don't know that a) we are allowed to use the bus lane in the Hoddle street at peak morning times and b) they can transition to it from the freeway bus lane as described below.

I've printed off a copy of the response and carry it with me in case I need to clarify this to anyone.

Tim Bushell
0409 901 979

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Yates, Kelly <>
Date: 24 April 2013 09:08
Subject: Victoria Police - response
To: "" <>

Dear Tim,
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.
I have a question on road rules - specifically relating to the end of the Eastern Freeway at Hoddle Street.
As motorcycles, we are allowed to use the bus lane in Hoddle street during morning peak times. Can we line up behind the buses in the last 50m or so of the Eastern Freeway to make it easier to move into Hoddle street?
It's dangerous enough trying to get from the T2 lane across 5 or 6 lanes of heavy traffic to the far left lane, then it seem like we should be allowed to use the last bit of the bus lane on the freeway to move into Hoddle. After all, isn't the whole aim of the bus lane trial to improve traffic flow and safety for all vehicles?
Hi Tim,
Road rule 158 provides an exemption for a driver of a vehicle to drive in a special purpose lane (includes bus lane) for a permitted distance, which in this case is 100m to enter or leave the road.
So yes, when it is safe to do so, under the circumstances, you are entitled to travel in a bus lane under rule 158.
Victoria Police Solo Unit