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VIC Victorian Motorcycle Advisory Council

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by TonyE, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. OK...
    we finally have prevailed on communications at VMAC and there's going to be an official communiqué from the chair (Neil O'Keefe) after each meeting.

    This one is still in draft form so I've left bits off that have been queried by some of the members (officially it's not for release yet but I'm jumping the gun a little)

    The stuff in italics is the official statements. What's under it is my comments...

    Victorian Motorcycle Safety and Transport Strategic Plan

    VicRoads is convening a workshop in late June or early July to further shape this plan. VMAC members will be invited to participate. VMAC would like to see more emphasis on motorcycles and scooters in the transport mix as well as the inclusion of off-road riding issues.

    This is a major win. What it means is that for the first time in Australia we have a state roads authority that is prepared to look at motorcycles and scooters as something other than a "safety" problem. With a transport strategy in the offing it gives us the opportunity to raise issues like road sharing (including bus lanes, filtering, advanced stop lines etc.) and ways to take advantage of what powered two wheelers have to offer.

    Mopeds and licensing

    VMAC decided to await more information on the involvement of scooters in crashes before determining its position and advising the Minister on licensing requirements.

    There has been a levy funded research project on this. The report is due to presented and discussed at the next meeting. Hopefully we will finally have some definitive information which can be used to feed into the decision making process about things like licencing and training.

    Front identifiers for motorcycles

    VMAC was advised that a proposal on front identifiers for motorcycles has not been put forward to the Australian Transport Council and therefore no decision has been made on the future of this matter.

    Any decision will be made by the ATC - not by an individual state. The fact that no proposal has been made is in fact a very good thing. It really looks as if the work that the AMC has been doing has been been successful and that this is now dead in the water.

    Community policing and enforcement

    The "community policing" project aims to increase the number of police motorcycles in action as part of a strategy to increase driver awareness of motorcyclists in general.

    In relation to "policing" of errant motorcycle rider behaviour, the project also includes a substantial shift in emphasis in the police motorcycle unit from direct enforcement to training, information and education of riders to improve behaviour, skills and safety awareness.

    VMAC is continuing to work with Victoria Police and VicRoads in refining the development of the education and training package and the funding proposal for additional police motorcycles.

    In this regard, it was noted that there was strong opposition from motorcycling organisations to the use of Motorcycle Safety Levy funds to purchase motorcycles for Police. A range of alternative options is being explored.

    Under the regulations for the levy there must be an enforcement component. However there's enforcement and then there's enforcement. What we are looking at is something with a serious educational component - not (as was mooted some years ago) buying radars for cop bikes.

    Yes - there's an aim to have more police motorcycles on the road so they can carry out this project. No we don't want it paid for from the levy - and we can pretty well guarantee that it won't be. This project is still under debate and still needs refinement. Part of this MAY involve putting non-riding cops through some basic motorcycle training and education about motorcycling. Nothing is set in stone for this project yet and there some other ideas and suggestions that still need to be examined.

    There still needs to be assurance about on-going funding (non-levy), police co-operation and how it will all work. Inspector Miller - thep olice rep on VMAC - has already promised a shift in emphasis by the police motorcycles to targeting car behaviours that negatively affect motorcyclists. There are also other educational and diversionary aspects proposed that may form part of the community policing proposal.

    Assisted Rides project
    VMAC endorsed funding of the Assisted Rides project which will develop a curriculum, and trial and evaluate an on-road rider assistance program. It was agreed that the program should recruit participants throughout the calendar year.

    This is a major project - based on the assisted rides concept in the past couple of years in the Yarra Ranges, it will involve up to 2000 riders. The evaluation part of the project will require a lot of work but it will be a world first. No one has carried out this sort of on-road training and evaluation before. Hopefully some preliminary work will start once the curriculum is developed before the end of the year. Where, when and how is still being developed.

    VicRoads membership
    The VicRoads road safety representative on VMAC is now Mr David Shelton, Director Road User Safety

    This is a big jump in the priority that VicRoads has assigned. We've moved from a middle management representative to a senior management representative. Our input is now being taken a whole lot more seriously. When I rang and left a message that I wanted to discuss the EastLink barriers, I got a return call from senior management within 5 minutes. They are taking the issue of these barriers very seriously and I hope to have more information next week.

    The rider and industry group has largely prevailed in the matter of levy funds for on-road treatments and money will go into the "off road" works (for example the assisted rides program).

    There are several major projects under consideration at present and there are some significant proposals being put. Hopefully they can be covered as they come up.
  2. If an enforcement component must be included then the answer is simple.
    The Levy can be used to purchase 1 ball point pen to be used by VicPol for the purpose of writing infringment notices. At 12 month intervals the pen should be presented (with a list of TIN's written with that pen) to the VMAC for inspection and assessment of it's condition. If VMAC deem it necessary during these inspections they will provide a refill of ink. Should the pen be damaged in any way then it would be VicPol's responsibility to replace the pen. Offering them any more than this would be offensive to all riders. Personally, I see it as being generous and VicPol should be fcuking grateful for the offer. Policing is funded by the government, not motorcyclists.

    With regards to scooters/mopeds, which one of the 2 is the focus of discussion? Scooters require a motorcycle license anyway. Mopeds are not charged the levy as they have less than 125cc and are classified as bicyles so they shouldn't be relevent to levy spending should they? :? Are there some thoughts that scooters should be subject to differing license requirements to bikes or are mopeds likely to become considered motorcycles and thus require a license? If the latter is the case, then does this mean the levy will soon be applied to bikes under 125cc? :?
  3. Seany
    did you even read what the community policing proposal actually is. It is NOT about direct enforcement against motorcycles. Go off and have a look at some of the UK BikeSafe programs to see the sort of thing that's possible.

    As for the scooter study - VMAC's terms of reference are for all powered two wheelers. This is a study that had unanimous support from every rider and industry person on VMAC. Even from industry people who don't make scooters - even from implacably prejudiced riders who would never be seen dead on one. Why - because they are still a part of the powered two wheeled community...

    Until we have information we have no idea what sort of licensing regimen needs to be applied - some states have separate automatic licences, others have 50cc scooters on a car licence. No one knows if this is good bad or indifferent. What we do know is that their use is growing at an even faster rate than motorcycles and more knowledge is sorely needed.
  4. TonyE this looks like good news for us riders. Keep us updated :)
  5. Yes. I also read your statement that it must include an enforcment component. My suggestion I feel is sufficient for this component. Certainly it is far more appropriate than funding police bikes or radars, is it not? Of course it is. :)
    So you're saying that it is possible that licenses might eventually be required for mopeds, treating them as motorcycles rather than as bicycles?
  6. Now this could be dangerous and have unintended consequences depending on how it's drafted.
    We don't want a licence / rego required for "all" motorised vehicles, or those under 50cc.

    This would then capture all the little kiddy bikes etc.
    (OK maybe I'm paranoid)

    As far as "enforcement", I'm split here.
    If it is "educational" and assists bikeriders I have no issue.
    (EG booking / warning cars on the freeway who endager riders).
    If it's punative (new radar, bikes etc) no way and I'll be there at the stockades with the rest!
  7. I can confirm that the "enforcement component" is educational, and if it were to be punative that MRA would certainly be strongly opposing it.

    The Police have a senior member rep on VMAC. The enforcement component represents the role that the police play in road safety (and whether we like it or note, they do have an overall role). This one is always going to be contentious - but, the police are an important source of stats and other handy information - to not include them in the overall package would be pretty silly.

    The police can play an educational role, both to riders individually and to the wider public via what they say when reporting accidents and what they say about our roads in general. More bike cops on our roads - to catch errant car drivers makes sense to me. Bike cops are far more versatile than their car cousins, especially when it comes to Mobile Phone using car drivers etc...

    Will more bike cops have an impact on riders? Only if riders flout the law.....

    I have sat through a 4 hr presentation/discussion/briefing on Community Policing. Its a pity that many more of you can't be exposed to that - your comments/remarks would be very different if you had had that experience......
  8. This is all very encouraging, thanks for the update.

    Just one comment, relating to this:

    and this:

    I can think of no reason why the "shift of emphasis" referred to by Inspector Miller should be only on the part of police motorcyclists. There are more police cars on the road than police bikes, after all. I think it's great that non-riding police will be given some education about bikes, but it would be nice to think that when they're out on the roads they'll also be directed to look out for "car behaviours that negatively affect motorcyclists".
  9. Thanks John, all sounds reasonable, but a query on front plates, wasn't the subject dropped previously and resurected.
  10. because that's who he's in charge of... :wink:

    And because they should have a good idea of what behaviour to target.
  11. They already are - after the problems with pocket bikes the law in Victoria was changed making anything with two wheels and a petrol engine a motorcycle. Only something with an electric motor under 200w, and pedals, can be classed as a bicycle.

    Edit: Having a separate "moped" licence for small capacity bikes/scoots would make sense - in fact that was the conclusion of a Government funded study conducted 15 years ago :roll:
  12. Victoria was commissioned/funded by the Federal Govt to develop the Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS). That process was finalized last your with the publication of the final draft in 2007.

    It was the final draft which generated yet more activity inside VMAC and brought the issue back to the boil again. Minister Pallas has been told in no uncertain terms by VMAC of the implication should FNP be brought in.
  13. Good work lads, especially good news to hear the FNP rally dying down.
  14. JDK, just a suggestion, whats to stop Vicpol running some training / social days with interested riders?
    (Like they do in the UK I believe).

    EG: A 2hr talk / lesson from a bike copper and then a ride to a destination (short) followed by say a meet and greet. Much like the Yarra Ranges ride days.

    Just my 2.2c (inc GST)....
  15. They still need money to pay for resources to throw at such an activity. Vicpol already have an overextended budget, which doesn't allow for little extras like this. So, if it is deemed appropriate - then it must be paid fo from somehwhere...

    But, if you mean is this what the Community Policing will involve - then you are right on the money. It will be just like in the UK to some extent.
  16. Excellent work, Tony.

    It's a shame that I couldn't use this two days ago...
  17. Surely the extra revenues they have raised over the last 6 months in directly targeting bike riders (black spur, most country roads, freeways) could be offset against the cost of such programs. And I'm sure the cost is possibly less than the revenue they have generated from Bike riders of late.
  18. Yeah - you are dreaming - aren't you :LOL: :LOL:

    The whole pint of paying a fine - is that you are paying for it to do nothing special (its part of the punishment - not acknowledging that your money will be used for some good.... otherwise we would feel good about paying fines - and the punishment effect would be lost).
  19. Some minor input from me as well:

    I don't think this is a strong enough position. We need a more positive result.

    As touched on earlier, not submitting an unpopular proposal because it would probably be defeated means that proponents of the change can introduce the proposal at some time in the future, when they think they have a better chance of getting it through. This is a common tactic for those who wish to impose what they know will be an unpopular change. They keep at it until no-one is left to stand up against it. A defeated proposal sets a precendent, requiring at least a new justification for the proposal in future. Ideally, defeat of a proposal would result in the creation of a policy, which would be much harder to change in the future.

    The statement "therefore no decision has been made on the future of this matter" shows that those involved in producing the wording are leaving the door open for the change to be reviewed in the future.

    Perhaps the FNP proposal should have gone to "Final Report" stage, instead of endless drafts, and then been defeated?

    Or perhaps Tim Pallas should make his position public, and set a policy in writing on future use of a FNP. I don't think this would be a law, but there must be an appropriate place to document such policies so that they are followed in future?

    I would like to see a more postive statement, and a policy that FNPs will not be introduced at any time.

    I am also very uncomfortable with the idea that any part of the levy should be used for any enforcement that would result in any motorcyclist being booked or prosecuted for any infringement of the law.

    I much prefer the idea that the levy be applied to more solid motorcyclist safely measures, such as edge of road line marking, corner widening and visibility improvements, eliminating sources of gravel on roads (driveway paving three metres in, for example), roadside furniture improvements, and so on.

    The exception I would find acceptable is the education of Police in motorcycle lore, for want of a better word. Why do we split? Why do we take of from the lights fast? What is safe on a motorcycle, although completely unsafe in a car? Perhaps some more consistency in interpretation of an offence, like splitting, when booked as "passing to close to a vehicle" or "passing on the left of a vehicle" etc. Maybe even educate how hard it is to move safely in traffic while never exceeding the posted limit by more than three kilometres per hour? Certainly teach them that speed (in short bursts particularly) and agility are safety tactics for a motorcyclist, and allow these as defense for minor speeding instances. (A camera doesn't know you just dodged someone who tried to merge into the side of you, only that you were 15 Kph over the limit when it snapped your picture.)

    But we certainly do want the Police involved, and contributing, to improving motorcyclist safety.
  20. Unfortunately for the police - they don't directly get the revenue they raise. It goes into overall government income. Like all other parts of government they have to compete against schools, hospitals, roads, politicians salaries etc. for their fair share of the income.

    As for the FNP's - it's not really up to VicRoads. The decision to put it up is taken by the Australian Transport Commission. VicRoads contracted to carry out the study and it's not up to them to go public if it's a Commonwealth project. Feedback we've had is that the Commonwealth really does not want to proceed with this project (initiated by the previous government) and is looking for the best method of disengagement.