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SMIDSY - Going postal

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by Chef, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. I bumped into a postie today and had a chat to him about his experiences and his Hi-Vis, interesting conversation that goes a long way to confirming what some of us already know and some are yet to learn.

    For those who aren't aware our posties now look like this...


    It's the best picture I could find after a short search but you get the idea. That pole on the back carries a flag which all posties are now required to do. The only way you could bring more attention to the rider would be to put lights and sirens on the bike.

    The postie was a nice bloke and gave me a lot of his time. I had to explain the word SMIDSY to him as he hadn't heard it before, but he knew exactly what it meant once it was described to him.

    He said that while the Hi-Vis had potentially reduced some of the instances where he wouldn't have been seen, it in no way eliminated it all together. And in actual fact even though he was more visible it is apparent some drivers will still put out across his path regardless. The respect for a motorcyclists life to some is zero, even a postie who delivers their mail. Says a lot really.

    I asked if he had any experiences of a SMIDSY and he shared his last one with me. Traveling in the left hand lane a driver pulled out of a driveway effectively cutting off half the lane. The RHL was full so he couldn't go around. He had no other option except to lay the bike down or T-Bone the car. This rider who rides professionally shattered the bones in his little finger which put him out of work till he recovered. He and the bike slid to a stop before making contact with the car, the lady driving the cage looked at him lying on the road and then proceeded to drive off.

    I thought that story was bad enough on it's own until he told me about his sister. This happened just around the corner from where I live so I know the intersection well, it's design generates a lot of bad decision making and leaves a lot be desired.

    The lady in question was sitting behind a bus waiting patiently for the lights to change. A car hit her from behind with enough force to wedge her and the bike under the back of the bus. Medically she is no longer allowed to ride a bike. The cager no doubt got a fine for failing to stop.

    What does this have to do with Hi-Vis? She worked as a postie back when orange was still the chosen colour, so she looked very similar to this...


    That was all from talking to one postie. A professional rider who day in and day out rides in all conditions and in all circumstances. I wonder how many more stories are out there?

    Auspost sends their riders for refresher training every two years.
    Auspost recommended to the parliamentary enquiry that ALL motorcyclists should wear HI-Vis.
    Auspost should talk to their riders before opening their mouths.
    • Like Like x 11
  2. Reading this I felt sick. Nothing is more wrong than to drive away after something like that; and to a good old postie who is really out there working for all of us. Only when hearing these stories can I actually believe the statement "respect for a motorcyclists life to some is zero"...

    Irresponsible drivers should be treated the same as someone that commits an assault with a deadly weapon or greivous bodily harm, which is effectively the case.
  3. As I've said before:-

    Some don't look. Some don't see. Some don't care.
    • Like Like x 2
  4. +1. Stories where drivers leave after causing an accident sicken me.
  5. 876220-3x2-340x227.

    The rsc submission from Aus post was revealing. They claim a clear reduction in reported incidents and injuries... the scuttlebut from other sources though, suggests that the safety culture has been so strongly rammed down their throats along with the hi viz get up that there's incident under reporting going on.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. theres posties out my way that pimp out their whole bike in fluro, everything.
    they are like the first thing that meets your eye on the horizon.
    i think in doing so they've made themselves a larger image of one solid colour,
    possibly a way around being mistaken in the background for a school crossing sign or something.
    but yes, theres always a percentage or drivers around you who are'nt looking.

    so many times i've seen cars completely unaware emergency vehicles behind them trying to get around.
    sirens and flashing lights and honking the horn ; but driver completely oblivious.

    worst personal experience was a driver merging into me at slow speed, forcing me into the kerb. and i was sitting right at his window, directly oposite him, holding my horn down and banging on his window.
    he did'nt even turn to look at me, just kept going.
  7. Like incidents being kept local and not forwarded to head office....:)
    Poor buggers are getting worked to the bone because they wont hire more staff.
    The flag is hopefully so they can see us before they Stop right in front of us or back over us coming out the drive. Everyone looks over their fence coming out their drive don't they.
    Shoite I forgot to ring Adam....can I do it tonight after a few :)
  8. Cars pull out in front of trucks and rear end buses. There are idiots who don't see fully marked police cars with lights and sirens going and get in the way. It's something that will never be erradicated unfortunately when you have humans behind the wheel.

    I think one of the issues with posties is they are always riding on/off footpaths etc and drivers aren't expecting someone to dart out of a driveway etc. I'd be interested to know the stats from accidents with posties. That is accidents riding on a road as per normal and those in suburbia being hit in driveways/footpaths/that sort of thing.

    However, IMO wearing hi-vis does help. It certainly won't reduce the risk to 0% (nothing will) but I believe it makes an appreciable difference to safety and visibility of a rider. I know since I started wearing hi-vis my incidents of SMIDYS have reduced considerably. That's proof enough for me to continue wearing hi-vis when I ride. Hi-vis is just part of the equation for me, along with practicing road craft, rider skills, watching every vehicle and side road on approach etc etc.
  9. Had a postie today swerve repeatedly to try and get around me whilst I was doing the speed limit in a sure urban street. Ended up going down the foot path and overtaking me that way.

    Just saying not all posties ride sensibly
  10. By the time I started the only things that weren't high vis yellow were the bags on the bike, so I can't rally compare the new and old gear and apparent visibility to cagers. I will say again that they wont see us if they don't look though. Ride like everybody is trying to kill you.

    They're beginning to push us back onto pushies anyway. One of our own union bosses called us fat and lazy because we ride motorbikes. I recon there will be no posties in 5~10 years.

    Always some idiots and assholes in any group.

    Edit no 3: those flags are great for flicking crap from trees down the back of our shirts as well btw. Some of that crap has had fangs an attitude problems.
  11. Wouldn't the biggest threat to posties be cars backing out of driveways? People aren't expecting something to pass by as quick as a postie, especially when the house has a high fence or hedge so their line of sight is markedly reduced.
  12. Ha ha add in street tyres and wet grass. And it gets pretty funny. NOT.
  13. Drew, when you donned your hi viz gear, did you change anything about your riding? Made it more defensive, even subconsciously? Did you don it about the time you were really starting to think about roadcraft and employing better tactics and strategies on the roads?

    When I cycle in hi viz my incidence of deliberate near misses goes up - stupid drivers take a fun pot shot at me. I'm going to get the go pro onto it one of these days.

    The thing with hi viz, even if a driver sees you, they have to know what to do with the information. If they don't see you as a risk (you look further away than you are) are they going to respond?? I suspect the hi viz is going to become so prevalent that drivers will eventually just not acknowledge your presence.

    Anyway, found another image of our posties...

  14. So the thread has gone from smidsy with high vis to 'its the posties fault'.

    High Vis doesnt work. People look you in the eye and cut you off. Drivers pull out in front of buses and trucks. They pull out in front of emergency vehicles with sirens and lights on. Drivers atitude needs to change. Educate the bastards that they MUST pay attention when theyre driving.
    Pushing safety onto the victims hasnt worked anywhere its been tried, why would it start now.
  15. Yes, that is a fair comment. I also have a helmet with reflective stickers and my current bike is fairly visible due to it's colour scheme.

    At the time I changed to hi-vis I had an all black bike and all black gear, typical of a lot of riders. I noticed the difference immediately with the hi-vis jacket and helmet done around the same time. It's certainly fair to say my roadcraft has also improved considerably since then as well which would have further reduced the current instances of SMIDSY.
  16. Sounds like good ammunition for splitting/filtering at the very least...

    Not wanting to go off topic, but:

    I find this bit interesting: I was taken to task as a complete noob when doing my L's course for suggesting that laying the bike down would be a good solution for avoiding an accident, & the exact situation was given as a very good reason not too, ie if a motorcycle sliding down the road stops before hitting the car, surely an e brake would also? Because the bike hasn't actually hit the car, the car is not at fault & you're left with a single vehicle accident & everything that goes along with that...
  17. A bike will stop a Lot quicker on its tyres with the brakes on than sliding along on its side.
    If someone cuts you off, hit the car. the bastards will stop and try to screw you for repairs to their car.

    If you get a chance, and you KNOW youre not going to stop ion time, aim for the drivers door, put the fear of dog into them, might make them think twice about doing it again.
  18. Except for the car backing over me. And the one that rolled side over side down the hill at me.
    Most of my incidents could have been avoided if I had more time.
    Posties have an estimated time out of the depot and one for returning. If they don't return or leave on time they have to explain why. Rain is not an excuse. They are timed for their runs at a constant ten k's an hour.
    As contractors we get paid an annual sum. tough titties if it rains or their is an election. We get paid @ 3seconds a letter box. You stall or have to stop then you have to make up that time or work for nothing.
    So basically we are timed in a perfect world scenario.
  19. *shakes head* It's funny how it works isn't it?

    Nailed it in one go mate. The assumption with cagers driving into motorcycles is they didn't see them so more visibility is needed,
    but you can't get any more visible than this...


    ...and cagers still drive their cars at them.
  20. there was an article in one of the local (oz) harley mags, quite a few years ago. The Editor? was telling the story of his trip into work that day, A driver had pulled out in front of him and caused a crash. No injury to the writer. He was driving a bus at the time.