Sunday, 28 December 2014


The first fatal road crash for the Victorian Christmas break involved a car and wire rope barrier.

The WRB did not stop the car, a Proton, not a huge vehicle.

This is the very type of vehicle that WRB is supposed to slow to a less damaging stop. You'd reckon WRB would be tested to set tolerances. It should work at say 20% above the mandated speed limit for say, that type of car. I'd like to see the data on that .... but it's not available.

Police say the car was travelling well over the speed limit. What is well over? 120 in a 100 kph zone? 150 KPH? It was a wet night. Getting their numbers even close accurate in that time, in those conditions, has got to be a job for a highly-trained expert. Was there one there that night? They say there were drugs in the car.

Police have more or less blamed the druggy for this crash and excused the WRB by not even mentioning it. All this was presented to the public via the news media before much measuring, blood testing or highway camera checking could have been done. The Coroner may as well just rubber stamp this one.

The question the Coroner should be asking in court is, would this driver be dead if the WRB had performed as VicRoads and the manufacturers claim it does? Would a smooth concrete barrier have stopped this Proton from slamming in to the pole? As far as I know the only crash testing of WRB in OZ was done by Monash Uni at Laverton using Toyota Echos but MUARC has never released all the data from those tests and you can't get it under FoI because it's deemed not to be owned by VicRoads. So, while the taxpayer paid the boffins for the research we can't have the data ..... I'm told.

In most Victorian Parliamentary inquiries into road safety in the last 20 years the road safety committees have complained that crash site data is inadequate in this state. The 2012 Inquiry into motorcycle and scooter safety recommended the government establish an independent authority to collect and assess crash site data. Police/VicRoads/TAC have a lot of our money invested so they won't let an independent authority happen and Victoria hasn't had a politician strong enough to manage our road authorities for 20 years.

Crashes will continue. Crash data will not improve. Police will go on spinning to camera. And our elected representatives will continue to accept what the public servants tell them, no matter how outrageous.

The IRG still has had no result from the NSW and Victorian authorities for the research data list we asked for after the Holbrook WRB truck crash on November 6. See earlier posts.



Yes. There is a typo in the bottom line.

Friday, 26 December 2014


MelbCity has left a new comment on your post "FOOTPATH PARKING ATTACK (AGAIN)":

The Melbourne Walkers group recently called for the banning of Motorcycles from footpaths, falsely claiming that they were a risk to pedestrian safety. This in spite the fact that there is no reports of any pedestrians being injured by motorcycles parking on the footpath.

The greatest risk to pedestrian safety in the City is from Bicycles not Motorcycles. The North Bank of the Yarra River Next to Flinders Street Railway Station is not a bicycle path yet every day pedestrians safety is placed at risk. Not one word of concern by the Melbourne Walkers group.

Bicycles on footpaths are a great risk to public safety than Motorcycles


Thursday, 25 December 2014


ABC Radio 774 in Melbourne reported a fatal wire rope barrier crash this morning, December 26, 2014. Please pass this email on to as many people as you can. Please send me any links to news reports, information on the circumstances of the crash and/or photos of the crash site.

The report said that a car went out of control and crashed into WRB. The driver was killed. The crash was on the Monash Freeway near Dandenong North.

Wire rope bazrrier should slow cars to a safer stop according to road authorities and WRB manufacturers. Why did this driver die?

The Motor Report article on WRBs.

The Border Mail article on the WRB crash on the Hume near Holbrook on Novemeber 6. IRG is still waiting for information from the NSW Crash Research Centre and the VicRoads Regional Manager quoted in the article.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group (IRG)
PO Box 4330
Doncaster Heights  Vic  3109

Saturday, 20 December 2014


EMAIL RACV President Mr Ross Herron care of Royalauto the RACV magazine at: 

December 20, 2014.


I was concerned to read the following passage in the ‘message from the president’ in the Dec/Jan Royalauto.


"Why have the city's footpaths become parking bays for Motorcycles? They hinder traffic. Would a better use of this space be cycling lanes similar to many European cities? (Ref. RACV Magazine Dec 14/Jan 15 P.11).

In this message he appears to be condemning the legal practice of parking of motorcycles on footpaths in the city. The message is a bit confusing as there are guidelines and rules laid down to ensure that motorcycles parked on footpaths do not hinder foot traffic or parked cars.

He also seems to be advocating cycling lanes on the footpaths around the city? This would be a major problem with today’s distracted pedestrians.

With the rapid increases in population, condoned by government, the roads are getting busier and more congested every day. Motorcycles offer a way to reduce congestion on our roads and sensible parking on footpaths frees up valuable car parking places and road space.

The RACV should be seen to be actively encouraging and promoting motorcycle use rather than continually ignoring the benefits of motorcycles in congested cities. In many crowded cities around the world motorcycles are an important and necessary mode of transportation.

It is unfortunate that the president of Victoria’s largest motoring organisation sees motorcycles as a nuisance and annoyance rather than the solution to ongoing congestion, fuel savings and pollution reduction.

Name and address supplied.
December 15, 2014

Hi Damien,

While waiting for a tram on High Street, Thornbury, I noticed this sign banning motorcycles from parking on a long stretch of footpath.

We need to know how many of these signs are in Melbourne. This audit would indicate the number of signs now and we can then monitor if more signs are being placed around Melbourne.

To find out the number of signs, I assume we need to go to each council in Melbourne. Or are these signs put up by VicRoads?

It is in Thornbury. Not sure what council.

We really need to know how many of these signs are around Melbourne. Before we know it, these will be everywhere and that's how they will get rid of footpath parking.


Name and address supplied.
December 9, 2014.

Hi Damien,

I saw the RACV stuff against footpath parking. I'll ask RACV for a 'please explain' at the next meeting.

Not sure about the tinted visor thing. Are you saying that we can't use tinted visors? Please send through any docs you have relating to this one.


Name and address supplied.
G'day Damien,

This is a copy of an email I sent to the RACV, and the new Minister for Roads in response to the article re: motorcyclists clogging up the citys streets printed in the recent Royalauto magazine. As an RACV member for years and a motorcyclist also involved with the IRG nortern register, I did not hesitate to send this letter.

Thanks for bringing these issues up and I hope that sending these letters helps.

Date:08/12/2014 7:23 PM (GMT+10:00)

Gday, as a loyal member of the RACV for many years, and a motorcyclist, I was absolutely shocked when I read the comments of the chairman of the RACV in the recent issue of Royal auto, December 14/15. On page 11, Ross heron, president and chairman of the board states " In closing I wish to air two personal views on transport issues: Why have the citys footpaths become parking bays for motorcycles? They hinder foot traffic. Would a better use of this space be cycling lanes similar to many European cities"?.

I find these comments very concerning and one sided, the fact that it appears that the Chairman has a personal dislike of motorcycles and is pro cyclist shows the increasing prejudice towards motorcyclists by the very people who are put in place to represent us, in particular motorcyclists.The chairmans comments highlight concerns that as a motorcyclist, and loyal RACV member for many years I feel that cyclists are getting the funding, and support that we as motorcyclist deserve as rego paying, RACV insurance paying, TAC levy targeted, and "high risk" minority branded road users, WHY? 

When we motorcyclists pay for the privilege to use the roads. Does Ross Herron realise that motorcyclists are entitled to park on the footpath legally? What measures have been put in place by the RACVor TAC to ensure the growing number of city commuters that use motorcycles and scooters to get to work are catered for?  None...if these organisations had their way, Melbourne will end up like India, a sea of pushbikes and overcrowded buses and trains.

The chairman Ross heron has obviously reached his use by date as chairman, with these offensive and biased remarks which I, as a member, believe should not have gone to print. The chairmans personal opinions are irrelevant when he is paid very generously to act in a position which is (supposedly) in support of ALL road users in an unbiased, fair and equal manner.

I can only hope that as a loyal member of the racv that the next chairman will support motorcyclists, provide better facilities for motorcyclists, make travel safer and promote motorcycling as a better environmental and more efficient alternative to cars and 4wds.

For the RACV to promote "pushbike tourism" which I believe is contrary to the very purpose of the RACV, and fund projects to a group that does not pay a cent towards the maintenance of any of the roads they are riding on, doesn't make sense.When I open my issue of Royalauto I see nothing about motorcycles, just sales spin for foreign made luxury cars, suvs, caravans etc.

When are motorcyclists going to be positively represented by the RACV and TAC?

Name and address supplied
December 8, 2014.

To the RACV President,

I do not want to sound cruel or offensive, but I do feel that you should resign as you have lost the meaning of your organisation by coming out against motorcycles and scooters parking on the footpath. As the RACV stand for Royal AUTOMOTIVE Club Victoria, which motorcycles and scooters fall under – being automotive and not peddle power. By saying that the footpaths should be changed to emulate other countries regarding bicycles shows that you are an avid people powered operator, rather than that of the organisation you are president of.

Oh yes lets only have motorcycles and scooters using parking bays, now with all those motorcycles and scooters parking one per bay where a car would normally go (which is and would be legal), where are all your other members (car drivers) going to park????

We as riders and members of the RACV feel that you are disregarding a large proportion of your organisation. Yes your figures may show that you don’t have many motorcycles insured with you, this would be due to the fact that you don’t seem to care about these members and overcharge and under compensate. Another reason why I feel you are not doing either, your job or the organisation justice, by forcing riders to seek insurance elsewhere.


Name and address supplied.
December 7, 2014

To Whom it May Concern,

As a person on a limited budget, one reason I ride a motorcycle is  financial.  Any help to my budget is a help.

I ride a motorcycle rain, hail or shine.  One small compensation is that I can park quite close to where I need to go, on the footpath. The motorcycle does not obstruct motorized “Gofers...motorized wheelchairs....etc.  I am always aware to leave space for other footpath users.

Why, oh why, take this small concession away from us???

Why should we take a whole car space for the small amount of space a motorcycle takes up?  Where are the motorcycle designated parking areas in Melbourne???


Name and address supplied.
December 7, 2014.

Dear Royal Auto,

I have been a RACV member since 1978 and a RACV insurance customer for many years including coverage of two cars and a house.

I am also an active motorcyclist and am writing to complain about the latest President’s report in Royal Auto Dec 14/Jan 15 regarding his views against motorcycling parking on footpaths.

Motorcycling parking on footpaths should be encouraged as it creates more parking for cars. Also, motorcycling in general should be encouraged as it creates less traffic congestion and is a much more efficient form of transport.

The President may be entitled to his own personal views, however these should not be promoted by the RACV organisation. I would prefer Royal Auto to support and represent the needs of all RACV members, including motorcyclists.

Yours Sincerely,

Name and address supplied.
Decemeber 6, 2014.

To the President of RACV.

I am a 'gold' RACV member since 1985 and I also have ridden a motorcycle since 1971.

I deem it a privilege to be able to park on Victorian footpaths. I do not agree with your latest bias against M/C's. We pay our share of taxes and have the least impact on our roads.

We as motorcyclists are not represented to any extent as valid road users in your magazines or policies.

If your influence can change laws on M/C parking, I for one (and my extended family)would not be renewing memberships; where a president of an organization so large has such archaic views; and does not take into account ALL road users.

Please have a re-think on what you have publicly stated about more push bike lanes, yes more push bike lanes but not at the expense of motorcycle parking on the footpaths. Why can't we have both?

We do not hinder traffic or pedestrians; in fact we try to keep a low profile because of people like you are trying to take it away from us.


Name and address supplied.
Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group (IRG)

Thursday, 18 December 2014


Episode 9 Sunday December 21 at 3 pm on ONE and repeat Monday December 22 1.45am

We go for a ride up the famous Macquarie Pass and discover the Robertson Pie Shop.

Dutchy and Riders of Tasmania take us for a leisurely Sunday Ride.

Shep shows us his dirt drag bikes in Perth. 

Adam Wright takes Jonesy and Hirsty on a test ride of some 2015 Harleys.

Chancy talks about riding fast and praying hard. 

We find out why there was a High Court Challenge in Queensland. 

Darwin HOG fills us in their rides plus we discover why heaps of bikers like the Pink Ribbon Ride.

Check you local Guides for other repeats and variations during each week or check out recent episodes on Tenplay

Episode 8 repeated Saturday December 20 at 2 pm 

Tuesday, 16 December 2014


On NOV 6, 2014 a truck crashes through wire rope barrier on the Hume Highway near Holbrook, NSW.

On Dec 2 we photographed the crash site.

On December 8, The Border Mail newspaper quoted the General Manager of the NSW Centre for Road Safety. She said that wire rope barriers could better absorb the impact from crashes.

Obviously 2 WRB did not stop this truck and, in my opinion, only the truck drivers skill prevented the large vehicle from crashing head-on into northbound traffic. The crash site was not repaired a month after the crash.

Please email us a list of research titles that prove WRB works to absorb the impact from crashes of most vehicles in 110 kph zones. Please send us the link to guidelines for repairs and maintenance for WRB. What is the recommend time WRB can be left on a 110 kph road in NSW.

Links to the Border Mail and the Motor Report stories on WRB crashes are on our blog at:

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders Group

Monday, 15 December 2014


Hi Damien, got this wire rope barriers piece up, thanks for your help on it (delayed a couple of days... I did my back).

Link is here:

Feel free to pass it around among your fraternity. VicRoads will be on the nose with the new Government over the East Link project, so now is the time to press the political argument that this regulator has acted as a law unto itself and should have its activities under scrutiny.

Cheers mate

Sunday, 7 December 2014


Shane Holland tagged you and 11 others in a link.
Shane wrote: "I rang channel Seven News Room this morning and asked why OUR Video wasn't on the website hahahaha. So here it is MMAA Vic The Masonic Motorcycle Association of Australia - Victorian Chapter"


A 2010 crash on a Melbourne freeway where a truck brushed aside wire rope barriers.

"But VicRoads regional director Bryan Sherritt said the barriers were a “proven safety method” and “incredibly important” for saving lives and reducing injuries.
“There is no evidence from research in Australia or overseas that indicates wire rope safety barriers increase the risk of injury to motorcyclists when compared with other barrier types,” he said.
“VicRoads will continue to improve protection for motorcyclists by fitting rub-rails to guard fence and post cushions to wire rope along many popular motorcycle routes.”
NSW Centre for Road Safety general manager Marg Prendegast noted the wires could better absorb crash forces compared with concrete and steel guardrails.
This WRB crash happened on the Hume Hwy in a 110 kph zone on November 6, 2014. The WRB did not stop the truck. I t appears the drivers skill, not the WRB, avoided a head on crash. When part of a WRB is damaged the whole structure is weakened leaving road users exposed to greater risk of cross-over crashes. We understand road authorities' guidelines say WRB should be repaired in under 3 days. This site had still not been repaired on December 2, 26 days after the crash.
She said the centre was investigating all options to increase motorbike rider safety while maintaining safety for other road users."
These damaged WRB posts are steel, set in concrete and facing oncoming traffic on the Hume near Holbrook. They were left in this state for nearly a month. Close your eyes and imagine a downed rider sliding/rolling into these post at 100 kph. Road authorities do not put the same value on the life of a motorcyclist or a truck driver as they do on the life of a car driver. If they did this situation could never have happenend.

A 4WD brushes aside WRB near Ballarat, Victoria in 2011. 2 dead, 3 with horrendous injuries.

Wire rope barrier costs the taxpayer more than any other barrier type. It has a shorter working life at 15 to 20 years compared to w-beam at 40 to 50 years and concrete at up to 100 years.

WRB is easily damaged and require more repairs than the other types.

The Independent Riders Group has asked the Victorian Auditor General to to do a cost comparo on roadside barriers and will ask again.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders Group


Word is that, regardless of the tourist dollar and in spite of police claims that they only pull up riders who are doing nothing wrong for the rider's safety, that this holiday season police in Victoria will blitz the blue blazes out of the motorcycle community.

Be careful out there.


Luke Donnellan MP
Minister for Roads

The attached newspaper stories demonstrate how motorcycle statistics get distorted, how rules in need of review are neglected and why we need a campaign to improve the relationship between police and scooter road riders.
I have been in several meetings where police have claimed that a significant percentage of Victorian road riders do not wear helmets which is rubbish. Victoria has a 99% compliance rate with helmet laws for road riders. The way police collect data on riders and crashes is what causes the distortion in the figures.

This is very bad for road safety in this state and grossly unfair to riders trying to do the right thing. 

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group (IRG)
PO Box 4330
Doncaster Heights  Vic  3109


Rider Luke Johnson isn't alone being booked for a trivial offence in 2014.

I was near King Lake. I was pulled over. He couldn't find anything wrong with me or my bike so I got a 15 minute lecture on safe riding. I have been riding since 1967. Cars passed us obviously over the speed limit.

A thirty-something business man was pulled up out of Healesville. When no offence was found, he was booked for his store-bought number plate holder.

A young bloke going to work was booked for a helmet camera. Bicyclists are encouraged to use helmet cams and footage has been used in court.

A highway patrolman told the press his officers would pull up just about every motorbike they saw on the way to the Phillip Island GP. Touring riders pump some $800 million into the state economy each year. Police discouraged a lot of tourers from coming back.

Luke was fined $295 and 3 points for riding without a helmet. He was wearing a good helmet but his visor was tinted. Sun glasses are allowed though. This demonstrates the state of neglect of motorcycle & scooter laws in Victoria, the unreliability of our road safety statistics and the nature of policing when it comes to motorcyclists. It's not about safety.

Would police treat 4WD or ute drivers this way?

Damien Codognotto
Independent Riders Group


Friday, 5 December 2014

Thursday, 4 December 2014


Hi Guys here is the newsletter 11




Hi all,

"Why have the city's footpaths become parking bays for Motorcycles? They hinder traffic. Would a better use of this space be cycling lanes similar to many European cities? (Ref. RACV Magazine Dec 14/Jan 15 P.11).

Further points to consider:

RACV do not want us on the footpath
RACV do not want us in bus lanes
RACV do not want us in push bike lanes
RACV do not include us in their monthly magazine (not for a long time.)
RACV do not want us using up road space. "Would a better use of this space be cycling lanes".

The RACV has a representative on the Motorcycle Advisory Group (MAG).

Motorcycle Advisory Group

The Motorcycle Advisory Group (MAG) was established in mid-2011 to provide VicRoads with strategic advice on issues relating to the management and development of motorcycling in Victoria.
All riders and pillions need to keep a close eye on the RACV regarding their bias motorcycle and scooter policies.

Please circulate this important warning  as you see fit.
Rodney Brown


Episode 7 Sunday December 7 at 3 pm on ONE

We discover ANDRA and motorcycle drag racing at Darwin's Hidden Valley. 

Jonesy checks out the Indian Classic. 

In Hobart we discover a mate of Charlie Boormans and check out Joe's Garage. 

We find out why some Aussie riders went for a spin in Vietnam. 

Hirsty talks to John Voyage from Maurice Blackburn Lawyers about his advocacy work. 

We meet the Bogans Social Motorcycle Club from Perth.

We check out a brilliant Cairns bike show, find out why a biker couple got married there 

And then discover who is the man to beat in top fuel motorcycle drags.

Check you local Guides for other repeats and variations during each week or check out recent episodes on Tenplay 

Check this out!

If your feeling like a long ride but your backside gets sore then checkout an Airhawk inflatable seat cushion. Lots of people at the Melbourne Motorcycle Expo reckon they work great. They have sizes to fit all bikes and riders can regulate the amount of air for a custom fit. Check out the details for motorcycles as well as mining and transport vehicles or call 1300 783 128.