Saturday, 31 May 2014


There will be an election in Victoria in November 2014.

We will hold a SEMINAR on matters motorcycling (and scootering) on Saturday, August 9.

The venue is the Corner Hotel in Sydney Road, Coburg at Bell Street.

Free entry. Everyone pays for their own refreshments. Lunch from noon to 2 pm.

Speakers and Q & A from 2 pm to 4 pm.

If you are concerned about restrictive laws and increased costs because you choose to ride a bike, you should attend. We want to hear about local, state and federal issues concerning motorcycle & scooter riders.

Greg Hirst will be down from Sydney to film this event for his TV show Temporary Australians.

Thursday, 29 May 2014


May 30, 2014

A story on motorcycles & scooters will be published in at least a
couple of Leader publications in Victoria next week, as well as online.

The proposal to extend the zero BAC period for novice riders from
one  year  to  three  still  needs  to  be approved by the Legislative
Council   (Upper  House).  The  other changes under the GRADED
LICENCE SYSTEM  (the  Hi Viz vest   law  and  the  lights-on  law)
are  being introduced   through  regulations,  so  they do not need to
pass through Parliament.

Our  elected representatives are cut out of the system by the abuse of
public  service  regulatory  powers.  Why  waste  tax payer dollars on
parliamentary inquiries when VICROADS/TAC can save us from ourselves?

VICROADS  will  expand state hi viz and protective clothing regulations
to cover ALL riders when they think they can do it quietly.  The same
will happen with bike boots, gloves, jackets and pants. VICROADS wrote
to me saying the bike boots regulation was already being drafted.

These rules will spread across Australia. Riders  choice  of  gear will be
reduced and costs greatly increased.

The Independent Riders Group has no problem with better rider training
at reasonable cost but an added $300 to get a bike licence is way too much.
That money would be better spent on safety gear.

We  strongly  oppose COMPULSORY protective clothing (helmets excepted)
and conspicuity laws. We strongly oppose laws and regulations that are
based on bureaucrats opinions not on real science.

There   was  uproar  at the Mortorcycle Advisory Group on May 29, 2014
over the bad information on traffic filtering given to Minister Mulder
for  the  media,  the  conspicuity  laws,  the way MAG is dominated by
VICROADS and the "cleansing" of the MAG minutes.

Roads  Minister  Mulder  only gets advice from car-driving bureaucrats
and   academics  who  cherry  pick  data  to  suit their agenda. Their
agenda is to make it harder, if not impossible, to get a licence to
ride a motorcycle or scooter and keep it.
In Opposition Terry Mulder MP was all smiles and reasonable attitudes to riders. Minister Mulder has broken the promises he made. Victoria's 326,000 bike licence holders can no longer afford the ill-informed, weak minister. L to R: Damien Codognotto OAM, IRG; Terry Mulder  Liberal MP; Michael Czajka MRA Road Safety & Research Officer.

If your local paper does not run a motorcycle story next week, go and ask them why. The Herald Sun, The Age and Leader have all written bike stories in the last week. Channels 7, 9 & 10 ran news stories on traffic filtering and the IRG protest on May 26. And. there were bike rider interviews and talk-back on several programs on ABC radio city and country, 3AW and Gold FM.

Now is the time to see your MPs.

Riders  have  no  right  to complain later if they do NOTHING now. The
next Victorian election is November 2014.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders Group


The AGE story on the net is a bit short and one sided. Transport Accident Commission and Monash Uni get a relatively big say first. IRG member Heather Ellis and I get tacked on at the end. Nice picture of Heather.

A statistical comparison of motorcycle & scooter with bicycle crash payouts does not say that the cause of the vast majority of these payouts are the result of car driver error. TAC is presumably happy to let AGE readers think that riders of bicycles, motorcycles & scooters mostly cause most of their own injuries and let tax/premium payers foot the bill. This is not so.

What is left out of the story is the bad/selective advice being given to Victorian Roads Minister Mulder by VICROADS/TAC.

A good example was the bad advice given to the Minister of the day by VICROADS/TAC spin doctors last Monday, May 26, 2014. Apparently it was done to damage the credibility of our protest and the Opposition's calls to legitimise trafiic filtering like Qld. and NSW. The claim to the media was that 3 riders had died while traffic filtering.

The assumption was that there were 3 dead in the last year because fatality figures usually relate to the previous year. When we questioned this astonishing news put to us by journalists at the protest, we found that the 3 had died at speed and therefore NOT while traffic filtering. Not only that, the 3 had died between 2000 and 2011! Even if they had died while traffic filtering the numbers over 11 years would hardly be statistically significant and certainly have no bearing on claims of increased or reduced risk while traffic filtering.

There have been no deaths or injuries related to traffic filtering, that we know of, in the last 3 years. There is no evidence to suggest that traffic filtering is not the safest way to ride in heavy traffic at low speed.

My feeling was that this bad advice was supplied to the Minister to manipulate the media into giving the public an impression of motorcycle & scooter riding practices that suited the VICROADS/TAC agenda. Minister Mulder promptly parroted the misleading advice with microphones and cameras running. Not smart politics.

My feeling was that journalists do not like being manipulated by public service spin doctors. Mulder was later shown to be ignorant of the facts.

Victoria's 326,000 bike licence holders can NOT afford this ill-informed and weak Minister after the 2014 state election.

What is in the AGE story is the increased popularity of two-wheel transport. There has been a steady growth in general population over 20 years. This, and related factors, must be taken into account when studying bike safety.



To all interested parties.

Not  sure  if  it will get a run but the Melbourne Age newspaper put a
lot  of  effort into a story on motorcycle & scooter safety today, May

Today  was  also  the Motorcycle Advisory Group meeting at VicRoads HQ
in  Kew.  I  hear  there was some controversy over VicRoads control of
the  meetings  and  minutes  and  the "advice" VicRoads gives to Roads
Minister Mulder on motorcycles & scooters.

Both  things  seem  to  have  been generated, in part at least, by the
media impact of last Monday's IRG protest at VicRoads HQ.

The  anger  that  none of the 64 recommendations from the inquiry into
motorcycle & scooter safety have effectively been started in two years
is begining to show.

2014 is an election year.

Leader newspapers may carry stories next week.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders Group

Tuesday, 27 May 2014


To all our fellow Temporary Australians
Thanks very much for tuning in over the two screenings of Series 2 on Channel ONE.

The total ratings figures as at 20 May, 2014 are 2,228,093 with an average of 185,674 for each of the twelve episodes.

This has exceeded expectations and confirms our belief that a positive look at the motorcycle community would be very popular.

Hope you will keep tuning in.

Kind regards,

Greg Hirst
Executive Producer

Temporary Australians Fact Sheet
      It was Jonesy’s idea to call the show Temporary Australians

2.      Hirsty started filming a pilot in 2008.

3.      Jonesy and Hirsty adlib the intros and exits for all Temporary Australians episodes.

4.      Series 1 appeared across Australia on community television in Brisbane, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Geelong during 2012.

5.      Digital Channel ONE which is part of the Ten Network offered Temporary Australians
a 2pm Saturday time slot with no promise of repeats.

6.      Series 2 aired for the first time on ONE 2pm Saturday August 31, 2013.

7.      It aired for the second time from January 26, 2014 and the viewer ratings figures actually increased.

8.      Both screenings ended up repeating episodes each week.

9.      First Screening August-November 2013
            Total Metro with repeats                    600,000
            Total Regional with repeats                 387,473
            Screening Total                                987,473               

1.   Second Screening January – May 2014
            Total Metro with repeats                     867,000
            Total Regional with repeats                 373,620

            Screening Total                                1,240,620

11.  Final Total as at 20 May, 2014                       2,228,093

12.   Each of the 12 episodes averaged over two screenings including repeats:   185,674.

13.  The strong ratings have confirmed to us that Australians are interested in the motorcycling lifestyle.

14.  Raw ratings figures supplied by Network Ten.

Sunday, 25 May 2014


MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014.



8.00 AM     MC Damien Codognotto OAM
            WHY ARE WE HERE?




            WHAT CAN YOU DO?
            GO SEE YOUR MP.

8.30AM      CLOSE.

Some people will have to get to work so we need to finish the speeches
by 8.30 AM.


The Herald Sun promoting tension between riders and drivers as usual.

Leader  does  not  seem to have done anything on traffic filtering for
motorcycle  &  scooter  riders.  Articles  on traffic and on bicycles.
Nothing on the GLS/conspicuity protest at VicRoads yet.

Thursday, 22 May 2014


The media release below has been sent to a large 
number of media contacts. Please pass it on or use 
it on websites, facebook pages and so on.

This morning I was rung by a staffer from Daniel 
Andrews' office.  Daniel Andrews MP is the Leader
of the Victorian Opposition. The Opposition will
support Luke Donnellan and our protest at VicRoads.

This is a real opportunity to get some serious media 
coverage of our issues. We need bikes. Even if you
can only ride past VicRoads HQ in Denmark Street,
Kew,you can blow your horn in support.



May 24, 2014

Dear Editor.
Roads   Minister   Mulder   was  on  radio  this  morning  calling  on
Melbournians  to leave their cars at home and use  public transport on
weekends.   Mont   Albert   resident,  Damien  Codognotto  OAM,  said.
"Commuters  move  through  every  suburb. On four wheels they clog our
roads, on two they reduce congestion."

The  Herald  Sun  today  ran  a  front  page  story  that said traffic
congestion on weekends was getting as bad as on workdays.

The   Leader   of   the   Opposition,  Daniel  Andrews  MP,  supported
legitimising  motorcycle  &  scooter  traffic filtering as part of the
answer   to  our  city's  traffic  problems.  NSW  and  Qld  are  both
legitimising bike traffic filtering.

Most cars seat 5 or 7 people but carry just one person. They are often
on unnecessary trips. A small reduction in single occupant cars on our
overcrowded  streets  will mean a significant reduction congestion and
an increase in available parking for those who must drive.

Permitting motorcycle & scooter riders to use bus lanes, as interstate
and overseas would improve safety and traffic flow.

Commuter  routes are from the suburbs to the city and between suburbs.
City  of  Melbourne surveys and VACC sales figures show that commuting
by  motorcycle  or  scooter  has  more  than  doubled  in  5 years.

Major  benefits can be gained for Melbourne's motorists by encouraging
walking,  cycling,  public transport and riding motorcycles & scooters
to   work.   Attention   must   be   given  by  both  state  and local
governments,  to motorcycle & scooter commuter routes  and  to  secure
bike  parking  and  lockers  at "park & ride" facilities.

By  supporting  the legitimising of safe traffic filtering for riders,
as  recommended by  the  2012  Parliamentary Inquiry into motorcycle &
scooter  safety,  VicRoads   would  take  an  important  step  towards
reduced  traffic congestion in Melbourne and surrounds.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders Group
Mont Albert North

Mobile: 0419 846 855.
MAY 2014


PROTEST AT VICROADS HQ 8 AM MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014.Motorcycle  &  scooter  riders will protest against VicRoads' proposed
bike laws and  its' apparent contempt for  the  Parliamentary  Inquiry
into motorcycle & scooter safety.

Speakers include  The Hon Luke Donnellan MP, Shadow Minister for Roads
and Mr John Voyage of  Maurice Blackburn Lawyers.
VicRoads   released    its'    graded   licence   system (GLS)  at the
start    of    May.   There  was  no real stakeholder consultation. It
carries  2  conspicuity  laws.  The   GLS    must   go   back  to  the
drawing board.

Damien Codognotto OAM spokesman for the Independent Riders Group said.
"With traffic congestion chronic, this is an irresponsible move by the
road authority."
Rider  training  at ( costs up  to  $550  for  a
course on the weekend. Add to that the price of a bike, and protective
gear  and  too  many people will buy an   old   car. A few  will  ride
illegally.  Others  will  cut  back  on safety gear. The GLS,  as  is,
will increase costs to $300 in the first year.

The  Independent Riders Group (IRG) is for improved rider training but
costs  must be reduced. The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) should
subsidise training and re-training for all road users.

Car  drivers  should  be  taught  about   motorcycles  &  scooters and
be tested on a basic knowledge of motorbikes.

The conspicuity laws must be removed from the GLS. Benefit, if any, is
gained   from   voluntary   use of high visibility vests.  Posties are
dayglo  head  to  toe  but cars still hit them. Headlights are already
covered by an ADR. Benefits are doubtful.

There were Parliamentary Inquiries into motorcycle & scooter safety in
1992  and  2012.  Both  took conspicuity very seriously. The all-party
Road   Safety   Committee  (RSC)  made  64  recommendations  in  2012.
Significantly, conspicuity laws were not recommended by either inquiry.

A  'whole of government response'  to  the  inquiry   means   the  64
recommendations have been ignored  and VicRoads has continued with its'
agenda dating back to 2010.

Damien  Codognotto said. "The 'whole of government  response'  to  the
inquiry isn't credible. Most of it was written by VicRoads."

"Four   things   should   happen  now.  First,  send  the GLS back for
consultation  and  repair.  Second, legitimise  traffic  filtering for
safer, more efficient commuting.  Third,  let  motorbikes  &  scooters
use  bus  lanes.  And,  fourth,  abolish   the   TAC   antibike tax as
recommended in the inquiry report."
 Codognotto said.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders Group

Mobile:0419 846 855  



How are you?  Looks like you continue to be busy with everything.

The exhibition about the vets is opening in Longreach, here is some info about it and the website is up now, in case you know anyone up that way.


Susan Gordon-Brown
Behind the Wire: Images and Stories of Vietnam Veterans

Monday, 19 May 2014


On Tuesday at 7pm  on Ride :

Barrister Wayne Baffsky updates us on the two High Court Challenges he is involved in for the Qld anti-rights laws and the NSW Consorting laws

It is protest time in Melbourne over the new hi-viz laws for novice riders and IRG's Damien Codognotto has the details

Matt Johnson fills us in on the Tattoo and Body Art Expo in Perth

Marquez and Miller do it again at the French Moto GP and Moto 3 respectively plus some great news from the Phillip Island Moto GP

Temporary Australians Series 2 filming days between now and October are announced
Plus lots of news and music

Proudly sponsored by Fraser Motorcycles Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong ,Melbourne and Perth
and Skillmaster Motorcycle Services.

Listen online via

Saturday, 17 May 2014


Between  7  and  9  am on Monday, May 26, 2014

the Independent Riders Group  will  protest  against  the proposed compulsory high
visibility vest and lights-on laws for novice motorcycle & scooter riders and the
coming compulsory boots for riders law.

It  is  short  notice,  but  only VicRoads insiders knew the threat was imminent.

Consultation   was  an  elaborate  sham.

Most motorcycle & scooter  organisations  were taken by surprise.

The  IRG  supports  improved  road  user education, especially for car drivers  who
cause  most  of  the  injury and death on our roads. The Graduated   Licence  System
(GLS)  makes  it  harder,  and  a  lot more expensive,  to  get  a  bike  licence  while
doing  nothing to promote car driver awareness of vulnerable road users, including us.

The  IRG  supports  the voluntary use of protective clothing and would consider   a
ban  on  thongs/sandals/hi-heels  for  riders  but  NOT compulsory boots, gloves,
jackets & pants which is what VicRoads/TAC/police are pushing for. In my opinion,
these long-term plans have nothing to do with our safety and everything to do with more
fines and making it harder to own a motorcycle or scooter.

The Motorcycle   Advisory  Group  (MAG) at VicRoads failed to warn the motorcycle
community of the dangers hidden in the GLS and the planned boots law. These rider
restrictions  are proposed  while  real  road  safety  measures  like  driver  awareness
campaigns, the use  of bus lanes and legitimising traffic filtering were again delayed
by VicRoads.

On  May 26 riders will gather ati VicRoads car park at 60 Denmark Street in Kew.

Melways map 45 reference C7.

The IRG will be there from 7 am.

Riders can join us for all or part of the protest. It is a work day so many may not be able
to make it but this is very important so riders should do their best to attend.

These  laws will effect all Victorians. If introduced here, they will  spread  interstate  and
expand to cover more and more riders. If you  can't  be  there  on  May 26, go see your MP.
2014 is a Victorian election year.

Speeches are at 8 am.

The  IRG will demand a meeting with Minister Mulder that morning.  

For the latest information on the May 26 protest visit:

Damien Codognott OAM
Independent Riders Group
To the sitting members of Victorian Parliament.

I  agree  with Mr Codognotto's points and also warn that nobody in the
motorcycle  community  wants these foolhardy proposals to be made law.
(Why aren't cycle riders being targeted by this?)

As  Damien points out there is an election coming and the Coalition is
a minority government.

Neale Brumby- EDITOR


PO Box 96 Ascot Vale VIC 3032

Tel:   03 9317 5004

On 14/05/14 1:34 PM, "Damien Cognotto OAM"
<> wrote:

To  all  Victorian  Members  of  Parliament  especially members of the
Victorian Road Safety Committee.

In  the  interests  of real motorcycle & scooter safety, please listen
to this radio podcast:

Mr John Voyage from Maurice Blackburn Lawyers.

Grant Delahoy for the Victorian Motorcycle Council.

The  Independent  Riders Group strongly opposes conspicuity laws.

There  is  no  evidence  to suggest these laws work.

The    2012    Parliamentary    Inquiry  (PIMS)   did   not  recommend
COMPULSORY conspicuity for good reason.

The  "whole  of government response" to the 64 PIMS recommendations is
not credible because it was mostly written by VicRoads/TAC/police.

The    compulsory  conspicuity  and  protective  clothing  agenda  was
released by VicRoads/TAC/police in 2010, well before the PIMS research
and  study  of motorcycle & scooter safety in Victoria. In our opinion
VicRoads/TAC/police    had   no   intention   of   taking   the   PIMS
recommendations  seriously  and  see  our  elected  representatives as
surplus to their requirements.

326,000 Victorians  are  licenced  to ride motorcycles & scooters. They
vote. There is an election in 2014.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders Group

Vicroads 'feeding the chooks' so they can say to Pollies ' we consulted'
They keep on doing what they want, based on their 'consultants' opinion who charge like wounded bulls.
State based 'road safety' organisations are a waste of space
Federal Govt should take control nationally. 

Regards S
On 16 May 2014, at 4:02 pm, DAMIEN CODOGNOTTO OAM <> wrote:

James Holgate
Dear Sir.

When  we heard about bike forums in recent years we asked to attend as
legitimate  stakeholders.  We were told it was "invitation only". This
happened  more  than  once,  to  more  than one of us. When one of our
members  did  manage to get in to one of these forums it was described
by  a  panel member as "an information night". It was not described as
an exchange of views or a chance for stakeholder input.

At the one workshop we were finally invited to last March there was no
mention of compulsory conspicuity laws. Or compulsory boots.

These  items  were  NOT  recommended in the 2012 Parliamentary Inquiry
report for good reason.

Many  positive  items have been delayed by VicRoads. Examples: traffic
filtering & bus lanes and abolishing the TAC antibike tax.

The  whole of government response to the inquiry was mostly written by
Vicroads/TAC/police so it is not credible. What is the point of having
a  tax  payer  funded,  all-party  committee inquiry into motorcycle &
scooter  safety  if  our  public  servants act as public officials and
overrule our elected representatives?

We strongly oppose your compulsory conspicuity and protective clothing
laws  because  they  are not based on scientific evidence, stakeholder
consultation  has  been  selective  (a  farce)  and in some cases your
rules/actions put us at greater risk in traffic.

It is a bit late to be supplying this information now. I suspect it is
only  because  of  the  backlash against the media release written for
Minister Mulder.

We  will look at the information you have provided and give it serious
and  fair  consideration,  which  is  a  lot  more  than  you gave our
legitimate input.

The IRG is certainly not against improving road user education for ALL
road  users  and  would  probably  support  the  GLS if the compulsory
conspicuity laws had not been attached.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders Group
Dear Damien,

Rodney  Blythe  has  passed  on  to  me  your  request for information
regarding the new Motorcycle GLS. (See emails below. - DC) 

1. Stakeholder consultation

VicRoads has engaged in extensive consultation to inform the design of
the recommended model.

On  2 September 2010, the then Minister for Roads and Ports released a
public    discussion    paper    titled   ‘Graduated   licensing   for
motorcyclists’.  The public consultation phase concluded on 29 October

Tools  used  to inform the community about the consultation activities
for the release of the discussion paper included:

Ministerial launch (The IRG was not informed nor invited - DC)On  2  September 2010, the then Minister launched the discussion paper
with invitees from government, VMAC and motorcycle training providers.
A media release was prepared and distributed at the launch.
.        Direct mailout to stakeholders (Not to IRG - DC)
On  2  September, an introductory letter, copy of the discussion paper
and  a  fact  sheet  was sent to the following stakeholders (number in
brackets indicates volumes):  
-        Accredited motorcycle training providers (13)
-        Victorian Motorcycle Advisory Council member organisations (25)
-        Government stakeholders (10)
-        Road safety researchers (6)
-        Other Australian state road authorities (13)
-        VicRoads customer service centres (1030)


In the week commencing 5 September 2010, advertisements were placed in
the  Herald  Sun,  Age,  MX and regional newspapers covering the areas
where  the  information  forums  were being held.  Advertisements were
also  translated  and published in ethnic newspapers (Turkish, Arabic,
Cantonese, Mandarin, Macedonian and Vietnamese).

Posters  with details about the information forums and how to obtain a
copy  of  the  discussion  paper  and were distributed to all VicRoads
customer  service centres and accredited motorcycle training providers
throughout Victoria.  

Media  releases  were  prepared  in  the regions where the information
forums were being held.

Four  information  forums  were  held between 20 September 2010 and 29
September  2010 at Traralgon, Benalla, Ballarat and Melbourne. A total
of 74 people attended these forums.  A report summarising the outcomes
of  these  forums  was  published  on  the VicRoads website but I have
attached a copy, for your convenience.  

The  GLS model developed following these consultations was provided to
the  Parliamentary  Road  Safety  Committee's  Inquiry into Motorcycle
Safety  in  2012  by  way of a public supplementary submission and the
matter   of   high  visibility  clothing  and  mandatory  headlight-on
requirements were raised by Vicroads in its verbal evidence.  

2.  Evidence  that compulsory conspicuity measures reduce motorcycle &
scooter  crashes.  The  role  of  conspicuity  measures  in  improving
detection of motorcyclists in traffic was examined by Wells et al (BMJ
2004;  328),  who reported a 37% reduction in risk for riders who wore
reflective  or  fluorescent  clothing.   In the recommendation arising
from  the  Inquiry into Motorcycle Safety, the Victorian Parliamentary
Road  Safety  Committee   paid a good deal of attention to the work of
De  Craen  et  al (2011), published by SWOV.  De Craen highlights that
brightly  colored  high-visibility  clothing  is  more effective in an
urban  environments  which,  in  Victoria,  is  where  80  per cent of
2-vehicle  novice  rider  crashes  occur  (Victoria Police crash data,

(In  my experience, riders who volutarily wear hi viz clothing tend to
be carful in nature and would be less likely to crash. - DC)
Research  regarding  the  role  of  conspicuity  can  also be found in
Motorcycle Conspicuity – What Factors Have the Greatest Impact?

This  study  found  a  significant  increase  in detection distance of
brightly cloroured riders in both rural and urban settings.  This more
recent work may not have been available to the Parliamentary Committee
when  it  made its deliberations as the report was not published until
June 2012.    

3.  VicRoads  plans  to study the before and after effects of the high
visibility  vest  law  in  reducing  novice  rider  injury  and  fatal
motorcycle  & scooter crashes VicRoads will monitor the effects of the
GLS measures on novice rider safety as part of its general road safety
data  collection.

(The  2012 Inquiry and several others criticised the way   crash  data
was   collected   and   assessed  in  this  state  and recommended and
independent authority to take over that role. - DC)
4. Definition of a high visibility vest? Colour? Reflectivity? Areas?

It  is  intended  that  the  definition of a high-visibility vest will
align  with Class D/N garments as specified in AS4602, High-visibility
safety garments. Regulatory amendments to implement this are currently
being prepared.  

5. Compulsory boots for motorcycle & scooter riders

On   February  28,  2013,  The  Victorian  Premier  announced  in  the
Victoria's Road Safety Action Plan 2013-2016 that the Government would
"introduce  a  mandatory  requirement  for motorcyclists to wear boots
that are at least ankle high to better protect them".

A copy of the Action plan can be obtained from

As  I advised you during our discussion on this matter, last year, our
current  plans  are  to  recommend  a  requirement  that preserved the
ability  riders  to  have  a free choice of the type of boot chosen to
comply  with  this  requirment  with  no specific performance standard
being imposed.

Work toward implementing this policy is currently underway.

6. GLS Implementation date

The  GLS  has  not  yet been made law.  The various components will be
implemented via legislation or regulation and the timing of these will
be   determined  by  the  Government  and  Parliament.   However,  the
Government's  announcement regarding the GLS, on 1 May 2014, indicated
that  the  first  stages  of  the  GLS are planned to be introduced in
October  2014. You may also care to note that the new GLS restrictions
will   only   apply   to  new  learners  or  novice  riders  from  the
implementaion date, existing riders would not be affected (Yet. - DC).

Further  changes  will  be  introduced  in  2015 to introduce the more
significant   changes,   including   mandatory  training  and  on-road

I  trust that this information is of help to you.


James Holgate
Director, Vehicle and Road Use Policy
60 Denmark Street
Kew VIC 3101

<>, <>
Date:        14/05/2014 10:12 AM
Subject:        Re: GLS RESEARCH?

Rodney Blythe
Policy and Programs

Dear Sir.

Thanks for your reply.

The  Independent  Riders Group would like the answers to the specific
questions  about  stakeholder  consultation  and  detailed information
about  peer-reviewed  research  on  the  GLS  itself  and  on the high
visibility  vest  law  and  on the lights-on law in writing as soon as

The IRG was NOT included in stakeholder consultation. The IRG strongly
opposes VicRoads COMPULSORY CONSPICUITY measures.

The  IRG  knows  of no scientific research that provides evidence that
compulsory conspicuity measures reduce motorcycle & scooter crashes.

A  third question. What plans do VicRoads have to study the before and
after effects of the high visibility vest law in reducing novice rider
injury and fatal motorcycle & scooter crashes?

A  fourth  question. What is the definition of a high visibility vest?
Colour? Reflectivity? Areas?

A  fifth  question. Is VicRoads or any other government agency working
on making boots COMPULSORY for motorcycle & scooter riders?

Can   you please   confirm   that the GLS has NOT been made law to May
14,  2014  and  advise  the  date it will go to state parliament for a

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders Group
Hi Damien,

My apologies for the delaying responding. I will endeavour to
update the M-GLS webpage in the next few weeks to include the
information you are seeking or send it through as an email.

Rodney Blythe
Policy and Programs
03 9854 2713

Date:        06/05/2014 10:59 AM
Subject:        GLS RESEARCH?


Dear Sir,

Minister  Mulder's  media  release  on  the  Graduated  licence system
claimed that in developing the Graduated Licence System there had been
widespread  stakeholder  consultation and that there was peer-reviewed

Can  we  please  have  a list/schedule of the stakeholder consultation
conducted in developing the Victorian GLS?

Can  we  please have a copy of the peer-reviewed research conducted in
developing the GLS?


Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders Group
<Public forums final report.pdf>


Agreed.  We heard nothing of these sessions.  Sound like window dressing to make a predetermined position by Vicroads/Vicpol sound like one reached through community consensus.  Far from the truth.


Date: Fri, 16 May 2014 16:02:13 +1000
Subject: Re: GLS Research

James Holgate

Dear Sir.

When  we heard about bike forums in recent years we asked to attend as
legitimate  stakeholders.  We were told it was "invitation only". This
happened  more  than  once,  to  more  than one of us. When one of our
members  did  manage to get in to one of these forums it was described
by  a  panel member as "an information night". It was not described as
an exchange of views or a chance for stakeholder input.

At the one workshop we were finally invited to last March there was no
mention of compulsory conspicuity laws. Or compulsory boots. 

and so on ....

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Wednesday, 14 May 2014


Motorcyclists are recognised in an RACV survey. Please fill it in and pass it on. We motorcycle & scooter riders need to make our presence felt if we want to continue to ride.

AND, go see your MP & media about the hi viz vest & lights-on laws. See previous posts. VicRoads ignored the Parliamentary Inquiry recommendations on this so what's the point in a tax-payer funded Parliamentary Road Safety Committee?


G'day all!

Had to pass this on; shock, horror, the RACV has acknowledged motorbikes exist, but sadly missed scooters.  :-(   

There's only 17 days to go on the survey, but thought 'we' ie IRG & VSRA might like to take this opportunity to get something to RACV, while they're apparently asking for advice!  Even if that is only to identify 'redspots'.

I'll post it on IRG Northern and draw regional riders attention to it, as more the merrier for feedback.  Reckon Dale will have a ball with this one around his area!!

Cate :-) 

"Whether you are driving a motor vehicle, riding a bicycle or motorbike, driving or catching a bus or tram, or walking we want to hear from you about those congested road locations that make you frustrated."



Tuesday, 13 May 2014


Morning all!

Hirsty has posted the audio from last nights Ride, which I know you're all keen to hear!!

Cate :-)

Listen To John Voyage from Maurice Blackburn Lawyers on motorcycle & scooter safety and VicRoads/TAC/Police.


Grant Delahoy from the Victorian Motorcycle Coucil.

Now, go see your MP

To the sitting members of Victorian Parliament.

I agree with Mr Codognotto's points and also warn that nobody in the motorcycle community 

wants these foolhardy proposals to be made law. (Why aren't cycle riders being targeted by this?)

As Damien points out there is an election coming and the Coalition is a minority government.

Neale Brumby- EDITOR



PO Box 96 Ascot Vale VIC 3032


On 14/05/14 1:34 PM, "Damien Cognotto OAM" <> wrote:

To  all  Victorian  Members  of  Parliament  especially members of the
Victorian Road Safety Committee.

In  the  interests  of real motorcycle & scooter safety, please listen
to on this radio podcast:

Mr John Voyage from Maurice Blackburn Lawyers.

Grant Delahoy for the Victorian Motorcycle Council.

The  Independent  Riders Group strongly opposes conspicuity laws.

There  is  no  evidence  to suggest these laws work.

The    2012    Parliamentary    Inquiry  (PIMS)   did   not  recommend
COMPULSORY conspicuity for good reason.

The  "whole  of government response" to the 64 PIMS recommendations is
not credible because it was mostly written by VicRoads/TAC/police.

The    compulsory  conspicuity  and  protective  clothing  agenda  was
released by VicRoads/TAC/police in 2010, well before the PIMS research
and  study  of motorcycle & scooter safety in Victoria. In our opinion
VicRoads/TAC/police    had   no   intention   of   taking   the   PIMS
recommendations  seriously  and  see  our  elected  representatives as
surplus to their requirements.
326,000Victorians  are  licenced  to ride motorcycles & scooters. They
vote. There is an election in 2014.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders Group

Monday, 12 May 2014


VicRoads recently introduced compulsory conspicuity restrictions for novice motorcycle & scooter riders. These laws will spread interstate and are aimed at covering all riders in future. IRG founding member Rod Brown sees his local media and MPs on a regular basis. Here is an article on the dayglo vest law that Rod generated in the Sunbury Macedon Weekly.

You can too.

By the way, I am reliably informed that VicRoads are working on making boots compulsory for all riders. No definition of what a boot is. This regulation too is the thin edge of their wedge. If Vic gets it, so will other states and territories. Think about it. It will reduce your choices and, in the medium term will make bike footwear more expensive. And, it will give police yet another excuse for roadside checks.

The IRG will strongly oppose this unnecessary restriction on riders. If there was real consultation with road authorities we may consider a ban on some footwear like thongs and sandals but we will fight compulsory boots because it will be expanded to the 5 compulsory items of protective clothing being pushed by VicRoads/TAC/police.

2014 is an election year in Victoria and they need your vote. Go see you MP.

And, join the IRG. It's free. All we need is your name, post code and email address. You can resign any time you like. IRG reserves the right to refuse a membership application without explanation.



ROD   BROWN   is  right  about  compulsory  high  visibility vests for
novice motorcycle  &  scooter  riders.  There  is  nothing wrong  with
riders  choosing  to  wear  bright  gear. The Independent Riders Group
support educating  riders  about  being seen and educating car drivers
to  look  for  vulnerable  road  users.

"I did not see him/her" is an admission of negligence when operating a
vehicle. Police should book car drivers accordingly.

The problem is NOT with conspicuity, it is with the law. Education not
legislation   saves   lives   in this case. It is worth noting that no
hi viz laws  are  planned for pedestrians and bicyclists, or are they?

There  is  no  evidence  to  suggest  that hi viz clothing in daylight
reduces bike crashes involving other vehicles. VicRoads did not do the
research.  They  just thought it was a good idea that would be blindly
accepted by the public.

It  is  significant that Victorian Parliamentary Inquiries on 1992 and
2012 studied bike conspicuity and did NOT recommend hi viz laws.

There  are  over  326,000  Victorians  licenced  to ride motorcycles &
scooters.  Riders  pay as much as a car for their registration and TAC
insurance.  Touring  riders  spend an estimated $750 million each year
and most of that money is spent in regional Victoria. We more than pay
our way. And most riders pay for a car too.

The hi viz law should be repealed.

Damien Codognotto OAM

Independent Riders Group

Sunday, 11 May 2014


The south east corner of Australia  is some of the best motorcycle & scooter touring country in the world.

Lots of Australian riders go on organised tours or solo rides in Europe, Asia and North America. Motorcycle & scooter touring in Victoria and Tasmania is a niche market with great potential. But our governments do little to encourage two-wheel tourists coming here. When its' snowing in the northern hemisphere and the bikes are in storage, you can go for a ride in OZ and get a sun tan.

In fact some government employees go out of their way to discourage riders in Victoria. Standing by the road in full view of Joe Public for a 10 minutes lecture on the dangers of motorcycling does not a
great ride make.

Pushbike tourists on the other hand get lots of official encouragement and support.

The Independent Riders' Group in Melbourne (IRG) lobbied the government to establish a plan to encourage motorcycle & scooter tourism. In 2012, Tourism Victoria released its' two-wheel tourism strategy plan and put it on a web page.
The Tourism Vic bicycle plan is prominent on the website.

It says that touring push bike riders put $362 million into the state's economy each year. The IRG estimates touring motorcycle & scooter riders contribute at least twice that every year and most of that is spent in regional Victoria.

Riders spend $60 million on, and riding to and from, Phillip Island during MotoGP week.

IRG is lobbying Tourism Minister Louise Asher to research the financial benefit for Victorians from two-wheel tourism. We would like her to update the Tourism Vic web page and make it more accessible. We want Tourism Vic to work with Tourism Tasmania to attract interstate and overseas riders to this part of the world.

The IRG wrote to both Minister Asher and to the Premier of Tasmania, Will Hodgman MP about encourgaing safe motorcycle & scooter tourism. We cc'd the Island State's champion of riders, Cr Bertrand Cadart, pictured above. If you are in Bicheno, drop in to Le Frog's Corner.

We'll keep you informed.



I got an interesting email. 

It was a YouTube link and entitled 2WMR resistance or something. 

I don't know who sent it to me. The sender thingy said it was the resistance themselves and I suppose 'resistances' have ways of getting your email address - "Vee haff detailed files", and all that.

So I am thinking ... well I am actually thinking "What's this shit", but I am hoping, "This is it! This is what we've been waiting for!" 

In nanoseconds my mind, already a bloody scary place, conjured up images of dank warehouses where bikies who actually give a stuff gathered to make bombs and plot to throw them at nasty, anti-motorcycle people. I imagined passwords and codenames. I want in and I want a codename! Can I be Snow White? Nah, wait, too conspicuous and besides Walt Disney'll be turning in his fridge! I know, how about Finger Lime?

It's immaterial. The only warehouse is the one on the music video with a band playing a song, like they do in music videos, and blokes doing stunts on bikes 'n' shit.

Unless I am missing something, there is no resistance. Motorcycling is still the apathetic minority group, a stepping stone for politicians and pigs who work for government departments and need to subjugate someone to prove their worth. Cool song, but. Might listen to it again, but this 'resistance' BS seems to be just a cool thing to say - like when the Grand prix association, a chardonnay-quaffing bunch of anything-but-motorcycling pouffes give the nod for the MotoGp to use the phrase, "Riders Unite"

It's pretty sad really, but you've come to expect that from a Lindsay Swift letter, eh! Well a pessimist in an informed optimist.

Sadder still is there are real mobs out there who, while they don't make bombs nor even outsource bombs and throw them into Vic Roads buildings (more is the pity), do give a stuff.

There are others who claim to be your 'representatives' but sit in the lap of the very swine they are supposed to be fighting. Why else would they stand on freeway overpasses while two thousand bikes ride beneath them in protest of anti-motorcycle measures?!

There are plenty of shops and importers and distributors too, who are happy to take your coin (you'll notice a pattern there) but give fuck all back. Some will- and I thank them, but for the most part, it's just gimme, gimme, gimme and having a protest ride advertised in their window or leaving a petition on their counter, well, we don't want to upset anybody eh!

But the real tragedy is that this video will attract five hundred times the hits that a legitimate motorcyclists' rights group will. Plankton who ride motorcycles will be bopping their empty, consumer heads to this song, but that's the extent of their "resistance".

Actually, speaking of the MotoGP- y'know "riders unite" and all that-  I asked one of the organisers if he could mention a protest coming up at his general morning proclamation to the marshals. There are several hundred marshals, almost all of whom ride motorcycles and all of whom - bar none - would be affected by anything the government does to enserf motorcycle riders.

I've never heard such a pissweak response about how he couldn't be seen to be doing that sort of thing. Government funding was mentioned!

I could go on, and usually would, but I have home brew in the fridge ...

Vive la resistance? Just like "Riders Unite". Yeah, fucken right!

Lindsay Swift


Saturday, 10 May 2014


In spite of the rain, the IRG coffee stop was well attended yesterday (May 10). When it's cold and wet outside, it's warm and dry in Muleta's and the coffee is great.

L to R: Dean, Rob, Bianca, Jon, me and Rod.
Rob turned up on his 1941 Indian Scout with daughter Bianca on her 1200 Sporty. They remember the MRA TOY RUNS in Swanston Street, Melbourne. 15,000 bikes lined up for the ride to St Kilda. Wall to wall helmets all the way past the City Baths and into Carlton.
Blast from the past. Jon May with Mike Hanlon on the right at Muleta's. Mike currently runs the hugely successful GIZ MAG.

Mike was editor of Australian Motorcycle News when it was still a newspaper. He rides a Yamaha Diversion at present.

The IRG coffee stop is on Saturday's from 10 am at Muleta's on the corner of Franklin and Queen Streets in Melbourne. Just across from the famous Queen Victoria Market. It's a chance for IRG members and their friends to lie to each other. All welcome.



Did you know that bicycle tourers spend $362 million in Victoria each year?

The IRG estimates that motorcycle & scooter tourers spend twice that every year, mostly in regional Victoria. The Moto GP brings $60 million to Phillip Island and surrounds in a couple of weeks.

We are currently lobbying Tourism Minister Louise Asher MLA to research touring riders' activities and spending, review and update the web page and to promote the south east corner of Australia as a motorcycle & scooter destination both interstate and overseas.

After all, when it's snowing in Europe and North America you can go for a ride and get a tan down south.



Saturday, 3 May 2014


The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) in Ireland did a survey of 800 riders mostly on high visibility clothing.

MAG is opposed to compulsory hi viz gear. So is the IRG. My first thought was that at night it's just as dark in Ireland but, by all accounts, they do not have as much light during the day as we do in OZ.

The launch by Victorian Roads Minister Mulder of the Graduated Licence Scheme (GLS) which includes compulsory dayglo vests and a lights-on law makes this survey relevant.

Your comments would be appreciated.


Friday, 2 May 2014


The breakfast food ad on Channel 7 before the shot of the dead motorcyclist was in particularly bad taste.

I heard an ABC radio report overnight that a rider died. It said the car turned across the path of the bike. If it's the same fatal and the car did fail to give way, this is disgracefully biased reporting. 

A complaint should be made to the media authority ....

I forgot, where riders are concerned there is no media authority that will help.

If this crash was the fault of the car drive, the police media unit, true to form, blames the victim


Police are looking for witnesses to the fatal crash in the Melbourne suburb of Clayton on Friday night May 2 or early Saturday, May 3 2014. A young male on a motorcycle died. The Channel 7 report was 19 seconds of bias in my opinion. 

Police warned riders to take extra care. It looked to me like the road was in reasonable condition with good street lighting. It looked to me like the car turned in front of the rider. If so, there would have been no excuse for not giving way.

The ABC reported they think a man stopped to assist and moved the bike. The man may have given the victim CPR. Police want to talk to him.

I have not heard that police will charge the car driver with anything.

I would very much like to assist the rider's family if I can and I would like observe at any Coroner's court hearing. To do that we need the name of the victim. If anyone reading this can help, please send the information to or phone 0419 846 855. It can be anonymous.

Too often in these cases the victim is blamed for the crash because of his/her choice of transport while the driver gets off lightly or scot free. Remember the cupcake killer?