SMIDSY - A minority report (Q) How many motorcyclists does it take to change a light bulb? (A) Heaps. But it takes a group of lawyers to switch it on! ...and that's what we have in the form of Maurice Blackburn, somebody who can organise motorcyclists to change a light bulb and then show them where the switch is. Well not so much a switch as the lever. My ears pricked up when the discussion turned towards what we all know, it's the system that's faulty. Let me draw you a picture... MUARC-TAC-VICROADS-VICPOL---> ](*,) <--- Motorcyclists That little old stonewall there is the Government, and it doesn't matter which Government as long as the bureaucrats are the ones stonewalling us. By that i mean manipulating the Government against us. Why would they do that? Self preservation, self importance and an elevated sense of self worth. It’s not about us so much us as it’s about them. Do these instrumentalities give a shit about what you think? Do they care whether you can provide solutions? Not a chance…….well ok one chance, if they can gleam anything from us that suits themselves. We’re talking about a grouping of bureaucrats that are suffering from being the big fish in a small pond……that being Victoria. A tiny little insignificant backwater part of the globe where they believe they’re world leaders in road safety. I mean come on please, I want what they’re having. The runs are on the board for the world to see, they’re failing at their self-declared grandiose claims to hold the solutions. The road toll is the score board. It hasn’t budged and it doesn’t lie unless the score keeper tampers with it. Then along comes a ‘parliamentary inquiry' into ‘motorcycle safety’. On the surface that reads as ‘how to make motorcycling safer’, but is it really? Is it just another opportunity to put forward the same good ideas that have been put forward before? The same ideas that will be rejected or ignored by the other team we’re playing against? Sure, we’ve changed the members on our team but have we changed the way we’re playing the game? We’re facing a big stone wall and if we’re not careful we’ll see it whitewashed before our very eyes. So if we can’t penetrate the stonewall who can? Well gee wiz I dunno, a parliamentary inquiry perhaps? Are motorcyclists sitting in front of the best opportunity they have to address the system that’s causing the problems, rather than addressing the symptoms? Words like unique are being thrown around as in we need a unique solution applied to motorcycling because we’re unique. I’d go one step further and say that motorcyclists are uniquely placed to provide a solution to road safety because we possess a unique insight. Right now we are uniquely placed under ‘parliamentary privilege’ to address the systemic cause of Victoria’s road safety problems. It’s not motorcyclists, it’s not drivers, not pedestrians nor cyclists, we’re just a product of our environment. We are the symptoms of a road ‘safety’ regime gone awry, the cause and the accountability lays at the feet of the ones who have created it. They are currently accountable to nobody except themselves. They are the score keepers, is it any wonder they keep declaring themselves winners. Vicpol, Vicroads and definitely the TAC are very quick to point out that the responsibility for road safety is on us, the road users. Yet they’re responsible for creating the road environment that’s dangerous in the first place, and then sending mixed messages about what the problem is. Listen to them long enough and it becomes apparent they either don’t know what the problem is or they want to shirk their responsibility for it. They cannot have it both ways. They’re the decision makers, and that makes them responsible. They either don’t know the problems they’ve caused or they wont take responsibility. This may be a parliamentary inquiry into motorcycle safety on the surface, but scratch the surface and it needs to be a parliamentary inquiry into road safety. When we’re talking about the scoreboard being tampered with, or the other team making up the rules as they go along, there’s just no way around it, it’s time to go to the referee. Motorcycling has never been safer in Victoria than it is today. That’s in real terms not in spin. Nearly double the number of riders and the bike toll has remained static over a ten year period. Shortest fucking parliamentary enquiry ever. In real terms not spin, motorcyclists are the safest road user group on the roads today so we maybe we have a clue after all. Do we possess a unique understanding of the road system, it’s dangers and the counter measures to neutralise them? We’re constantly and consistently being painted as risk takers in public now, when the truth is we’re risk managers and we’re very good at it. That clearly indicates we know a great deal about the risks and more importantly how to avoid them? Perhaps even reduce them for others? Take the issue of SMIDSY for example, we know how that works, but it affects all road users. Who knew? Is that what a parliamentary inquiry into motorcycle safety needs to discover for itself, that we are the safest road user group with a unique insight into road safety, and it’s us who hold the keys to making it safer for everybody? Dare I say it, does a further inquiry need to be made as to why the organisations who profess to have road safety as their priority, refuse to acknowledge riders in their road system, or the knowledge and understanding we possess about it? Can a parliamentary inquiry bring about the collapse of the proverbial stonewall we are all faced with? We can have all of the good ideas under the Victorian sun, but if they never make it over the wall they’re useless. And right now it doesn’t matter how high we pitch them up because they can just build a higher wall. It’s self serving and it’s self preservation for them, but to not attack the stonewall is self defeating for us. I wonder if a parliamentary inquiry into motorcycle safety can be levered to trigger an inquiry into road safety? I wonder how long we will have to wait for another inquiry to be announced? Because looking at what's come before us and looking at what's ahead of us, I don't think another one can come soon enough. Cheffie.