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.