Independent Riders Group response to PIMSS
After months of trying to find out when the “all of government” response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into motorcycle & scooter safety (PIMSS) recommendations would be tabled, The Independent Riders’ Group (IRG) was contacted by Minister Mulder’s office at 1.35pm on Tuesday, June 11, 2013.
The message was detailed. The document would be tabled in “government business” from noon or from 3pm on Wednesday, June 12. The information was false. The document was tabled at 3pm on June 11.
The IRG issued a media release, attached, and contacted members so we could have riders in the public gallery when the document was tabled. The government response to the PIMSS directly effects rider safety and we had a right to be there when it was tabled.
Two hours later, about 3.30pm, the IRG got another call from Mulder’s office to say the document had already been tabled.
This was a once in 20 years opportunity. We were betrayed.
Many rider are not happy. It seems to us that the shift to table the document on June 11 rather than June 12, and the associated misinformation was a ploy to avoid negative publicity.
Many of the PIMSS recommendations were rejected. Others are likely to be delayed and altered to better suit VicRoads/TAC/Police agendas.
The way I see it, the “all of government” response to PIMSS does little for safety while maintaining the status quo for VicRoads/TAC/Police and it will weaken the motorcycle & scooter community in the long term.
I doubt traffic filtering (note I use the politically correct term) will be adopted in spite of the recommendation being “accepted”. As with bus lanes, they will talk about traffic filtering in private, but not in public. They will delay, or not do anything until forced to, about either of these safety and traffic flow initiatives probably because they would benefit riders. VicRoads/TAC/Police only say they have scrapped their policy not to do anything that might encourage riders.
The Motorcycle Advisory Group (MAG) at VicRoads won’t be expanded as recommended. As people like Stuart Strickland OAM and Rob Smith from Motorcycling Australia leave MAG they will be replaced with people acceptable to VicRoads.
Organisations like the Victorian Scooter Riders Association (VSRA) and the Australian Motorcycle Trail Riders Association (AMTRA) probably won’t be allowed on to MAG and the Independent Riders Group (IRG) will remain black listed.
The recommendation to abolish the TAC antibike tax was rejected. The TAC tax is morally wrong. No other form of transport suffers a punative, targeted tax like this.
The argument put by some “rider reps” that the tax gives them a budget to work for motorcycling is not even close to credible. It gives them a budget to sit on committees and do nothing but stroke their egos. These rider reps have sold out. They are most acceptable to VicRoads/TAC/Police.
The TAC antibike tax was introduced by stealth 10 years ago. If it has been working for us, where are the decade’s worth of results? While the TAC tax exists motorcycle & scooter riders will never get a real safety budget like bicycle riders get. This lack of appropriate funding for real safety research and countermeasures gets riders hurt and killed. VicRoads/TAC/Police know this.
The tax also discourages low-income riders from buying safety gear, good tyres and paying for quality machine servicing. VicRoads/TAC/Police know this.
Both Liberal Premiers, Ted Baillieu and Denis Napthine, promised to rid us of the TAC antibike tax while in Opposition. Both broke their promises.
Rejecting the PIMSS recommendation to set up an independent crash data collection authority entrenches the old flawed system and maintains the departmental empires, budgets and agendas.
An independent crash data authority would benefit ALL road users and would save the state money in the middle and longer terms. VicRoads/TAC/Police et al like to crow about their world leading road safety systems but it’s all window dressing to hide their cosy little fifedoms. Too
many rider reps see a place for themselves in those hidden communities.
Roads Minister Mulder knows very well of the problems with crash data collection. He was on the all-party Road Safety Committee that produced the 2005 report on Crashes Involving Roadside Objects. Page viii of the Executive Summary:
“The Committee noted a number of areas where crash information was missing or could be more detailed. The difficulty obtaining adequate data … is a continuing issue in Victoria, coming up time and time again in Committee inquiries. Governments agree to improve crash information, yet crash and crash risk information continues to be an impediment to the improvement of roadside safety in Victoria.”
I’d say unreliable crash data continues to be an impediment to reducing all road trauma in 2013 and Minister Mulder knows it. I think rejecting the first three PIMSS recommendations is a betrayal of all Victorian road users, especially motorcycle & scooter riders.
The transcripts of the PIMSS submissions put the problems with the current crash data system on the record for all to see.
The Next Victorian election is in November 2014. Motorcycle & scooter riders won’t forget.
We Ride. We pay. We vote.
Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders’ Group