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Public Perception - What Can We Do?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by 2wheelsagain, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. This article is on the news.com website.

    A MOTORCYCLIST was killed and a man suffered life threatening injuries in two separate early morning road smashes

    The motorcyclist died after his bike collided with a car on McKimmies Rd, Mill Park about 5.15am.

    Police warned motorists to expect delays of several hours between Betula Avenue and Plenty Rd while they cleared the scene.

    The death takes the road toll to 131, four fewer than the same time last year.
    Goes on...................

    As tragic as it is and condolences to the family this was published in the comments section.
    Where is the goverment threat to the banning of all motorcycles due to to them being potentially deadly.
    As they have been more than willing to do with events in relation to Swine Flu.
    In this case it is more severe than Swine Flu becasue someone has passed away.
    Condolences to the family and friends of the Deciesed Person.

    The poster is obviously ill informed or stirring but the site published it. I've had plenty of comments not published so there must be a screening process.
    As a demographic what can we do to change peoples attitudes?
    There was nothing suggesting the rider was doing anything wrong.

    The whole attitude sh!ts me.
    How many of us add to the perception every time we ride?

    Note: Spelling in comments unchanged.........
    Note: This is not a rider down thread :wink:

  2. As I've written before, it's been like this for over 80 years to my knowledge. The chances of effecting real change are, I suspect, limited.

    The one thing that may make a difference is simply an increase in the number of motorcyclists. If recent bike sales figures are anything to go by, this may be moving in our favour.
  3. Now THIS is where the crux of the problem lies. The Herald. They will publish what they feel is necessary to sell papers, and if that's providing ill informed news reporting and inflammatory statements from fools to create a stir and sell papers, then there's not much we can do :(
  4. For the most part you will never change the perception of riders amongst the community, especially amongst those who don't ride, at the end of day why bother? Does it really affect you that much?

    I get called a temporary Australian and an "organ doner" quite often, I have given up wasting my breath trying to change peoples perceptions, I choose to ride, everyone else can please themselves.

    Having said all that, after watching a couple of riders and their lane splitting technique on the Westgate, I am not surprised that alot of people have that perception.
  5. Like 2WA I have had many submissions rejected (mostly my print versions get published). I wonder, did I write stuff that's offensive, pointless to the issue or whatever. Then I look at what did get published. Rubbish, a lot of it. As well as flamefests between the posters.

    The Air France one was a classic. A ton of messages posted. A QF Captain who read them said they ranged from "uninformed to grossly uninformed". Particularly the comments that "maybe they swum to a nearby island".

    And so it continues with issues about road safety.
  6. This is what I wrote in response:

    "To the "Speed Kills" mantra chanters, how do you people know that in these instances that "speed" was a cause or even a factor in what happened?
    The report about the motorcyclist is also offensive as it assumes that the rider was at fault in the way that it was worded. Poor guy is no longer around to defend himself, so the police automatically assume rider fault by the way that the Police Media Unit decides to word its press releases.
    Rick the Plumber is spot on with his views. Craig in "quarantine" needs to consider his words before putting pen to paper, as it were."

    Let's see if it gets published.
  7. I don't think the perception can be changed much.
    As much as we don't want to be seen as hoons, risk takers etc it's the perception that has been drilled into us.

    We are told the motorbikes are dangerous and therefore we are risk takers.

    They publish news storys on speeding bike etc makes us hoons.

    Every time we see something / someone we automatically put a sterotype on it.

    IMHO ride how you want and f$#! what others think
  8. And herein lies the problem.

    If we overtly take risks on the roads and where the majority of road users, non-riders, can witness them, then we have a problem explaining that we ride safe. And to justify the use of motorcycles as a legitimate form of transport.

    One of the issues appears to be high speed lane splitting. Now, for those who commute not to lane split takes away the reason for commuting by bike. But when we do it it's labeled as dangerous.

    Then there's the jealousy issue. People are stuck in traffic while bikes waltz on by, not a care in the world. The drivers mutter that the riders should be stuck here with them instead of saying, "good luck to them".

    I persoanlly think that it's a mutation of the tall poppy syndrome where if we can't have something, or if we cannot achieve greatness or whatever it may be, then why should anyone else? Never mind that people choose to wallow in their self imposed mediocrity, or in this case, being stuck in traffic.
  9. +1
  10. we just have to be willing to act if there is a push to ban. so many of our freedoms get taken every day without a peep.
  11. +1

    I don't take notice of anything anymore.

    Most people get upset with bikes because they can't do what we do.

    Believe me if cars could split, they'd do it in a flash!!!

    If cars could zip around cars in the blink of an eye, they'd do it!!!!
  12. Yes and no.
    If you are naturally a safe person then you are going to ride to a safer degree then someone who isn't. IF your naturally a hoon then that's how you will ride.

    Not saying that people are naturally predisposed to riding one way or another, but people have there individual style from overly cautious to overly aggresive.

    I ride to the style that suits myself, which varies a bit from passive to a bit agressive depending on the usual factors.

    I am not going to change the way that I ride because I am worried if the volvo driver will think I am a hoon.

    I am not going to condone hooning.

    As for splitting, I do think at high speed it's dumb. Low speed slitting I don't see much of an issue with and as mentioned it's mostly the point of commuting on the bike over a car.
  13. I think they'd be hard pushed to implement any sort of blanket ban.

    That doesn't stop mung beans making laws for "our own protection" that have no tangible benefit and simply reduce the convenience or enjoyment of our chosen mode of transport / recreation. Think these things couldn't happen with little public consultation?

    No more blind eyes to safe filtering
    More speed limits like the 40kph one on the Old Pac Hwy
    Higher costs, more training / licensing requirements
    Limitations on power to weight ratios for fully licensed riders
    Maximum speed limitation devices
    Compulsory air-bag jackets?

    I almost dare not post this in case some feckwitted beaureacrat reads it and gets an idea they haven't had yet.

    The way we fight back in my mind is:
    - Exercise good judgement. Continue to improve your riding skills, ride defensively and use your noggin about where you are and who's around before twisting the wrist.

    - Be considerate. Let people into traffic, be the nicest road user around.

    - Get behind events that promote awareness of motorcycles and motorcylcing in general in a positive light. Charity rides, whatever.

    - Make your arguments about road users and behaviour with clarity, logic and without using the term "fcuking cagers"

    - Take note of legislation changes, road changes etc. Be active in contacting councils, local government, MP's or whatever in making sure that our minority group has a voice. Leaving it to someone else will not get it done.
  14. its just a knee jerk reaction. Idiots persume that motorcycle are dangerous because of the higher injury rate in accidents as compared to a prang in a cage. i bet theres more idiots crashing their cages and walking/driving away from it in a day than accidents involving motorcyclist going to hosptial. all in all bikes are better for the enviroment. no need hunking around 1ton of steel to carry 1 person, reduce traffic, uses less fuel, etc. less emissions

    i guess airbag jackets wont be compulsory, hard to enforce?
    speed limitation devices - cars dont have them yet, most hoons are in the "fully sick" cars
    TAC premiums rise?
    Prolly force people to do defensive/advance rider courses/longer restriction periods
  15. just explain to that poster, it is YOU who needs to be taken of the roads as cage drivers are the ones killing motorcycle riders for not observing what is around them, It is US who dont pollute the air and dont cause traffic jams like YOU do..

    fair dinkum, some people :)
  16. just bash him
  17. The public perception is likely to persist because motorcycling is easily identifiable, like the way others may single out 4WD's or taxi's for example (granted they may genuinely be worse in general but you get my point).

    The uptake of bikes may lessen it as will being courteous to other road users but any hard work is easily reversed by those treating the roads as their racetrack or aggressively manoeuvring through traffic (the odd nod or wave to a cager shouldn't be too hard)

    As always more consideration to the environment your riding in is the best (that you have control over anyway) that we can do IMO.
  18. fixed
  19. It's just another idiot in the letters section.

    Who cares?
  20. People have been asking for thousands of years: how do we change narrow petty outlooks?

    When the nulcear clouds of the great holocaust have cleared, the cockroaches will survive...and then, somewhere, a bigot will rise from his shelter, having outlived us all.

    Just don't read / watch these papers / shows, Herald Sun, Today Tonight, the blog rants on news sites, etc etc.