Tag Archives: discrimination

Servo discriminates against riders

Riders are now being discriminated against by at least one Sunshine Coast service station with signs demanding they pre-pay for fuel.

The practice of pre-paying for fuel is designed to stop fuel driver-offs and is widespread in the USA.

In Australia, we are aware that only Costco requires pre-payment for fuel, but it is a requirement of all motorists.

This sign at the Ampol Nambour, on Bli Bli Road, on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, is the only one we are aware of that discriminates against riders.fuel

Riders are already vilified by the media and generally in society without signs like this inferring that riders are criminals.

We have contacted the servo owners, Procon Developments, to ask why the sign was deemed necessary, whether they believed they had discriminated against and vilified all riders and whether they plan to roll it out across their Ampol network.

We will update this article if/when they reply.

Fuel economy service station helmet pulp ulp premium

Class action

Motorcycle Riders Association Australia Regional Spokesperson Cate Grace has also contacted Procon advising them that it is a discriminatory practice targeting legitimate road users.

“Motorcycle riders are also car and truck drivers and can/will take their custom elsewhere, while advising as many of their family, friends and colleagues to do likewise,” she warns Procon.

She also warns that riders may raise a class action under the Australian discrimination laws.

Cate has asked Procon about the perceived risks of rider “ride-offs” and what other steps, if any, were taken to mitigate this perceived risk.

She suggests appropriately located security cameras need to be installed to capture the number plate which is on the rear of motorcycles.

Incidences of fuel theft can be reported to local police by servo operators or the public at Policelink on 131 444, or online by clicking here.

Queensland Police have also launched a fuel drive-off SMS (text) email initiative.

If a vehicle has left a service station without paying for fuel, a text or email will be sent to the vehicle’s registered owner advising them to contact the service station.

Cate says that if fuel drive-offs are a problem, they should make it a requirement for all road users to pre-pay, not just riders.

“The broader implication of this discriminatory action inferring motorcycle riders can’t be trusted, further cements a lack of respect for, or regard for their safety, encouraging drivers to make even less effort to look out for, and safely share our roads with motorcycle riders,” she says.

“Commuter motorcycle and scooter riders contribute greatly to the reduction in urban road and parking congestion, and recreationally contribute millions of dollars annually to regional/rural economies.  

“They also contribute in a voluntary capacity in many community roles, and donate substantial amounts to charities annually.  Of course they are also taxpayers, ratepayers and voters.”

Our view

We have asked police for figures on fuel drive-offs and will update when they are available.

I don’t know if it’s rampant, but when our car was stolen last year the thieves used it twice in fuel drive-offs within a week.

If it is an issue, surely riders who don’t pay for fuel would be easier to catch than other motorists.

All the servo has to do is require them to remove their helmets before switching on the fuel pump as many already do. 

If the rider starts putting their helmet back on before paying, the servo attendant would surely have time to stop them!

Many service stations now have credit card facilities at the pump so you can fuel up and pay without even having to remove your helmet. Problem solved!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Disabled rider claims parking discrimination

A disabled Canberra rider could face a $228 fine for copying his disabled parking permit and making his own holder to use on his Harley because no suitably secure system is available for motorcycles.

Alan Francis, 68, says the ACT Transportation Department only supplies a flimsy plastic sleeve with the permit which would not be secure on a motorcycle.

“That’s discrimination of disabled riders,” he says.

The situation came to light recently when Alan received a $600 ticket for parking his 2015 Harley-Davidson Low Rider in a Canberra Hospital disabled park while he visited a terminally ill friend.

He says an eyewitness told him the inspector said handicapped stickers are for those who can’t walk any distance and if the owner could ride a Harley he was a “fraud”.

Painful suffering

The former firefighter and New Zealand sidecar champion says he suffers from a compressed spine and dead nerves in his legs which makes walking any distance painful and difficult.

“My feet are basically useless, but the Low Rider has forward controls and I can lift my leg to change gears,” he says.

“If I don’t have sturdy boots on, I am susceptible to falling over.

“And when I go for a ride with my mates they usually stand by the gutter and offer a shoulder so  I can get on and off.

“But the moment I lift my feet of the ground I’m as good as the next guy on a motorcycle.”

Parking permits are supplied to people for a range of disabilities including those whose “physical condition is detrimentally affected by walking 100m”.

Friend and Motorcycle Riders Association of the ACT president Lorne Thurgar confirms that Alan has a genuine ACT Government issued handicap pass and walks with a walking stick.

“The ticket should be cancelled and Alan deserves an apology,” Lone says.

Disabled rider Alan Francis claims parking discriminationParking permits

The ACT disabled parking permit instructions say: “The Australian disability parking permit is correctly displayed if it is on the dashboard, or affixed to the windscreen, inside the vehicle or as close as practical to the front left side in a way that all permit details are clearly visible from outside the vehicle.”

The instructions make no allowances for motorcycles or for easily relocating a permit from the safety of a car’s interior to the vulnerability of a motorcycle.

So Alan photocopied the disabled permit, laminated it inside the supplied plastic holder and cable-tied it to his left saddlebag.

In 2016, a Canberra paraplegic driver was fined $228 for failing to display her ACT permit correctly.

“There is no holder to be able to do this with a motorcycle and they cannot provide one as I asked when I was given the permit,” Alan says.

“I have a car as well and carry my wheelchair in the car so I need my sticker in the car.

“For me to be legal on both vehicles and has been stated by them is that I have to remove the sticker from the car and firmly attach it to the bike in the yet-to-be-designed holder that meets their requirements.”

Alan says if the department can’t supply a secure holder for the permit, they should supply a second motorcycle-only permit for disabled riders.

“I  am now in the knowledge that my solution is illegal and I must be severely punished for it,” he says.

“Further to my situation is that I have received comment, but not from the department, that maybe I can’t be a pension-reliant person if I can afford a Harley.

“I don’t normally publicise this but the bike was a gift from my partner who has now passed away.”

Parking incidentDisabled rider Alan Francis claims parking discrimination

As for the parking ticket, Alan says that when he parked in the disabled spot closest to the hospital elevators, he waved over a young female traffic controller to explain his situation.

“I told her ‘just out of courtesy I’m showing you that I am handicapped and legitimate’,” he says.

“About 50 minutes after parking there, the traffic inspector employed by the hospital started ticketing my motorcycle.

“The young girl came running over to him close to tears to explain that I’m an ok bloke and genuinely disabled, but she couldn’t stop him putting a ticket on it.

“Quite frankly what the parking inspector said to her about me being a fraud was soul destroying.”

Onerous appeal process

Alan says it was also a huge inconvenience to have to walk a long distance to Access Canberra (sic) to lodge his appeal against the ticket.

“The girl at the office looked up the sticker and told me it was legal and legit, but I would have to wait to find out if the ticket was rescinded.

“I’m speaking on behalf of disabled people; it’s straight out discrimination against disability.

“He’s shagged me round good and proper.”

Meanwhile, Alan says that he has now laminated the original permit in its plastic holder and cable-tied to the left pannier as it was when he was fined.Disabled rider Alan Francis claims parking discrimination

“I have chosen not to use a handicapped park for the car as at least I have the wheelchair to get me the further distances,” he says.

“My permit is again cable tied to the saddlebag which is still open to coping a fine I guess if a particular parking attendant randomly decides I am a fraud.

“Had I been informed on the infringement notice that it was the permit and not the parking position that was the problem, this situation would have never transpired.

“I freely admit in hindsight that my solution was not appropriate and if I am to be fined it should be for this and not the parking position.”

ACT reply

We received this response from the ACT government’s media team:

Access Canberra does not publicly comment on individual parking issues through the media, in respect for the privacy of the individual.

However we can advise that we are looking to have this matter be resolved as soon as possible.

We can also advise that contact has been made with the individual and the reasons why the infringement was issued explained.

The individual should be hearing the outcome of the review in the near future.

Depending on the complexity of a review it may take a bit longer, however the majority are processed within six weeks.

We’d also like to provide a reminder to the community that Australian Disability Parking Permits (also known as Mobility Parking Permits) are valid for use by the person to whom they are issued and to no other.

Like with any form of identification such as a driver’s licence, an Australian Disability Parking Permit holder must display the actual permit issued by the Road Transport Authority on the motor vehicle used at the time for their transportation or for their parking requirements.

When it comes to motorbikes, it is important that the permits are securely displayed.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com