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VIC VMAC stuff for February

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by TonyE, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. A brief heads up on what came out of the VMAC meeting Monday.

    First the Community Policing and EDUCATION programme which many of the Council had some issues with when it was prematurely released. Essentially it was a major stuff up in communications with the agencies. Had we been consulted and had the opportunity to examine the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) prior to the announcement there would not have been a problem.

    I've now had the opportunity to read the MoU between VicRoads and VicPolice on this one. It's "Commercial in Confidence" however VicPol are amenable to it being published - VicRoads are taking it under consideration. I have asked that it be published because it is a really positive document and would allay a lot of the fear, suspicion and doubt that's out there.

    What I can say is that the MoU explicitly states that VicPol may NOT purchase items such as bikes, mobile radars etc out of the funding for this project. There is nothing in the MoU that I could find that is in any way objectionable. It is a very positive document - particularly refers to the education component.

    While the diversionary process in not in it as yet - it is still a "work in progress". There will need to be legislative and regulatory changes to allow for it as well as a training program to be set up.

    It looks to me as if VicPol have gone ahead with the release of this programme in good faith believing that VMAC had officially signed off on it. Hence their first operation. Future operations will be notified - the area won't be however.

    The figures of about 640 riders being stopped - as reported by the police - were exactly that. They were stopped for licence and breath tests - no rider was over .05 (almost all blew 0.0) and the number of people actually booked came to less than one per hour per cop. About 1/6 of what they would usually consider to be the normal rate. I believe a lot of warnings were issued for minor offences and people were booked only for more serious breaches (Given that the booking rate was less than half of one percent, I can well believe this).

    Car drivers intercepted for misbehaving by police motorcycles were also given a talk on why their behaviour was dangerous to motorcycles - along the lines of "I'm a motorcycle rider and what you have done could put me in danger".

    One thing the police did take on board was that they are looking at ways to minimise inconvenience for any riders - they really don't want people pulled over for a licence or breath test more than once. This is a matter of some concern and they would probably appreciate suggestions on how to overcome this. I know that there were people who got pulled over up to 3 times in that last operation and they agree that that's unacceptable.

    Part of the education program will involve 100 non-motorcycle TMU cops being put through a motorcycle awareness course at HART. I also noted that Assistant Commissioner (Traffic) Ken Lay has booked in for it as well.

    The program is Community Policing and EDUCATION - not enforcement. The Police operational name is "Yellow Flag, Black Flag" - yellow for the warning and education part - black for the enforcement part. The education for riders - until there's a diversionary part of the programme - will involve speaking to riders about their riding style and what could be done to improve it - speaking to riders about appropriate gear - handing out information and having one of their mobile command centre available at a central point in the area to provide information (if one is available - obviously none are at present) and possibly having some first aid demonstrations and other such related stuff there as well.

    There was some confusion with the information from VicRoads to the police about the naming. We (VMAC) saw the naming as being extremely important because that has a lot to do with the expecatations of the cops participating. If it's called "enforcement" they will obviously push that part - whereas if it's "education" then they will realise that's what the expectation is. The education is not just for riders - but also for car drivers who exhibit behaviour dangerous to riders, but also (as I said before) for police.

    Further to this the "Assisted Rides" tender should be announced shortly as to who will be conducting the training of up to 2000 riders - along the small group lines of the Yarra Ranges programme - and who will be doing the project evaluation and research as to the effectiveness.

    The new Victorian Powered Two Wheels Safety and Transport Strategy is very close to its final sign off and release. It covers a very broad range of areas - more than even the UK strategy and explictly covers a lot of issues that have been raised both on the various forums and elsewhere. The last draft I saw was an explicit endorsement of the fact that motorcycles and scooters have a definite place in the transport system and should be seen as part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Knowing the bureaucracyies involved, I can't give even an estimate of when it could be released but I expect it to be sooner rather than later. I have spoken to the Minister's adviser and requested that it should be issued before the end of March.

    The final thing is the DVD and book on engineering roads to be motorcycle safe developed out of the levy funding that has been released by VicRoads. This looks to be an excellent piece of work that should go out to all those involved with road engineering in Victoria (and will probably go much further than that).

    I'll post up the formal Chairman's communique when it's released.
  2. Thanks for the update Tony.

    Does a tender for the Assisted Rides program imply government subsidising the program; does funding come come out of aour TAC levy; or is it funded solely from fees paid by participants?
  3. Good read Tony thanks for the update.
  4. It is a Levy based program. It's got the on-road training program to be run in conjunction with a research and evaluation program. This part is a world first - there's been no real research to back whether this type of training is effective in the longer term.

    I haven't seen the final schedule for it but at most I would expect a small token fee - during the studies it was even mooted giving people an incentive to undertake it - but I doubt that will need to be the case. :LOL:
  5. Just my gut feeling but I suspect it would be more effective in educating riders than TAC TV ads.
  6. Everybodies gut feeling :wink:

    But we need solid evidence if we are to persuade the powers that be that this is genuinely effective. One of the problems that exists - and it's internationally, not just here, is that there is a real lack of hard evidence about a lot of things we instinctively take for granted.

    One of the things I forgot to mention in the Community Policing and Education program is the appointment of a professional analyst to closely examine data around crashes, enforcement and anything else we can find.

    Anecdotal evidence from some of the cops is interesting - such as a disproportionately low rate of scooter crashes. I'm hearing that scooter crashes are extremely rare and serious injuries even rarer - even when calculated as a percentage. This is why we need to carry out serious data acquisition and analysis to confirm of disprove these sorts of stories.
  7. Hopefully, you are all now starting to reslize what great work the riders reps on VMAC are doing for you.

    Most of what Tony has spoken about doesn't also include the hours of back room work, phone calls and emails that flashed backwards and forwards to make all this happen - with the right outcome.

    I would hate to think where we would be in Vic - if there was no VMAC.....

    And no - the rider reps don't get renumerated for the hours of their own time they invest working for you all.
  8. Probably, but the TAC stuff does get some results. Two people at my work have just got their bike licenses (one for scooter one for bike). Both of them have just this week asked me questions about protective gear and I'm sure it was due to the TAC ads. I tend to forget how little I knew as a learner until someone asks me really basic questions about things that I just take for granted.

    The research will look at details other than speed, do you think? :?
    (Excuse my cynicism, bit bleary today).

    I am somewhat mollified. I still think there is a hint of smell around but I can see really good work being done.
    BTW, the cops need to offer some kind of identifier to riders who have already have been checked so they can wave them through at the next point (sticker?) Sorta like scrutineering.
  9. titus said:
    Yeah. For example I can't see another way of trying to educate cagers to look for bikes, short of a fear campaign that motorists who don't look will get a personal explanation from the Hells Angels as to why they should.

    Still tying to figure how they would measure the effectiveness of rider training though. I imagine that riders who undertake training are already concerned/aware about safety and therefore that this would bias results.

    jdkarmch said:
  10. That's an example of why things have to be kept under wraps till the details are settled. As I've (frequently) said - the project was approved "in principle" pending things like "who's paying for the extra bikes". I was particularly concerned at the initial discussions that until it was resolved - nothing should be leaked out - because it had the potential to cause a whole lot of grief for no reason.

    Approving something in principle meant that we approve the aims and objectives - it doesn't mean that the whole package is approved - the details were still under negotiation and discussion.

    Unfortunately as you said - there are too many people running agendas that are personality based and all too often they don't understand the English language.

    The TAC stuff did get some results and got an increase in sales of protective clothing in the short term - it also led to a noticeable drop in sales for scooters over the period the ad run - and I'm told by some providers that there were fewer people signing up for learner training.
  11. So what was the motivation for the significant presence over the Supers weekend with solos and TMU at PI? I think they must have had close to every solo in the Melbourne region there.

    I note that there was also what seemed an adoption of the practices of their NSW and QLD bretheren of nit picking over irrelevant crap such as taking pics of bikes with fender eliminators and aftermarket exhausts with next to no attention given to licenses etc.

    This close to the event, I doubt any of us are aware of the outcomes but this approach does not bode well for relations.
  12. They always do have a significant presence at the Island. I know they generally try to get as many police solos there as possible.

    I'll follow up on the photography bit and see what the aim was (if possible)
  13. What that says to me is that the campaign did a good job of scaring people who weren't thinking about the dangers (good thing), without adequately showing them the solutions (not so good).

    Maybe that was the hidden agenda? I can't say, but I do think more screen time should have been given to showing the kind of gear people can use on a scooter. Many of them probably came away thinking the only option was full leathers.

    My recent personal experience has been that that new riders of all kinds don't know or consider the issue of protective gear until they either see the TAC ads, or they hit the road. The campaign is good, but it needs significant tweaking.
  14. I'm afraid after seeing some of the comments put out by people like Narelle Haworth (QUT) about "reducing exposure" (having fewer riders) I'm cynical enought to suspect that deterring people from taking up riding is part of the agenda with these adverts.

    I will also say that I'm not the only person who thinks so either - there's a few industry people who also believe that this is a part of the agenda. They are very negative adverts. If there were some positive adverts showing appropriate gear - and there is good stuff around - then I'd be a lot more comfortable with them.
  15. Thanks for the update Tony.

    I agree with Titus, the degloving ad in particular needs to show what the correct gear is, and maybe even reproduce the crash with a stunt guy in leathers, to show that there is no damage.

    Thinking about the degloving ad and its consequences, another opportunity for education is to have a scars "show and tell" at rider education sessions. Get some guys and girls along to the education who have survived crashes, and have the scars to prove it. Get them to tell a little about how it happened, and how it still effects their lives.

    I know that seeing someone with half the calf muscle missing made me think more about the long term consequences of not wearing gear all the time. While there would be a risk of people going, "oh, cool scar", when they see the results of a degloving, they aren't going to say that.

    Just an idea.
  16. I know that they usually have a few but there were much more than what I've seen over the last 7 years or so.
  17. They have an extra 10 as part of the Community Policing and Education initiative so that would account for it. I know they wanted a really visible presence at the Island - I haven't seen any of the usual "x" numbers of bikies booked to/from Phillip Island that we usually get in the media though.

    If you have any info on the photographs they were taking I'll be interested in knowing about it. I've put in an inquiry about it and passed n your comments (wihtout identifying them) - I'm interested in what the reasons are.
  18. cops at wsb

    I can tell you that if there hadn't been a cop (bike) every few metres (well, every corner) some of the drongos would have been worse than what they were.

    How about the idiot on the off road beemer who tried to lane split me and another bike INSIDE the blue line. Almost hit shoulders. Changed his mind quick for him.

    They also pulled up bikes just before bridge on way out, let me through.

    I did not see any cop behaving other than well. Plenty of mugs needed their attention though.

    I saw 10 of the beemers go through lan Lang today. Looked good, tight formation etc. Only thing missing was the dark blue unmarked beemer. Wonder where he was?

    Only thing I heard on the news was the bike down (& rider) On way out. Bad news there. News though is thin when a good event goes off but if something bad happens they are like mongrel dogs.
  19. Roger, I'll have a sniff around and pass on the info for you.
  20. and in news just in...

    with a comment from someone who was there...

    yes, i was one of those 699 odd rider's, out for a morning rush!

    friendly enough, started with the line of" not a bretho, just a licence check"


    " is this your bike"

    and then
    " where is the rego tag"
    then to cap it off,
    "ride safe, and enjoy what the island has to offer"

    mmm, plugging the island, drooling on the bike, ignored the fact that it sounds like a f16 on take off with a wobbly motor, but no, have a niceday.

    now that is enforcing the law.