Tuesday, 31 March 2015


The 2015 TOY RUN for Father Bob Maguire in Melbourne will be held on Sunday, December 6. That's confirmed. We are looking at crowd funding to hire Luna Park for needy kids, working with the organisers of the Sussan Women's Fun Run (same day nearby) and a huge parade of motorcycles, scooters, trikes and sidecars along the beach road from Luna Park to Port Melbourne and back. It will be spectacular.
MRA TOY RUN 2004 in Latrobe Street, Melbourne. 5000 bikes(?) went on a spectacular run to Williamstown. Good for needy kids. Good for rider PR. This was one of the last big TOY RUNs in Victoria. The Independent Riders Group wants to bring traditional parade TOY RUNs back

We need $20 million public liability insurance.

To make this event work for the kids and for riders' image we need a committee of five volunteers. Chair/media, Treasurer/fund raiser, Chief Marshal, Club Liaison and Industry Liaison. Each committee person has to be an IRG member and be prepared to take on tasks as needed.

Anyone who wants to volunteer for the IRG TOY RUN Committee can contact me at d.codognotto.oam@bigpond.com or on 0419 846 855. I will call a meeting on site in April.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders Group

Monday, 30 March 2015


The 4th Australian Christian Motorcycle Clubs and Associations  Conference met on the weekend in Brisbane in the wake of the controversial anti-rights laws enacted by the former LNP Government.
Held since 2006 around Australia, the 2015 Conference aimed to assist the growing number of Christian motorcycle clubs and associations express their Christian faith within the motorcycle culture in a way that is respectful of those who ride and their motorcycle lifestyle.
It also aimed to develop a Christian response to the growing trend of governments in Australia to punish riders’ associations rather than behaviour. 
'Christian motorcyclists, along with most clear thinking people, are appalled at these anti friendship laws and the negative impact they can have on our community.'  said Conference Spokesman Greg Pendlebury from Brotherhood CMC.
The Conference released the attached statement in response to anti-association laws in various states.

For more information contact:
Greg Pendlebury
Think-write Consulting
0418 411 046

Saturday, 28 March 2015


          One hundred years ago at Gallipoli the ANZAC tradition began.

Many died on both sides of that awful war. Since then, in many conflicts, Australians and New Zealanders have fought to keep our countries safe. We owe them a debt we can never repay.

On Saturday, April 25, 2015, in towns and cities across Australia and New Zealand, service men and women past and present, supported by civilians who have never known war, will join in ceremonies and parades to honour those who served to keep us free.

In Melbourne, the DAWN SERVICE at the SHRINE on St Kilda Road begins at 6 am. The Independent Riders Group is proud to have been asked to get information on motorcycle & scooter parking to riders.
Snr Sgt Stephen Wilson, Denny & Furmo VVMC with Lt Col David Blackwell RFD at RSL House in Melbourne in October 2014.

The Vietnam Veterans Motorcycle Club, the RSL and Police met months ago to make sure riders had a place to park their bikes within walking distance of the SHRINE.
Linlithgo Avenue, Melbourne.
Motorcycle & scooter parking will be along the part of Linlithgo Avenue that runs parallel to St Kilda Road. Melway map 2F J9. You can only enter this part of Linlithgo Avenue from the east, from Alexandra Avenue and the Swan Street Bridge. St Kilda Road and Birdwood Avenue will be closed.
The DAWN SERVICE begins at 6 am. Chief Marshal Lt Col David Blackwell RFD asks that all bikes parked, engines off, by 5.45 am at the latest. 5.30 am would be better. This is a mark of respect.

You can get more information at:


ANZAC DAY is special.

The Centenary is very special.

We will remember them.

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

Monday, 23 March 2015


Sunday, March 29, 2015.

Channel 10 News itme from March 24.


Please pass this email on to as many riders as you can.


Sunday, 22 March 2015


ANZAC DAY is on Saturday, April 25, 2015.

This ANZAC DAY marks 100 years since the dreadful fight at Gallipoli began. In towns and cities across Australia service men and women, past and present, will gather to honour and remember those who served and sacrificed to keep us free. Civilians, who have never known war will support them at ceremonies and parades remembering the fallen.

FURMO and DENNY from the Vietnam Vets MC outside RSL House in Melbourne.

In Melbourne the DAWN SERVICE at the SHRINE begins at 6 am. The Vietnam Veterans MC worked with the RSL and Police to set up a motorcycle & scooter parking area. I'll put more details up as they are confirmed.

I've never been to war but I know this is a patch all Australians can be proud of.

What a lot of Australians do not know, is that Australian motorcyclists have fought in every theatre of war our country has been involved in over the last 100 years. Many of those riders served on bikes, in the early days, on their own machines.

These pictures from the JAMES FLOOD BOOK OF MOTORCYCLING IN AUSTRALIA 1899 - 1980 tell a story long neglected and too often forgotten.

On April 25, 2015, please attend an ANZAC DAY event in your area.


Saturday, 21 March 2015


Louise Lewis
Louise Lewis
Author, The Biker Book for Charity
Hi Damien!

Oh goodness, when I ever make it back down under, just open your window to hear me shouting it from the rooftops!

When you have a chance, the backstory to how the book got started is on the 'About' section of the book's Facebook Page. Here's that link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Biker-Book-for-Charity/117904221562527 ...or simply search for The Biker Book for Charity.

To summarize:
The book was 'born' at the local children's hospital where I volunteer. Christmas 2006 I pulled a volunteer shift for the annual H.O.G. Chapter Toy Run. During the event, I had the honor of witnessing an interaction between a sick little boy and a "biker dude" (as the kids called them). That moment brought me to tears, and in the next moment I heard God say: "Your next book is on bikers."

I replied: OK.

I have interviewed 'regular' folks at several motorcycle rallies here in the U.S. and many motorcycle riding celebrities and other famous folks. Everyone is asked the same question: What is the meaning of life?

Part of the book's mission is to open the minds (and eye's) of outsiders to "stop judging a book by its cover" when it comes to the motorcycle community. I truly believe that when a person's mind is opened, their heart also opens. With an open heart, a person begins to look at "those people" differently/accurately. And with open eyes, a person will now SEE a rider(s) on the road...saving a life.

WHEN this puppy is published, I will work to get sponsors for the book so that I can donate books to motorcycle charity events. From there, the charity Event is in full control, meaning: The Event receives the books, sells the books, collects the money from the sales, and then donates the money to its charity of choice.

In other words, my hands will never touch the money raised by a motorcycle charity Event.

My personal efforts in selling the book will direct those net proceeds to children's charities.

For now, my literary agent is shopping the book for a publisher, hence why I live on social media building up the numbers in order to attract a publisher. As you know in business, it's all about the numbers.

So sorry for being long-winded, but my passion for the book's Mission is great. Hope I have provided you enough information for you to post.

Many thanks for your offer to help!

take care,
(the gal writing The Biker Book for Charity)

On 3/20/15, 6:38 PM, Damien Codognotto OAM wrote:
Hello Louise.

I'm glad you liked Melbourne. If you are back this way, give me some warning and I'll organise lunch with a few locals.

Let me have some info on The Biker Book for Charity and I'll plug it on our blog and facebook.

Just for interest there's a couple here who wrote a kids' book, Barry the Bike. www.barrythebike.com



On 3/20/15, 8:29 AM, Louise Lewis wrote:
Hi Damien!

So kind of you to send this note, thank you!

I do love you Aussies and very much enjoyed my time in Melbourne, such a lovely city. I hope I can make it back down under!

Again, many thanks for reaching out...very much appreciate!

take care,
(the gal writing The Biker Book for Charity)

On 3/19/15, 9:57 PM, Damien Codognotto OAM wrote:
Hi Louise.

Nice to link up with you.




Friday, 20 March 2015


VICTORIA POLICE COMMAND have acknowledged receipt of the IRG email in the previous blog. It will get serious consideration.

"7. The IRG strongly opposes a TF ban in 40 kph speed zones as suggested
by VicRoads and reportedly supported MAG members Moira Stewart and Wendy
Wendy Taylor's position on motorcycle & scooter traffic filtering, reported in the previous blog, is one of concern about banning it in speed zones of 40 kph and under, school zones excepted. Wendy suggested a filtering top speed of 20 kph.

I think a 20 kph top speed for motorcycles & scooters filtering is too slow. It is certainly too slow inbound on the Eastern Freeway between Chandler Highway and Hoddle Street in peak hours. Checking your speedo too regularly can get dangerous in traffic that accelerates, brakes, stops then moves on again every few hundred metres. With car drivers on the phone, eating buns and putting on make up while changing lanes often in a vain attempt to get to work on time through one of Australia's greatest traffic jams.

A lot more police motorcycles with helmet cameras as in WA would be most welcome.

VicRoads won't permit motorcycles & scooters to travel in the bus lane on the left despite the proven road safety benefit. The only option riders have other than traffic filtering is to sit in the lane and hope not to be hit from behind.

The transit lane on the right does not go to Hoddle Street so if a rider uses the transit lane, which is permitted, then he/she must cross 5 or 6 lanes of  bad tempered car drivers to get to the bus lane in Hoddle Street where motorcycles & scooters are permitted. VicRoads created this problem and they know about the dangers because the IRG has told officials on many occasions.
The Hoddle Street bus lane is unique in Victoria. Some years ago VicRoads ran a trial permitting motorcycles & scooters to travel with bicycles and taxis in this bus lane. The trial was a success and riders ahve been allowed to continue using the Hoddle Street bus lane. However, VicRoads has continued to deny motorcycle and scooter riders the safety afforded to bicyclists in other suitable bus lanes around the state.


Thursday, 19 March 2015


GPO BOX 913,
MELBOURNE, VIC.           3001.

Dear Sir,

The Independent Riders Group (IRG) represents individual motorcycle &
scooter riders not clubs. TAC surveys indicate that 80% of riders are
not members of clubs. The IRG is not represented by the Victorian
Motorcycle Council (VMC).

On Monday, March 16 the IRG held its' first RIDE TO WORK BREAKFAST at
the Queen Victoria market. Police did not attend.

TAC promoted motorcycle & scooter safety. VicRoads' Paul Matthews attended.

Speakers included Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, Roads Minister Luke Donnellan
MP, Greg Pond from the Victorian Scooter Riders Association (VSRA) and
Father Bob Maguire AM.

Minister Donnellan said traffic filtering (TF) rules would be introduced
in Victoria on September 1, 2015.
Roads and Road Safety Minister Luke Donnellan MP speaking to at Melbourne's first RIDE TO WORK BREAKFAST. Traffic filtering for motorcycle & scooter riders will start on September 1, 2015. The new filtering laws are being developed.

Four TV news crews attended the RIDE TO WORK BREAKFAST. But the good
news story on motorcycle & scooter rider safety was swamped by
"bikie invasion" stories.

Riding in Victoria is safer than it has ever been. Many more machines
are doing more kilometres with fewer casualties. Most motorcycle &
scooter casualties are caused by car driver error. The data is solid but
the media doesn't tell this story.

TF has been discussed at the Motorcycle Advisory Group (MAG) at
VicRoads. IRG had no input because MAG members are appointed by
VicRoads. As I understand it, the Police member on MAG is Stuart McGreggor.

There was a TF workshop on March 2, 2015 at 1 Spring Street, Melbourne.
Police had a seat but did not attend. I attended. Steve Bardsley
attended for the VSRA. He outlined a TF "framework". See attached. IRG
supports the VSRA. VSRA is not represented by VMC.

It was suggested that Victoria Police wanted TF defined and new offences
with harsh penalties introduced. Since the IRG cannot put its' TF
position on behalf of IRG members to police through MAG or the workshop,
our position on TF is as follows:

1. TF has existed as long as there has been traffic. It is done safely
across Australia and around the world every day. There is no evidence to
suggest that TF is a significant cause of injuries. Experienced riders
told the 2012 Parliamentary Inquiry into motorcycle & scooter safety
that TF was the safest way to ride in traffic. In some 40% of bike
insurance claims (Swann C2006), the bike was hit from behind by another
vehicle. See the video on a recent ACT crash. Link below. TF is not lane
splitting. Dangerous driving/riding laws already cover that.

2. Many people riding to work do so to save time and money, not because
"it is faster". These people include bread winners for families,
students, job seekers and pensioners. These people are the least able to
afford heavy fines and loss of points for riding in a safe manner. The
number of people commuting on two wheels will continue to increase as
the population increases.

3. TF reduces traffic congestion and frees up car parking space. Single
occupant cars make up 70% of traffic. You can park 5 to 10 motorbikes
where 1 car will fit. More secure bike parking and lockers for
protective clothing will compliment legitimising traffic filtering as a
road safety initiative and encourage the use of protective clothing.
There needs to be a campaign to educate car drivers about the benefits
to all road users of safe two-wheel commuting.

4. To legitimise TF and make it even safer, overtaking rules for
motorcycle & scooter riders need to be similar to those for pushbike riders.

5. Pushbike "safety boxes" need to be expanded across all lanes at
suitable intersections and motorcycle and scooter riders permitted to
use these areas. An example of the type of stop line arrangement exists
in Latrobe Street, Melbourne. See attached. A car stop line then a two
wheeler stop line then the pedestrian crossing. TF without this means
riders will either be stuck between cars or will end up in the
pedestrian area. The concept exists and operates well in the pushbike
safety boxes.
Cars, two-wheelers and pedestrians separated for safety at the intersection of Latrobe and Swanston Streets in Melbourne. Motorcycles & scooters should be permitted to use this space to facilitate traffic filtering. Bicyclists have their own traffic lights at this and other intersections in Melbourne.
Wendy Taylor

6. The IRG strongly opposes the introduction of new TF offences with
harsh penalties as in NSW. TF can be done safely at speeds up to 40 kph.
Constantly checking your speedo in heavy traffic is dangerous.

7. The IRG strongly opposes a TF ban in 40 kph speed zones as suggested
by VicRoads and reportedly supported MAG members Moira Stewart and Wendy

8. The IRG strongly opposes a TF ban on overtaking stationary or slow
moving large vehicles in heavy traffic such as on Hoddle Street, Melbourne.

9. The IRG strongly opposes a TF ban on riding between parked cars and
slow moving or stopped traffic.

10. The IRG supports TF bans on overtaking stationary trams.

11. The IRG supports TF bans in school zones.

12. Motorcycle & scooter riders should be permitted to use bicycle lanes
for short distances when filtering.

13. Motorcycle & scooter riders should be permitted to use most bus
lanes as interstate and overseas.

14. The IRG strongly opposes the "one metre rule" because safe distances
are covered by existing laws and overtaking at distance of less than 1
metre in heavy slow moving traffic is often the safest way to travel.

In the interests of motorcycle & scooter safety please take a few
minutes to watch these video clips.



The following clip clearly demonstrates why experienced road riders,
that is people who know what they are talking about, say TF is the
safest way to ride a motorcycle or scooter in traffic.

Restrict the traffic filtering STATUS QUO in Victoria and people will
die, especially inexperienced riders.


This video on WA Police motorcycles clearly documents three things.

First. The value of bike traffic filtering in congested cities.

Second. Mid-sized police bikes are by far the best way to enforce laws
relating to in car offences in heavy traffic. Motorcycles smaller than
the luxury tourers used by the Victoria Police handle heavy traffic
better, cost a lot less to buy and maintain and make the bike unit more
accessible to more officers.

Third. Helmet cameras are obviously a road safety asset. They are legal
for bicyclists (?) in Victoria but banned for motorcycle & scooter riders.


A car/bike crash from the rider's point of view.



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

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Tuesday, 17 March 2015


Almost as good as being there.


If you could not be at the first RIDE TO WORK BREAKFAST you can contribute with a donation.

The account name is The Independent Riders Group.

The BSB is 633-000.

The account number is 151266574.

The bank is The Bendigo Bank.

Even $5 will really help. The IRG uses the money for lobbying and events and any surplus goes to the Father Bob Foundation.

Our next major event is the TOY RUN on Sunday, December 6, 2015. We are aiming to run a huge parade of motorcycles & scooters, sidecars and trikes along the beach between Port Melbourne and Luna Park St Kilda. That takes resources, both human and cash. Please put the date in your calendar and ask your club to make it an official club run.

Membership in the IRG is FREE so we rely on donations more than anything to keep going.


Saturday, 7 March 2015


Part of making the RIDE TO WORK BREAKFAST on March 16 a success is promotion or pre-publicity. 

Most of this was done on the internet through the IRG Facebook page, the TAC Spokes website and Father Bob's twitter followers.

Traditional media releases went to newspapers and magazines too. Here are three examples of the results. The Herald Sun Cars Guide, The Senior and the RACV's Royalauto. 

Friday, 6 March 2015


Please take 3 or 4 minutes to watch this video.

It clearly demonstrates why experienced riders, that is those who know something,  will tell you traffic filtering is the safest way to ride a motorcycle or scooter.

Restricting the filtering STATUS QUO in Victoria will cost lives especially among less experienced riders.



Wednesday, 4 March 2015


If you are into, or interested in, motorcycle sport, here's a survey from Motorcycling Australia. MA is the controlling organisation for motorcycle sport in Australia. This is a great initiative aimed at finding out what grass roots riders need and want. Please take the time to fill the survey in.



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