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VIC Spur police intimidation

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by raven, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. I was out riding with another NR member on Saturday. We were heading through the black spur to marysville and beyond. As expected we were hailed by a police roadblock checking licenses and alcohol and roadworthiness. All good. They were stoping everyone, cars, trucks and bikes.

    While sitting, I heard a fairly old police officer announce to my companion who was on L's but a reasonably competent rider, that he was about to go through "the worst road in Victoria for motorcycle deaths."
    I managed to keep my mouth shut (unusual), because of the way it was said.

    It was blatantly obvious that the police were deploying scare tactics, and close to intimidation tactics to my L rider companion.
    To me it clearly sounded like they hoping he'd turn around and go back to healesville.
    They didn't try the spiel on me, but I had a pretty decent bloke who was there to do the check's and not interfere with me otherwise, which I appreciated and didn't mind

    Now, it was about 11am, only a half dozen bikes at the bakery, and we past maybe another half dozen bikes or so to marysville. In marysville, there maybe 10 or less bikes.

    FAAAAAARK. a fine sunny day which ordinarily would mean bikes in hundreds easily. So either it was just an unusual day (unlikely), or said tactics of scaing riders away from the area was working.

    And I was very angry. It's debatable if it's the most dangerous stretch of road in Vic. Given the extremely high usage by bikes, the event of accidents ought to be higher. A political bullsite tactic.

    I wonder how the businesses have been effected. It was clearly an extremely low number for bikes, and both hville and mville were eerily quiet.

    But this fairly in yr face scare tactics could easily have unaccompanied and less competent L riders turning around, I think. The tone was pretty heavy from this older cop.

    In fact... It is far more dangerous after their changes to the black spur. And next year we'll have to adder their victorious cheering and backslapping because the accident rates are down. NOT, due their brilliance, but simply because no one bothers to go there anymore.

    Totally retarded, and utterly useless.

    We added up the cost for this little roadblock. 4-5 pursuit vehicles and 3 bikes. Probably over a million dollars worth of equipment. Sending a pretty strong message. Given the lack of bike presence, no way their seniors could justify that expense.

    But I will say one important thing. It WAS good to see a "visible" police presence, instead of hidden speed camera's and jungle greens up trees, as I happen to believe that while police presence does'nt collect revenue like cameras do, it is at least an honest attempt at reminding people to watch their driving/riding etc. The primary aim isn't money but deterrence which I as a tax payer prefer their duties to focus on.

    Honestly though, this whole Nazi regime, has to stop.
  2. my biggest issue here is as you mentioned how it affected business, when it comes down to it some of these places would rely on the income that the motorcyclists bring and in that area they can use the help that money brings.
    I'm sure word of mouth moves quickly and a lot of people didnt bother going in fear of a defect like a "loud" pipe.
    To bad the local business cant invoice the police on there loss of income for the day that would move them on pretty quick.
    and i really hate the road toll stats they never give us figures of usage in areas and how bout the fact that there are more vehicles on the road then ever and instead of build better roads and making them safer they bang on about policing it and speed cameras to reduce it which is nonsense
  3. +1 on stuffing with the businesses up there that really do rely heavily on motorcyclists
  4. Haven't been up there for a while, not because I am prepared to be scared off though. It strikes me that although the sentiment from the cop is openly discouraging, it doesn't quite meet the criteria of intimidation to me.

    Openly policing doesn't bother me too much, as long as it doesn't include petty and antagonistic defecting. If anything, it's a slight improvement over recent times. It's probably a shame that the numbers are down, but then again if you are put off by a bit of negative talk then maybe the spurs are not for you?

    I'll be up there one day soon and maybe I'll have a different opinion after that.
  5. Good write up there Raven. couldnt agree more.
    But I am glad they are on the Spur, as it leaves the other roads Heather and I travel on now empty of Harrassing plods.
    The roads I ride on are as good as the Spurs, but they have 100 klm speed limits.

    I think that the Police presence on the Spurs is just a political stunt.
  6. If I owned a business up there I'd be throttling the local council members over this at every opportunity. It must be costing them bucketloads.

    No way in hell would I bother with the spurs these days, not on a weekend anyway. A cop in a bad mood (or dare I say, with a quota to meet) can always find something to defect you over even if your bike rolled out of the showroom 10 minutes ago.

    I don't mind the police doing things that actually improve safety and a bit of scrutiny comes with that but what they've been doing up on the spurs is closer to harassment.
  7. I've said it before
    If you don't get the locals up in arms about lost trade then the police have won.
    The locals are the ones who have to put pressure on the police to cut the harrassment
    The locals are suffering
    The locals need the money tourism brings in
    Get the new government involved there is a new member up that way now ffs.
  8. Good point about the new member Smee. They're a Lib as well, should be able to get a little leverage with that motorcycle tourism policy they were talking about.

    I don't think I really know anyone up that way though, other than in passing anyway.
  9. who speaks for the locals here? who knows that it's NOT them that have protested their own roads being used as a race-track?

    given the number of bikes vs the number of cars on any given road, the impact of fewer bikes on the local economy would be negligible.....
  10. Not with the spurs Hornet.

    As Raven said, it's not uncommon to see hundreds and hundreds of bikes up that way on a nice day. Or at least it wasn't uncommon. The bike crowd brought in some pretty serious cash to the area by the time we'd filled up on fuel, bought lunch, had a few coffees etc. I wouldn't necessarily say it was the majority but it would have been getting pretty close in fine weather.

    I've not seen any hard numbers since but just visually the bikes have tailed off enormously. It wouldn't surprise me if it was down 75% or more. That's going to hurt a region financially, particularly given they're still busy trying to rebuild and recover after the fires.

    You're right though, maybe the locals do want the police giving riders this sort of attention and they've every right to ask their representatives for it. I just hope they're not expecting us to spend our money up there as well.
  11. Marysville used to have hundreds of bikes in the main street, all drinking coffee, having lunch,ETC, ETC,
    Fuel, and all the other touristy things you could buy there,
    Now your struggling to get half a dozen bikes in the main street,
    Tell me that the locals dont miss the dollars that used to be spent there from passing bike riders.
    The Black and Reefton Spurs are through state forest, there are no houses, towns or people any where near them.
  12. Not to shake your tree or anything, but perhaps the nice police officer was offering a word of friendly advice to take it easy? I mean its not like youre not allowed to be on the road if youre doing everything correctly?

    I mean the police wont bother you if youre doing the right thing? Will they????
  13. What the ****....??? You guys in Vic have it really bad.. I've NEVER been harassed like that by police in NSW! Should move up to NSW, we've got better roads anyways 8-[
  14. The financial incentive only directly applies to a small part of the population. Heck, the owners and workers of the stores may not even be locals. In any case they would be out-numbered by locals who wouldn't necessarily directly benefit yet would have equal say. Trying to sell the indirect benefit is hard.
  15. It's up to the MRAV and the Advisory council I'm afraid.
  16. There are two types of locals up there: Those born and bred who make a living up there; and 'tree changers' who have retired up there and don't need the income that tourism brings.
    It's the latter group that always whinge loudly about visitors invading 'their' patch. They have the time and disposable income to get their voices heard, too.

    If a link can be made between the new minister, the local member, the motorcycle tourism policy and local business, the job will be a whole lot easier. A couple of years ago, bikes would have outnumbered cars by 2 to 1 on weekends.
  17. Disagree with you.
    The locals rely on tourism as the money brought in not only benefits the businesses as they stay in business, but also the local council which gains from rates etc.
    The workers won't be in work if there is no tourism or if it was curtailed, which it is.
    Those remaining locals would welcome the benefit to the town's coffers which tourism brings.
    You kill off a town's businesses you kill off the town.
  18. The last several times I was up there on the bike everything on two wheels was getting pulled into the roadblock and gone over with a fine tooth comb and the last time it was getting truly ridiculous.

    Rego, license, breath test, "What are you doing up here on your Ls? Don't you know how dangerous this road is?", 10 minute lecture on safety, chastised for not wearing a high vis vest, bike pawed over by two cops who clearly either had no clue or were actively trying to be arseholes, "that exhaust's quite loud sir" (it was the bloody stock one at the time), "those tyres are getting a little old" (they'd done about 2500kms), 10 minute debate about whether they should let me through etc. etc. etc. ](*,)

    I don't mind sensible scrutiny but I object to the almost gleeful hunting for something, anything, to net them a "collar".

    As such the last time I was up there on the bike is the last time I will be up there on a bike. At least until I hear word of a real change in attitude of the local constabulary anyway.

    I should add, I have to pass through there for work in the car fairly regularly and I'm yet to be bothered by the cops despite it being a little hatch with racing stripes. Go figure.
  19. Spurs I'll only do mid week. I'm fortunate to have flexible working hours and, working in Dandenong means I can knock off early do the Black and Reefton then get home and put tea on!
    Went up there a few weeks back on a Wednesday and enjoyed empty roads bar the odd truck. There's just too much to be anxious about on the weekends so we go to 'other' roads.
    I don't mind being breathoed or having the bike / rego looked at but deliberate scare tactics (which is what this sounds like given the ominous 'death road' warning) is another thing and it's not professional nor appropriate.
  20. Thanks, I needed the hearty guffaw this brought.