VicRoads ‘survey’ an expensive crock

If you live in Victoria, you may have noticed a lot of publicity and email flying around about a new VicRoads ‘survey’ on road safety.
Here’s an example:
“If you want to:

  1. Be FORCED to wear high visibility clothing – standards yet to be determined;
  2. Be forced to screw a numberplate onto the front of your bike – simply because VicRoads have their cameras facing the wrong way;
  3. Be further restricted in riding you motorcycle, under the guise of policing unsafe behaviour;
  4. Have you licence (car and bike) cancelled for LIFE on your 75th birthday; then


“BUT if you have ANY objections to the above then PLEASE go to the web site  and follow the links to complete the survey on road safety.  In particular, take time to read and complete the sections relating to cyclists and motorcyclists.

 “Just remember – if you do not agree with the proposals or the “inferred” proposals, say NOTHING that could be taken as agreement.”

That may sound a little hysterical, but it’s not that far off the mark. VicRoads is proposing 140km/h speed limiters on all vehicles, automatic licence cancellation at 75 years of age, compulsory safety clothing on motorcycles, front numberplates on bikes (or electronic identifiers) plus a host of other ideas.

The survey at is full of loaded questions and assumptions, which makes a mockery of any pretence of VicRoads being a neutral administrator. It’s now clearly running its own political agenda.

I’d beware falling into the trap of answering VicRoads questions its own terms. What it has done is seek to narrow the debate.
For example, it asserts that exceeding the speed limit is dangerous and bad. In many cases that is true, but it’s also demonstrably untrue in many circumstances.
Another point: though it’s called a survey, it is not. VicRoads is offering a position paper and inviting responses to a set of closed premises. It is in no way a survey (the poor access is a clue), and nor does it invite real debate. It wants you to respond on its terms and those alone.

So, if you feel it’s worth a reply, beware replying/debating on their chosen ground. Analyse the issue, and not within VicRoads’ set parameters, and then respond.

Long-time motorcycle lobbyist Damien Codognotto ( points out:

“In  Opposition,  the  Baillieu  Government  promised  a  peak  body to represent  Victoria’s  325,000  motorcycle  and  scooter licence holders better. The Motorcycle Advisory Group (VMAG) was set up at VicRoads.
“The  Herald  Sun  published  (5 Sept, 2012) a  “raft  of options” including mandatory  high visibility vests, compulsory boots, pants, jackets and gloves   and   front  number  plates  on  bikes. Stakeholders again were not consulted.
“There  is  no  evidence  hi  viz vests work. If some small road safety benefit  over  a  bright  headlight  can  be  gained, it can be gained through voluntary use.
“Protective clothing is used by the majority and should be encourged. A protective gear law/ADR will mean less choice, higher prices and a lot of  top  quality  and  tailored  bike  gear  not  being  available  in Australia.
“Front  ID for motorcycles & scooters does not mean plates or stickers. Police  want  a  tracking  device regulation to fine riders and gather intelligence.  Bikes  are  not  designed to display front ID and very, very few places anywhere require it.
“VMAG  was  bypassed  in  developing  this  raft  of  options. RACV was apparently  included.  The motorcycle options are revenue raisers, not effective  road  safety  initiatives. If that was not the case why not consult  VMAG and develop proposals that will really do some good?”
For me, this is the killer point:
“Why not   wait   for  the  current  Parliamentary  Inquiry  to  make  its recommendations?”
Indeed. VicRoads is wasting huge amounts of money and jumping the gun on an inquiry that is a more open and transparent process.
In the meantime, we got this comment from the Riders Division of Motorcycling Australia: Here’s some interesting figures relating to the issue of Front Number Plates that come Traffic Camera Infringements data presented by VicPol to the recent Parliamentary Inquiry.Motorcycles make up 1.3% of ALL vehicles detected speedingOnly .8% of all vehicles detected speeding are motorcycles that can’t be identified.

Only 5.3% of all vehicles detected speeding are motorcycles with UNREADABLE plates.10% of ALL vehicles with NO front plates or UNREADABLE plates are motorcycles.From a collection of data point of view, there is no difference between SPEEDING and SPEED or between inappropriate speed compared with excessive speed.If the only tool available to you is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.

For those of you interstate – don’t for a moment think you’re immune. National transport ministers conduct regular councils and you rest assured many if not all these ideas will be passed on.

All the best,

Guy Allen