Monthly Archives:December 2012

Licence for road chaos.

14 Dec , 2012,
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The 4 wheeled road users see it as riders are getting in-front of them mentality, as was stated in the Victorian Motorcycle Safety Inquiry there needs to be attitude change to convince and allow them to see what filtering means to the over all traffic flow We the riders need to be the ambassadors in this message even if filtering is not being trialed in your state or territory as soon as traffic congestion comes up in conversation its our duty to put our case forward and inform the four wheeled road users what the advantage to filtering is for THEM, make THEM feel they are getting all the advantages from us riders filtering.

CHANGING the law to allow motorbikes to weave their way through stationary traffic is an accident waiting to happen.

Even more stupid is training riders to zigzag their way around cars, which is likely to add to Victoria’s road rage.

A report by the parliamentary road safety committee says it could cut travel time on Melbourne’s often gridlocked roads.

They must mean for motorbike riders who already push between cars. This is currently an offence. If it is legalised, it is likely to encourage riders to take it as a licence to weave between moving cars: “Not all the cars were moving, officer.”

Motorbikes flashing between lines of cars are a road hazard. Riders trying to zigzag through traffic, preventing cars from moving when the lights do change, will feed driver frustration. Lane changers are likely to be hit by a zigzagging motorbike, with the rider in danger of being thrown under the wheels of other cars.

This is a rush to disaster. Cars are sometimes scraped by motorbike riders who try to squeeze through gaps that are too small, revving their engines and adding to driver frustration.

The worst offenders are often bikies on big bikes with “gorilla” handlebars. Drivers are intimidated and likely to make a bad situation worse by trying to get out of their way.

The Victoria Motorcycle Council thinks it’s a good idea, but members would be better off considering the likely consequences.

Anyone who has seen a motorbike rider thrown into the air, or left sprawled unconscious on the road, will judge this as a disastrous idea and one likely to add to the state’s road toll.


RACQ TV – Driver Distraction

11 Dec , 2012,
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Driver distraction is one of the biggest issues on Queensland roads today. The latest research shows that 88 percent of RACQ’s 1.2 million members believe it’s a bigger problem now than it was five years ago. In this episode of RACQ TV, we take a closer look at what driver distraction is by identifying the issue in its many different forms and give you tips on how to avoid it.

View Video Here. 

For more information on driver distraction, visit our Road Safety priorities fact sheet at

Road age is working against born-again bikers

Dec , 2012,
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Road age is working against born-again bikers IT’S a refrain commonly repeated by the people who prepare motorcyclists for the road: to die on a motorbike, it’s not necessary to be either young or stupid. An analysis of 25 years of road-toll data ahead of a parliamentary report into motorcycle safety to be tabled in State Parliament on Wednesday shows a steady decline in the number of deaths among riders under 25, and a rise in the death toll for those over 40.


Data going back to 1987 show deaths among the younger group peaked in 1988. In that year, 36 riders aged 18 to 25 died – more than in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 combined.

In 2008, those aged 40 to 49 became the age group with the most road deaths in the state, and they have kept that position ever since.

John Tout, an active rider from Werribee in the older age group, said the increase in road deaths among his peers was likely due to a boom in motorcycling’s popularity.

”The increase in older bike deaths? I would need to go along with that simply because of the fact that there are more older people getting back into bikes or starting to ride bikes,” he said.

The average age of people obtaining motorcycle learners permits nationwide is 32, according to the Australian Motorcycle Council.

”Therefore,” said council chairman Shaun Lennard, ”there are many people in their 40s and 50s taking up motorcycles for the first time.”

Mr Tout said many riders who take a hiatus from the bike think returning to it will be simple. He said re-training is often considered too expensive and unnecessary. But returning riders are often surprised by how much traffic conditions have changed for riders, and by the power of today’s motorbikes.

Denis Paulin, national president of the Ulysses Club for motorbike riders over 40, agrees. ”The number of road deaths from motorcyclists, although it is increasing, is not rising anywhere near as fast as the number of people who are taking up motorcycling or coming back to it,” he said.

VicRoads was unable to quantify the effect of riders returning to bikes in middle age, but a spokeswoman said the trend of deaths among older riders was well known within the road safety community.

Riding instructor David McKenzie, of Motorcycle Motion in Cheltenham, said it would be wrong to assume from the figures that younger riders had lost their spunk.

”I still see the young kids coming through with the ‘let’s twist the throttle as far as it can go’ attitude,” Mr McKenzie said.

A safe motorbike rider, he said, was one who was relaxed and comfortable on the bike. Riders who were too concerned could be rigid and timid, and, thus, less safe.

”They [older riders] are aware of mortality and they are afraid of what might happen should they come off,” he said.

Transport hell: Move to copy scooter-mad Italy

5 Dec , 2012,
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For the first time motorcycle riders have been praised by a federal minister and a federal government report for helping make our cities nicer places to live in.

And in part this is because Transport Minister Anthony Albanese took a trip to Italy.

Australia’s 700,000 motorbike and scooter riders were saluted in the Government’s State of Australian Cities  Report which reviewed the condition of our 18 biggest urban areas.

They were credited with producing lower emissions than car drivers and of taking up less space on congested roads and parking areas.

“This is a massive shift in approach,” Australian Motorcycle Council chairman Shaun Lennard today told

“Just last year, the National Transport Commission released a report Smart Transport for a Growing Nation which failed to mention the growing popularity of motorcycling. Actually, it failed to mention motorcyles altogether.
“And the more people riding motorcycles, the better the traffic flows for everyone else.”

Transport Minister Albanese, who is among the new fans of motorised two-wheeled commuting, agrees.

“As I can attest from my recent trip to Italy, many of the world’s cities are thronged with motorbikes and scooters as people take advantage of this low-cost, low-energy and space-efficient form of transport,” said Mr Albanese launching the cities’ report yesterday.

“However in the Australian policy context, they tend only to be mentioned in discussions about safety.

“This can obscure the fact that they are an important and growing component of the urban transport mix at a time when congestion drags like an anchor on our time and productivity.”

The report itself said that if safety issues were addressed, “the inherent advantages of motorcycles and scooters” could see them becoming more important.

“The major advantage of motorcycles and scooters in the urban transport system is that they are very space efficient at a time when congestion is now a critical problem in cities,” said the report.

“Depending on the attitude to filtering or lane splitting, they take up much less space than other vehicles in slow-moving or stationary traffic and up to five can park in a single car space.

“Consequently, cities in Australia are following their European counterparts in encouraging their use.

“In Melbourne, for example, motorcycles and scooters can park free on that city’s wide footpaths, while in Canberra they can park free of charge in designated spaces that are plentiful throughout the city.

“The City of Sydney is implementing its Motorcycle and Scooter Strategy and Action Plan and Strategy 2008–2012 which supports the provision of low-cost and secure motorcycle and scooter parking (City of Sydney 2008).”

Bureau of Statistics figures show Australia had 511,966 motorcycles in 2007. By 2012 this had grown by 38 per cent to 709,288.

The Motorcycle Council’s Shaun Lennard said almost all official reports on alternative and more sustainable transport choices refer to the same trilogy – public transport, cycling and walking.

“Motorcycles give people greater personal mobility choice, and the ability to get from your start point to your destination efficiently,” Mr Lennard said.

“There have been encouraging signs in some parts of the country. Sydney City Council for example has a policy that encourages motorcycle use. But to really work, this needs to be lead at a state and federal level.”