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VIC What question would you want VicRoads or VicPol to answer re FNPs?

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by rider5, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. Some further thoughts on FNP

    Currently we are making an assumption that the driver for FNP is that gantry mounted cameras that shoot oncoming vehicles on freeway are not detecting motorcyclists and the solution would be to turn the cameras around.

    I strongly suspect this is in fact a tiny part of the issue for the gun toting, camera loving enforcers and we are collectively barking around the wrong tree. My suspicion is that most of the oncoming motorcyclists that get their picture taken are in fact snapped by roadside cameras that normally enjoy a double whammy of productivity with our old mates the car drivers. These cameras obviously take picture of car rear numbers travelling away from the camera in the lane nearest and of course those approaching in the outer lane.
    The question then is would FNPs actually solve the problem and catch those naughty fun loving types on motorcycles in the oncoming lane?

    Let’s take a hypothetical and imagine for a moment that FNPs are in and we have three different motorcycles, a trail bike with one of those high front guards and plastic headlight surround. A naked bike like an XJR1200 with conventional guard and headlight with clocks mounted above and behind the light and finally a nice GSXR600.

    Our trailbike can have a funky number sticker on the headlight surround or Priceline ‘special offer’ style bracket and holder screwed to the front guard. The XJR has a bracket and plate holder screwed to the guard which required a trained Gibbon from VicRoads drilling two holes through the plastic of the guard and affixing the bracket with two self tapper screws whose pointy ends are now rubbing a new tread pattern in the front tyre on the inside of the guard.

    Alternatively there’s a nice arrangement of aerodynamically tested and ADR approved multiple brackets that lift the plate above or in front of the clocks. These are of course attached by the same Gibbon and you have paid $138 plus a special levy for his skill and expertise.

    What’s that you can put your hand over it to escape detection? You villain, surely you wouldn’t so something so dangerous, you can ride with one hand? – no stop it! Anyway, finally we come to our GSXR which has an attractive looking sticker applied across the screen by a VicRoads trained Gibbon. It’s slightly off centre and at an angle that makes the bike look like you made the whole thing at lunchtime. This of course can also be covered by your hand should you wish too, but hey, let’s not let that get in the way of a knee jerk reaction.

    It’s possible that the self-same Gibbon that also has a certificate for the use of power tools obtained through a special handling course may have decided that the same bracket and plate holder used so effectively on the XJR would suit the Gixxer. Having run out of self tappers, this entailed taking the guard off so that the nuts needed to secure the unplated 10mm bolts could be tightened on the inside. The guard that then no longer fitted without fouling the tyre had to be remounted higher which involved more drilling and more 10mm nuts and bolts and resulted in shocking vibration at 5000rpm and a strange weave at 100Kph.

    Of course, the camera cunningly deployed in front of a Toyota Camry on a straight stretch of road that has recently had its speed reduced from 70 to 60 for no other reason than, well it seemed like a good idea at the time, can now in theory catch the motorcycle miscreants in the oncoming lane. Or can it?

    We’ve already determined that a rider wishing to evade detection can simply cover the numbers with a hand in all cases with a plate mounted close enough, but is that what will happen? I suspect that most riders don’t know they’ve been snapped by a roadside in the other lane however, the small size of the numbers and the distance away from the camera will certainly reduce the capability of the camera a fair bit, add in a bit of road dirt and some bugs and things get even harder. As for the sportsbike that has a sticker angled mostly at the sky, that’s not gonna be an easy pic to read that for sure. It really is a bollocks idea isn't it?

    The FNP thing has a lot of issues and raises a lot of questions, the first of which in my mind is “who do I sue if this thing makes me crash?” After all unlike a car that has been designed to carry a front plate, my motorcycle which is the product of lots of R&D by very clever engineers - hasn’t. Then of course there’s “who will be qualified to fit the plates/stickers and how much is that going to cost me?” “What safety testing has been done to ensure that MY model of bike won’t be adversely affected?” “What do I do about the damage to my motorcycle resulting from the fitment of these things – who will compensate me?”

    It’s certain that the likes of VicPol, TAC et al will point to Singapore and India and say that ‘they have them’ – really, we really want to emulate the driving conditions of those countries? I thought we were supposed to be at the cutting edge of road safety, just remind me, how many riders are FNPs saving in India?

    Of course it’s going to be easy to slap a sticker on a police bike to ‘trial’ the effectiveness, but this is a complex and costly solution to a problem that represents a drop in the ocean of a highly questionable larger problem.
    Personally I think that we as road users have a right to know that ANY device that may or may not be affixed to our single track vehicles has been properly tested on all current motorcycles and any future motorcycles. That’s why we have ADRs. There is no way that manufacturers will make a special range of motorcycles with aerodynamically tested fixture mounts for FNPs just for Victoria or indeed Australia. The stats are one thing, but we should be asking the obvious questions that relate to the practicalities of a very impractical proposition.

    What question would you want VicRoads or VicPol to answer?
    • Like Like x 5
  2. No, that's because it will be the importer's responsibility to either develop something themselves or put pressure on their supplier to develop something.

    It's not that dissimilar to the situation in the 90s where ADRs required side intrusion bars, but Japanese laws did not - meaning a lot of cars imported to Australia had to have these fitted locally.

    What it may mean however is a reduction in the range of bikes available, especially niche models, or an increase in price.
  3. Rider5, I'm afraid the camera commissioner found your logic that a front plate wouldn't be perfectly photographable as "elusive".

    Good question about Singapore. I've been chatting with some folks on their largest bike forum. Singaporeans rarely get a chance to get any speed up, rarely above 90km/h so they tell me, so FNP's doesn't bother them. Which explains why the old mudgaurd bolted on FNP's survived the cull, as these things would work harden with vibration, break off and injured the rider... so the drive to remove FNP's never came.

    They also don't have a speed camera enforcement centric system so the accuracy and optical clarity of FNP's is less important than just some kind of frontal ID.

    They have a requirement for FNP as either a sticker of a certain size that can be fitted anywhere on the front screen, or a plate which is typically fitted to the lower triple clamp below the headlight on naked bikes. This plate can definitely interfere with air flow or suspension travel, but given their low speeds, they aren't fussed.

    Singapore is NOTHING like Victoria on many levels. Why have Vicroads/agencies lead with their glass jaw referencing a jurisdiction like Singapore then?

    What agenda is really at play here?
  4. let's start with the simple ones. exactly what were the situations where the camera failed to capture the motorcyclist's plate? and I mean exactly. that way we understand genuinely if it's an issue that will be fixed by making a change to the motorcycle or if it really is to do with camera methodology
  5. Good question.

    Will TCO allow the data to be independently reviewed?

    Is the claimed 60% of failed identifications a trend or an isolated event?

    What are the yearly failed detection percentages, numbers of cameras and numbers of hours of fixed and mobile camera operation figures since camera enforcement was initiated?
  6. IMO you have to undermine their belief that fear of enforcement will create universal behaviour change. If not, it will be RFID instead of FNPs.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Also, it's been stated that the % of missed "revenue possibilities" for motorcycles is 60%. Rob showed that 60% was both front AND rear. (I believe). So, 30% front only. As all motorcycles have a rear number plate, roughly in the same spot, yet it STILL can't be seen all the time, it's clear that the front having a plate is NOT going to mean a 30% increase if MC fines. Add to that the massive issues as already stated in the OP, and it's likely to be a very low % indeed. Surely they're not stupid enough to buy the "stop speeding Motorcyclists" bullshit? There MUST be some other issue at play here. Compliance? Surely.

    I guess my question would be:

    Since it's clear that front number plates on motorcycles is an unworkable solution as has already been shown in a recent study by Vicroads, and the raw numbers or motorcyclists "getting away with it" is actually VERY small in the scheme of things, (something like 0.4%) what is the REAL reason for this push that is potentially likely to make many motorcycles unstable and unsafe?
  8. Any more for any more?
  9. why do you have your heads in your arse?

    seriously though i'll come back with a better one.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. i don't have a question for them.
    but my answer is no, i won't be retro fitting one to my bike out of consideration for my own safety.
    i doubt anyone else would actually do that either.
    if they introduced riding motorcycles of cliffs, i would'nt actually do that either.

    you can't just pass a new law that no-one would comply with. for example, if a law was passed that you must now carry all scissors pointy end up while running. no-one can actually comply with the law.
    that dose'nt make them criminals. it's just a bad law.

    point being, if no-one would actually comply in real life, why even bother introducing them.
    i just see it as fear mongering, because it's not actually doable.

    they know this. been down this path before. exhausted all options.
    wasted enough taxpayer money on it allready. i hope heads roll for trying to waste more, once again.

  11. Agree. Rollout of plate recognition to serve a number of purposes. And that figures cited have been skewed (inflated) by operations specifically targeting MCs.

    - Why are 8,051 MC failed detections rated a higher priority than 71,425 CAR failed detections (total figures, TCO/VicPol 2011)?

    - 67,519 cars vs 3,848 mc unreadable.
    What are the issues, in order of priority, concerning ability of technology to read plates?

    - 4,203 MC no number plate vs 3,906 car no number plate.
    What’s the breakdown in these figs between front plate vs rear plate of cars vs mc?
    Previous stats have approx. 50% for MCs applying to rear plate.
    Why is 2,101 a higher priority than 3,906 cars?

    -Why does no front plate capture for approx. 2,101 MC rate a higher priority than the far higher quantity of unreadable plates, in particular cars (67,519)? (Same end result, id failure)

    - Why is FNP for MC being publicly promoted as a priority higher than rider/driver training?

    - Do all – or a majority - of rider accident/fatalities occur at speed camera locations?

    Speed cameras only detect when exceed legislated limit – not the vagaries of inappropriate speed.

    - How many rider accidents occur, where rider is deemed primarily at fault, in excess of legislated limit, in speed camera locations?
    And how would a front number plate prevent such events occurring? Especially in view of the high volume of ‘unreadable’ plates?
    • Like Like x 3
  12. I have a question for them.

    Can you please publicise 2 maps for us?

    1: Accident/fatality blackspots.
    2: Locations of fixed speed cameras.

    Not a lot to ask for really.
  13. I think that most people are barking up the wron tree here with FNPs. Titus is correct. They won't get FNPs in because the road safety engineers who write the ADRs will knock it back from a safety standpoint (however, I do believe that we should still stand united against FNPs, so they don't think we've backed down).

    The thing that they really want to get in is radio ID systems. The reasons for pushing it for motorcycles is that it's a smaller trial group for them to iron out any bugs (compared to cars, trucks, buses, etc), and there's a clear "reason" for pushing the idea because bikes aren't identifiable from the front, making them a clear target that the rest of the motoring public will say "yeah, stick it into their machines - they shouldn't be able to get away with more than we can." Of course, we've already seen the Department of Justice starting to stir up trouble in this respect (see the thread on the Victorian road safety survey if you don't know about it).

    If the boffins are talking about FNPs, then we should assume it's a smoke-screen to flush out our arguments against them, only to hit us in the back of the head with RFID. They're not stupid. They know exactly what they're doing. To them, it's just a game of chess to get what they want, except the game is stacked in their favour.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. "So if you really want RFID why don't you just say so - were not stupid."

    Oh sorry I forgot they don't do truth all that well.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. 3% of registered vehicles in Vic are motorcycles but only 1.4% of vehicles detected speeding are motorcycles. We are in fact under represented in speeding detections. (The 1.4% comes from the 2010 vicpol figures presented in their addendum to the enquiry. I think Rob at MA has it at 0.8%)
  16. Danny,

    Clearly the powers that be haven't had that civil liberties / lack of privacy discussion with the Australian public so we're the pointy end that needs to expose it and put it on the table.

    The thing is, they are using a bogus road safety argument, so knee capping that argument robs them of credibility making their arguments all the more harder to ply.
  17. 0.8% related to total unidentified motorcycles from all causes, as compared to total car detections.
  18. But surely, the powers that be aren't interested in limiting our civil liberties, and nor are they interested in invading our pricacy... [with a sarcastic tone]... Indeed, Rob, indeed! Motorcyclists are the test case, and (dare I say it) they want to get a legal precedent so they can put RFID devices into all vehicles (maybe also with remote control over certain vehicle operating parameters - eg: lock doors and slow down to a stop - it's already in use in some cars in the USA). Divide the motoring public against each other, and conquer... ](*,)

    Yep. I see your point. I stand duely corrected!