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MccOfNSW requires some help - please fill out the survey.

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by Kaer, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. MccOfNSW requires some help. If you can fill out the following survey and send it back to mccofnsw@ar.com.au that will be great.

    If you want, you can post your results in this thread, but still can you email it to mccofnsw@ar.com.au

    -----Original Message-----
    Sent: Tuesday, 31 January 2006 12:44 PM
    Subject: [Mcc-delegates] Court Decisions - Questions


    QUESTIONNAIRE ON CONSEQUENCES FOR CAR DRIVERS

    Riders views are being sought by the NSW Attorney General's Department. I urge you all to respond. Please take the time to consider the questions below and provide answers.

    Return them to the MCC of NSW at the above email address for on-forwarding. (mccofnsw@ar.com.au) Closing date for comments is the end of February.

    If you do not wish to be identified, write "REMOVE MY IDENTITY" across the top and I will strip out your comments to a plain file.

    We are working with a "Conference Facilitator" from an external law firm, provided to us by the Attorney General's Department in a this program to assist the Court in understanding the views of the motorcycle community.

    This follows from what many riders feel was a very poor decision in a recent Court hearing, where the at-fault car driver walked away with no penalty at all following a serious crash in which he permanently maimed a rider.

    Quoting from the AG's request: "One pertinent issue is the lack of validation for the experience of a victim indicated by the outcomes of the criminal justice system and the attitude of the media. This is a widespread problem relating to many different types of offences".

    In a parallel program, the MCC of NSW has been invited by the AG's Dept to participate in a pilot program referred to as "restorative justice through offender/victim conferencing". This is where we will work through some practical examples before the Courts, taking a role as advocate for riders.

    Please provide constructive answers to the following questions. Remember, non-riders haven't got a clue for some of these.


    [1]
    In your experience as a motorcyclist how do you know with certainty when a car driver has become aware of you?




    [2]
    What methods do you use to bring a car driver's attention to you?






    [3]
    What are the major hazards that you are constantly alert for - in relation to both road condition and other drivers?




    [4]
    For those who have been injured by the negligence of a car driver, were you given an opportunity to submit a victim impact statement to the court?




    [5]
    In around ten words, what is the major message you would like to convey to car drivers?




    [6]
    In addition to sanctions such as fines and licence disqualification, what else would you like to see imposed on a negligent car driver that would actually address the suffering caused to a victim and make the offender more aware of motorcyclist issues?



    [7]
    Given your intimate knowledge of motorcycling, you may also have a question or two that will help shed more light on the motorcyclist's experience for the benefit of an offender. If so, please add them.

    Further questions may be circulated.

    - end -
     
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  2. A quick stab:

    [1] In your experience as a motorcyclist how do you know with certainty when a car driver has become aware of you?

    Eye contact is usually certain, although I still treat myself as invisible until I see a definate commitment from the vehicle itself - either moving over, braking, dropping of hands from the wheel if they're waiting for me at an intersection, that sort of thing. I can only REALLY be certain they've seen me if they're yelling or gesticulating. :)

    [2] What methods do you use to bring a car driver's attention to you?

    I try to be very aware of blind spots and stay out of them by accelerating to be just in front of the car beside me on a multi-lane road. I try to keep moving in traffic, changing lanes frequently and moving up where possible as an active road user is much more noticeable than one who sits in line and stays static within a block of moving traffic. When I see a car wishing to turn into the street I'm driving on, I change my lane position to be running as wide as possible, both to increase my buffer zone if I haven't been seen, and also because this reduces the motion camouflage effect when an object is driving straight at you. I use the odd blat of throttle when lane-splitting to let a car know I'm coming through. I wear brightly coloured gear and keep my bike shiny! At night, I deliberately weave slightly to alert oncoming cars that the single headlight approaching them is not connected to another headlight they can see behind me.


    [3] What are the major hazards that you are constantly alert for - in relation to both road condition and other drivers?

    Surface irregularities on the road are forefront in my mind - they let me know how much ability I've got to throw the bike around in the case of an emergency. Water, slippery white lines, gravel, cracks and potholes all fall in this category. As far as other drivers go, you learn to look as much at the driver as at the car. Mobile phone users are extrremely common, people eating, conversing or dealing with kids are also to be avoided. I keep an eye out for aggressive or irregular driving and try to anticipate when other traffic is going to change lanes, overtake, brake etc by watching the road ahead. I steer clear of P-platers who tend to be aggressive drivers without a lot of skill, and certain makes and models of car seem to inspire road vigilantes and traffic-light drag racers who will give a bike a hard time for lane-splitting etc. or create dangerous situations.


    [4] For those who have been injured by the negligence of a car driver, were you given an opportunity to submit a victim impact statement to the court?

    n/a


    [5] In around ten words, what is the major message you would like to convey to car drivers?

    Ride a motorcycle for a while, it'll make you a much better and sharper road user.


    [6] In addition to sanctions such as fines and licence disqualification, what else would you like to see imposed on a negligent car driver that would actually address the suffering caused to a victim and make the offender more aware of motorcyclist issues?

    I can't comment on that, nothing apart from a large amount of experience of riding on the road and feeling completely invisible, vulnerable and yet in control of the traffic would make any difference to the mental model of the car driver. It's the nature of driving in such an isolated coccoon. As far as addressing the suffering of the victim goes, the same principles apply as for any other crime - the punishment needs to be appropriate in the eyes of an independant observer and can't be made proportional to the perceived suffering of the victim. Fair's fair.

    [7] Given your intimate knowledge of motorcycling, you may also have a question or two that will help shed more light on the motorcyclist's experience for the benefit of an offender. If so, please add them.

    Nothing apart from the daily exhiliration of the morning motorcycle commute could possibly illuminate what a chess game it is to ride in traffic, and how much concentration and awareness is required. Other road users should view motorcyclists with respect - we're risking and sacrificing a lot more than them in our choice of transport, and we're much more likely to be awake and aware on the road than the average cage driver.
     
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  3. I neglected to add there that I also make a lot of assumptions based on what drivers look like - age, sex, clothes (particularly baseball caps!) and er, yeah, the odd bit of racial predjudice are all very handy indicators of how you can expect a driver to behave.
     
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  4. Done & emailed
     
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