Tuesday, 11 June 2013


After  months  of  trying  to  find  out  when the  "all of government"
response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into  motorcycle & scooter safety
(PIMSS) recommendations   would   be   tabled,  The Independent Riders'
Group (IRG)  was  contacted  by  Minister Mulder's office at 1.35pm  on
Tuesday, June 11, 2013.

The message was detailed.   The document would be tabled in "government
business" from noon or from 3pm on Wednesday, June 12.  The information
was false. The document was tabled at 3pm on June 11.

The  IRG issued a media release, attached,  and contacted members so we 
could   have riders  in  the  public  gallery  when  the  document  was  
tabled.  The  government  response  to the PIMSS directly effects rider 
safety and we had a right to be there when it was tabled.

Two  hours  later,  about  3.30pm,   the  IRG  got  another  call  from
Mulder's office to say the document had already been tabled.

This was a once in 20 years opportunity. We were betrayed.

Many rider are not happy.    It seems to us that the shift to table the
document   on   June  11  rather  than  June  12,  and  the  associated
misinformation was a ploy to avoid negative publicity.

Many  of the PIMSS recommendations were rejected.  Others are likely to
be delayed and altered to better suit VicRoads/TAC/Police agendas.

The way I see it, the "all of government" response to PIMSS does little
for  safety  while  maintaining  the status quo for VicRoads/TAC/Police
and it will weaken the motorcycle & scooter community in the long term.

I doubt  traffic  filtering  (I use the politically correct term)  will 
be adopted in spite of the recommendation being "accepted". As with bus 
lanes,  they will talk about traffic filtering in private,  but  not in
public.  They will delay,  or  not  do anything until forced to,  about 
either of these safety and traffic flow initiatives,  probably  because 
they would benefit riders.   VicRoads/TAC/Police  only  say  they  have 
scrapped their policy not to do anything that might encourage riders.

The  Motorcycle  Advisory Group (MAG)  at VicRoads won't be expanded as
recommended.   As  people like Stuart Strickland OAM and Rob Smith from
Motorcycling  Australia  leave  MAG  they  will be replaced with people
acceptable  to  VicRoads.

The  Victorian Scooter Riders Association  (VSRA)  and  the  Australian 
Motorcycle Trail Riders Association (AMTRA) probably won't  be  allowed  
on MAG and the Independent Riders Group (IRG) will remain black listed.

The   recommendation  to abolish the TAC antibike tax was rejected. The 
TAC tax is morally wrong. No other form of transport suffers a punative
targeted tax like this.

The  argument put by some "rider reps" that the tax gives them a budget 
to work for motorcycling is not even close to credible.   It gives them 
a  budget  to  sit  on committees and do nothing but stroke their egos. 
These rider reps have sold out.  They  are most acceptable to VicRoads-

The TAC antibike tax was introduced by stealth 10 years ago.  If it has 
been working for us, where are the decade's worth of results? While the 
TAC tax exists motorcycle & scooter riders will never get a real safety 
budget like bicycle riders get.  This  lack  of appropriate funding for 
real  safety  research  and  countermeasures  gets  riders  hurt    and 
killed. VicRoads/TAC/Police know this.

The  tax  also  discourages  low-income riders from buying safety gear, 
good tyres and paying for quality machine servicing. 

VicRoads/TAC/Police know this too.

Both Liberal Premiers, Ted Baillieu and Denis Napthine, promised to rid 
us of the TAC antibike tax while in Opposition. 

Both broke their promises.

Rejecting  the PIMSS recommendation to set up an independent crash data
collection authority entrenches the old flawed system and maintains the
departmental empires, budgets and agendas.

An  independent  crash  data authority would benefit ALL road users and 
would save the state money in the middle and longer terms. VicRoads/TAC-
/Police et al  crow  about  their world-leading road safety systems but 
it's all window dressing to hide their cosy little fifedoms.   Too many 
rider reps see a place for themselves in those hidden communities.
L to R: Damien Codognotto OAM, Terry Mulder MP and Michael Czajka discuss motorcycle & scooter issues. Mulder has the facts on our inadequate crash data collection and assessment system.

Roads  Minister  Mulder knows very well of the problems with crash data 
collection. He was on the all-party Road Safety Committee that produced 
the 2005 report on Crashes Involving Roadside Objects. 

Page viii of the Executive Summary:

"The Committee noted a number of areas where crash 
information was missing or could be more detailed. 
The difficulty obtaining adequate data  ...  is  a
continuing  issue  in  Victoria,  coming  up  time 
and  time   again  in  Committee  inquiries.  Gov-
ernments  agree  to improve crash information, yet 
crash  and crash risk information continue  to  be 
an  impediment  to  the  improvement  of  roadside 
safety in Victoria."

I'd say  unreliable crash data continues to be an impediment to reducing 
all  road trauma in 2013 and Minister Mulder knows it. I think rejecting 
the  first  three  PIMSS  recommendations is a betrayal of all Victorian 
road users, especially motorcycle & scooter riders. 

The  transcripts   of  the  PIMSS  submissions put the problems with the 
current crash data system on the record for all to see. 

The  next  Victorian  election is in November 2014. Motorcycle & scooter 
riders won't forget. 

We Ride. We pay. We vote.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group

1 comment:

  1. Bastards.. I have just emailed our local branch to say I will not be involved with any Liberal party activities from now on. Ken and I are absolutely appalled at the way the IRG has been treated.
    Thank you Damien, for trying so hard on behalf of all of us.