VicRoads, State and Federal Governments

The issue of front ID/front number plates for motorcycles has been on the government's agenda for years.

Recently the Motorcycle Riders Association of Australia had published a article outlining VicRoads attempted to pass legislation on the issue. Not only is this a problem for Victorians, but for all Australian motorcyclists as this could be a nation wide introduction of "Front ID's".

This excerpt was taken from the article posted on maa.org.au (23/1/2008) :

"The Victorian Police (almost uniquely of all the World’s Police Forces) seem to be unable to use well tested cameras to photograph the rear of motorcycles and scooters. In an effort to stigmatise motorcyclists still further for their own operational shortfalls, they are now once again pressing for front number plates for all motorcycles, despite the fact that internationally the only countries that require this are that paragon of road safety – India, and that defender of personal freedoms – Singapore.

The Motorcycle Riders Association may be forced to re-visit its Front Number Plate campaign if a draft Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS), dated December 2007 and issued by Vic Roads without consultation with the Victorian Motorcycle Advisory Council, currently doing State government rounds with a view to introducing front identification decals commencing 2009 goes ahead.

The RIS is circulating amongst other Australian government agencies and is scheduled for sign off at an Australian Transport Council meeting, attended by all State and Federal Transport ministers, sometime this year to meet the proposed 2009 introduction.

Users to Pay Motorcycle riders will be forced to pay up to $200 for every motorcycle they own as part of the retrofit/installation requirements associated with the introduction of the Frontal Identification. This even includes vintage machines only used on the road under Club permit limitations. Added to the costs are safety and aesthetic considerations for those motorcycles that will need brackets affixed to the front or holes drilled to hold the proposed decals.

The timing of this RIS with CRIMTRAKS recent announcement of the planned use of hundreds of nation wide ANPR cameras suggests that this RIS may not be about safety at all, but rather about real time surveillance and data base building of the movements of the entire driving population. Otherwise why this almost uniquely Australian need to rely on frontal detection?

The MRAA has argued in the past that the $22million cost of introducing Frontal Identification is wasteful for the net recovery of about $300,000 in extra speeding fines. According to MRA Vice-President John Karmouche, one of a group of past leaders/organizers of a campaign to stop the introduction of Frontal ID in 2003, "Riders are already paying a $50 safety levy, and there is a lot of good work being done in other areas that negates the effect of going down this path. The RIS is based on injury/fatality data pre 2005. Since 2005 fatalities/injuries have come down and per-capita this reduction has been magnified by the fact that the number of motorcycles and scooters on Australia's roads has more than doubled since 2005."

The MRA has contacted internationally recognised transport expert Professor Marcus Wigan, author of the initial reports on which the FNP program at VicRoads was based. Dr Wigan has agreed to comment on the current Draft RIS in the interests of properly informed public debate.

I disagree with the VicRoads and state government proposals to introduce front mounted number plates to motorcycles.

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The Stop The Proposed "Front Number Plate" Laws For Motorcyclists petition to VicRoads, State and Federal Governments was written by AussieGuy and is in the category Government at GoPetition.