Tag Archives: road safety

Driver gets ‘slap’ for swerving at riders

A Canberra motorist facing possible jail time for swerving his car at two lane-filtering motorcyclists has got off with a relative slap on the wrist.

The driver, whose name has not been released by ACT police or the courts, has been convicted on driving with intent to menace.

He had faced maximum penalties of more than $3000 in fines or 12 months in jail or both for each of these charges.

However, he has been released on a one-year good behaviour order and disqualified from driving for three months.

He also avoided a fine.

It is not yet known if the charges of driving with intent to menace were downgraded.

Menacing videos

The incidents occurred on Majura Parkway on 30 October 2018. One incident is shown in this video which we published on November 2.

ACT Police were made aware of this video a day later and began investigating.

A second video later emerged showing the same driver swerving at another rider.

ACT Police made several calls for help to identify the two riders so a charge could be laid.

Police seek riders in lane filtering incidents call faces charges menacing
The rider in the second incident

At the time, ACT Police issued these details of the incident:

About 4:30pm, the riders were separately travelling northbound on Majura Parkway, Majura, when a green Ford Falcon swerved, almost colliding with the riders. At the time, the riders were lawfully lane filtering.

Swerving justice

The Australian Motorcycle Council says it is “of concern when a driver uses their vehicle in a premeditated manner, as a weapon to harm others”.

“There appears to be little distinction between the quality of actions of this driver and those of the driver who killed pedestrians in Melbourne, although a difference in the scale or degree,” the MCA says.

ACT rider Bill Gemmell says “keeping the offender’s name name out of the public gaze does nothing to ensure the deterrence objective is met”.

“This result doesn’t make me feel safer because the place has an epidemic of bad driving,” he says.

Legal filtering

Interestingly, these incidents occurred only a few weeks after the ACT made lane filtering legal.

Lane filtering was introduced in NSW five years ago and is now legal in all states and territories.

Not only is lane filtering legal but it also benefits all motorists as it helps move heavy traffic more quickly.

You can do your bit to educate drivers by sharing our “Open letter to drivers“.

Filtering rage

Drivers obstructing riders has been happening since lane filtering was introduced.

Check out this video from 2017 sent to us by Newcastle rider Harry Criticos.

“I was filtering legally when a driver stuck his whole body out in an attempt to block me,” the 2016 Triple Black R 1200 GS rider told us.

“I did not stop and he did make contact with the bike. I hope it hurt.”

This motorist was fined $325 and three demerit points.

Lane filtering is legal 

Surely it is time for some major advertising campaigns in each state to advise motorists that riders are allowed to filter and what benefits there are for ALL motorists.

That was the major finding of an online poll we conducted in 2016, yet there are still few major ad campaigns.

So far, lane filtering education campaigns have been minimal and mainly aimed at riders, not the general motoring public.

We not only need major ad campaigns, but also roadside signage such as this photoshopped sign.

lane filtering signs consensus duty defend filter call charge
Here’s a sign we’d like to see!

We are not aware of any polls about lane filtering in Australia.

However, in California where lane splitting (filtering at higher speeds than 30km/h) is legal, polls have found it is vastly unpopular among other road users. The main objection is that it’s unfair!

That breeds hostility which results in stupid behaviour such as in the above video.

Lane filtering lane splitting America danger bosch filter call charge
Lane splitting is unpopular in the USA

So long as lane filtering remains unpopular and/or erroneously believed to be illegal, motorists will do stupid and dangerous things to stop riders filtering.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Two riders die, several injured in multi crashes

Saturday was deadly for motorcycle riders with two killed and several injured as eight motorcycles were involved in three crashes in Queensland and Victoria on Saturday (20 July 2019).

Victorian crash

In the latest incident, Victorian Police say two motorcycles collided with ute towing a trailer at the intersection of Edwards and Paynes roads, Chirnside Park, about 4.40pm.

One of the motorcyclists, a yet to be formally identified man, died at the scene.

The other motorcyclist, a 38-year-old Ringwood east man was airlifted to a Melbourne hospital in a critical condition.

The driver of the ute was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Police are calling for witnesses to the incident or with dash cam footage to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppersvic.gov.au.

Brisbane fatal

The 31-year-old male rider died and his 27-year-old female pillion was injured when their black Honda motorcycle collided with a Mazda 3 on Old Cleveland Rd about 2pm.

The pillion and Mazda driver, a 72-year-old woman, were taken to the Princess Alexandra Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Forensic Crash Unit investigators are appealing for witnesses and dash cam footage.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.

Quote this reference number: QP1901395867.

Five-bike crash

The 54-year-old male rider of a red Harley-Davidson motorcycle had his right lower leg amputated in a five-bike crash at Brightview, in the Lockyer Valley west of Brisbane about noon yesterday.

Police say the Harley rider appears to have been overtaking a vehicle heading north when it ran into a silver Holden Commodore sedan travelling south.

“Four other motorcycles following crashed while taking evasive action,” police say.

The 54-year-old man and another motorcyclist were airlifted to hospital for treatment to their injuries with another three men treated by paramedics.

The driver of the sedan, a 36-year-old woman, was also treated for minor injuries at the scene.

If you have information, quote this reference number: QP1901395049.

Click here for tips on safe overtaking in a motorcycle group.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Rider dies in head-on ute collision

A 50-year-old male rider has died in a head-on collision with a ute on the Rosewood-Marburg Rd at Tallegalla, west of Ipswich, about 4.15pm yesterday (18 July 2019).

It is the fourth motorcycle crash with a ute in South East Queensland in the past couple of weeks.

Police say the Pine Mountain rider sustained critical injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 62-year-old male driver of the ute was not seriously injured.

The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.

Quote this reference number: QP1901381969

The rider  was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Our sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Rider dies in collision with ute

A 33-year-old Gatton male rider has died in a collision with a ute at a Gatton intersection last night (12 July 2019).

Police say that at 6pm, a motorcycle and a utility travelling on Eastern Drive collided at the intersection of Forest Hill-Laidley Road.

ute crash
(All images: Google Maps)

The rider  was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Our sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Ute crashes

It is the the second motorcycle death in two days and third motorcycle crash with a ute in South East Queensland in the past couple of weeks.

The driver and sole occupant of the ute, an 18-year-old Mount Sylvia man, was not physically injured.

The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating the incident.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.

Quote this reference number: QP1901342012

Intersection crashes

Intersection crashes are one of the most common types of accidents involving motorcycles and other vehicles asa shown in this NSW Transport video.

Slow down at intersections, look ahead, expect that drivers have not seen or even looked for you, anticipate the worst and be prepared to take evasive action.

In a crash, the rider may be completely blameless.

However, it doesn’t matter whose fault it is if the rider is dead.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

What! Cap motorcycle speed to 50km/h?

Cap motorcycle speeds at 50km/h is one of the more ludicrous suggestions put forward at the first of a series of community road safety forums in regional Victoria this week.

The suggestion from an unknown attendee was actually written up on a blackboard among other strategies, such as more driver/rider education and fewer varied speed limits.

Victorian Motorcycle Riders Association member John Nelson, who attended the forum in Ballarat says that despite the speed cap suggestion being noted, it was not treated seriously.

Speed cap

“I believe it was a member of the public who suggested the 50km/h cap,” he says. 

“There were a few old people on mobility scooters having a whinge.  It was probably one of them.

“Certainly no-one in government circles.

“I told Roads Minister Jaala Pulford about it and she laughed at that suggestion.  

“But some people have a poor idea of thinking on road safety issues and solutions.  When I saw it I said we will be slaughtered. 

“50kmh is idle in top gear on my bike.  Perhaps we should make a mockery of that suggestion, just to be sure.  

“Even a more totalitarian government would not adopt that.  I think I killed it right there on the night.” 

Road safety suggestions

However, the ridiculous speedcap suggestion gives an indication of the knee-jerk “solutions” surfacing in the wake of a spike in road deaths:

“As usual, driving infringements and enforcing the laws are always on the agenda,” John says.

The Ballarat community road safety forum is one of several to be held in regional Victoria where road deaths have spiked at 72 compared with 41 in metropolitan Melbourne.

John says there were a few other “surprise” road safety suggestions.

“The Western Police regional command were strong on returning riders being retrained,” he says.

“The same copper also conceded that the Towards Zero campaign has failed.  The TAC will replace it with another campaign later next year.

“Clearly it will never work.”  

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Rider killed, another injured in two crashes

A male rider has died after hitting a guard rail and another rider has been injured after being hit by a truck in seperate crashes in South East Queensland yesterday afternoon.

Police say a man died at the scene of a crash at Yandina about 2.30pm.

He was riding south on the Bruce Highway when he hit a guard rail and was flung from the motorcycle.

They say no more details are available as they are having trouble contacting the next of kin.

Forensic Crash Unit are investigating.

Our condolences to the man’s family and friends.

Second crash

In the other incident, police are investigating a three-vehicle-crash which occurred in Jindalee at 2.15pm (photo top of page).

The rider was hading south on the Centenary Highway when he collided with a car.

“The impact threw the motorcyclist to the ground where he was struck by a passing struck,” police say.

The 21-year-old male rider from Boronia Heights was transported to hospital with serious injuries. Our best wishes for a speedy recovery.

The 18-year-old female driver of the car from Chelmer and the 55-year-old male truck driver from Leichardt were not injured.

The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating the crash.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.

Quote this reference number: QP1901334120

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Police plan National Day of Action

Police in every state plan to immediately increase police presence on regional roads leading up to a “National Day of Action” on Tuesday 27 August 2019.

We contacted the police in each state to find out what a National Day of Action will involve, but they have not revealed anything specific.

One police media unit replied: “The National Day of Action is still in the planning stages. We hope to provide updates as the day approaches.”

National forum

However, they have all pledged to increase police presence on rural roads after yesterday’s national meeting in Victoria of all state road policing deputy commissioners and assistant commissioners.

Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Wendy Steendam said there was “great value in the jurisdictions all coming together to workshop the challenges and consider short-term solutions at a national level, as well as developing some longer-term collaborative strategies”.

“From discussions it was clear there are some common challenges that we are all facing,” she says.

“A particular trend is the increasing trauma on our rural and regional roads, as well as the emergence of drug driving.”

Victorian Police have also previously called for a reduction of 100km/h rural road speeds to 80km/h.

National Day of action

Yesterday’s forum involving all police jurisdictions agreed to participate in a National Day of Action on 27 August.

They also resolved to “work together to look at ways that data and research can be shared, as well as a coordinated communication approach for road policing messaging in the community”.

It is unclear what this means for the motoring public, but we suspect greater road policing and more speed camera deployments.

Tougher penalties

Cops mobile phone penalties day of action
Police patrol for mobile phone misuse

The forum also follows a recent national summit on driver destruction in Queensland.

After the summit, several states said they would consider tougher laws on illegal mobile phone use while driving.

Victoria also included tougher penalties for all motorists for a variety of offences including failure to fit an L plate on a motorcycle and failure learner riders to securely fasten their hi-vis vest.

The Victorian Motorcycle Council has objected to the L plate offence and called for the mandatory hi-vis vest rule for learner riders to be scrapped.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Call to remove mandatory learner hi-vis

The Victorian Motorcycle Council has called to remove mandatory hi-vis vests for learner riders in its 10-page submission to the review of Victorian Road Safety (Driver) Regulations.

Among many changes to the road rules, the road regs review proposes one demerit point for learner riders who do not wear a “securely fastened” hi-vis vest and for failing to display an L plate.

The VMC say there is no proven road safety benefit in either proposal and claim the decreased air flow from a securely fastened vest “could cause accelerated fatigue and heat stress”.

Hi-vis mandated

The learner hi-vis rule was introduced in 2014 despite the state government’s road safety committee citing a European road safety research that found the benefits of wearing a high-visibility vest depended on the time of day and location.

Since its introduction, there has been no study into its effect on crashes among learners and the Traffic Accident Commission does not differentiate learner riders in its statistics. 

South Australia is now proposing hi-vis vests for learner riders as well as a night curfew and higher ages for learner permits.

We could not find any similar hi-vis rules throughout the world except France where all riders must have a minimum fluoro requirement on their jackets.

All riders (and drivers) in France must also carry a hi-vis vest and wear it if broken down on the side of the roads.

Most motorcycle police around the world wear hi-vis gear.

Victoria Solo Unit motorcycle police uniforms remove
Victoria Solo Unit motorcycle police uniforms

However, it didn’t stop this British copper from being hit by a driver who just didn’t look.

Contrary evidence

University of Melbourne Chair of Statistics and bike rider Prof Richard Huggins has called to remove the rule since it was introduced.

The Prof has reviewed several international studies on motorcycle conspicuity and “look but fail to see” accidents and says there is “sufficient doubt” of the effectiveness of hi-vis to call for a repeal of the mandatory requirement.

He says the studies had varied findings suggesting:

  • Dark clothing is more visible in certain lighting situations;
  • Hi-vis rider gear may be less visible in certain conditions; and
  • Hi-vis clothing could create a “target fixation” for motorists, causing them to steer toward the wearer.

Richard also says he regularly wears a hi-visibility jacket when riding, but has still been hit by a car.

“The driver claimed they didn’t see me, from a distance of less than 2m, as they changed lanes on top of me,” he says.

When the law was introduced, the VMC cited Prof Huggins’s research and objected to the rule on several grounds:

  • Wearing hi-vis clothing may impart a false sense of security for novice riders;
  • Modern research shows that people don’t recognise or react to motorcycles, rather than not seeing them at all;
  • Drivers are more likely to see a bike but make an error in timing;
  • All bikes have hard-wired headlights yet no research has been done on how this affects hi-visibility; and
  • If hi-vis is a real safety issue, why are there no greater penalties for drivers who crash into people wearing them?

Remove L plate proposalLearn learner novice Ride to Review plate remove

The Road Safety Regulations paper also proposes one demerit point for failing to correctly display an L plate.

The VMC has called to remove the proposal, saying it is not a safety issue.

They say a plate can easily fall off a motorcycle resulting in a rider losing their licence and their only mode of transport.

“There is no road safety risk or road user behaviour targeted by the sanction, therefore no genuine road safety objective served,” their submissions says.

“A motorcycle is an arduous exposed environment, experiencing vibration, winds, rain, road grime/fumes and sunlight/UV exposure.

“L plates are typically plastic, embrittle with time and are not very resilient to these exposed service conditions.

“As a result, an L-plate may fall off during a ride without the knowledge of the rider since plates are affixed to the rear of the motorcycle.”

Click here to read the full VMC submission.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

MotoGP airbag vest for everyday riders

Last year MotoGP made airbag race suits mandatory and now Dainese has produced an airbag vest for everyday riders that goes under a normal jacket.

Versatile vest

Many riders have different jackets for summer and winter.

It would be expensive to buy an airbag jacket for each season, so this idea of an airbag vest underneath seems handy for those who want extra protection.Dainese airbag vest

However, we wonder just how baggy your jacket would need to be to accommodate the vest.

Not only do you have to fit the vest under you jacket, but also allow enough room for if/when it inflates!

The extra layer could defeat the purpose of a ventilated summer jacket, but it is ventilated.

We wonder how it might limit movement, but Dainese says it is light and flexible.

It’s not cheap at $US699 and replacement components after it has deployed will add to the cost.

Although what price do you put on safety?Dainese airbag vest

Dainese says the airbag vest is seven times more protective than the usual back protector.

The vest is also waterproof and abrasion resistant.

How it worksDainese airbag vest

The vest uses seven sensors including GPS, accelerometers and gyroscopes to detect a crash such as low and high-sides, collisions and even being hit from behind when stopped at the lights.

All that tech depletes the batteries which need t be recharged after 26 hours of use.

After it’s exploded, you then have to take it back to the shop to get a new airbag system. Apparently fitting is a quick operation.

It arrives soon in six sizes for men and women.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Ute and rider in road rage incident

A motorcycle rider threading his way through a busy Brisbane roundabout has ended up in a road rage incident with an irate ute driver.

The incident occurred in Capalaba, Brisbane, in April last year but has only just been posted on AusCam – Australian Dashcam and CCTV Footage.

30-04-2018 Capalaba Road Rage

I’ve combined the two parts and shrunk it down for short attention spans, but the original is recommended for that classic married couple banter”The ute towing tried several times to intentionally hit the guy on the bike. The ute driver then pulled upto the light (second video) and started punching the poor guy on the bike.We tried to give these videos to Capalaba Police but they werent interested. So much for public safety.”Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJdto-qLCowPart 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNnDg9Fn2aw

Publiée par AusCam – Australian Dashcam and CCTV Footage sur Jeudi 27 juin 2019

Brute in a ute

The video shows the rider has gone around the ute in the roundabout.

It seems the ute driver took offence and moves from the left to the right lane to try to hit the rider.

The motorcyclist backs off and moves to the left where he undertakes the ute which swerves toward him.

At the next set of lights the rider filters to the front of the queue of traffic, but the brute in the ute pulls up in the vacant left lane.

The driver gets out of the vehicle and approaches the rider and starts to throw punches.

We don’t know the full story and whether horns or gestures were exchanged.

However, it’s not the first road rage video between riders and drivers we have seen and definitely won’t be the last.

How do you think the rider could have better handled this situation?

Tips on handling road rage

We should do all we can to avoid being lured into road rage as riders usually come off second-best to bigger vehicles.

Queensland Police Senior Sergeant Ian Park who created the #ridesafely4me Facebook site says he’s not sure if it’s perception or reality, but “our roads appear to be becoming angrier places”.

“Unfortunately, it seems to involve individuals from all road user groups as both the victims and the perpetrators. Motorcyclists and bicyclists are of course the most vulnerable due to the lack of physical protection around them. But the fundamentals of personal safety of the roads are no different to anywhere else,” he says.

Queensland Police Senior Sergeant Ian Park a social media sensation reason
Sgt Park and a group of riders

Here are Ian’s tips to avoiding road rage:

If you find yourself feeling unsafe as a result of the actions of another road user, the first priority is to remove yourself from the situation as safely as possible. Unfortunately far too often incidents of poor behaviour by one road user to another are only exacerbated when the ‘victim’ retaliates. If another party chooses to yell at you, beep their horn or flash their lights – so what? Let them get it out of their system and get on their way. Inflaming the situation by ‘biting back’ rarely assists, and often only makes the situation more unsafe for everyone.

However if the other party continues to behave in a manner that makes you feel unsafe, then consider your environment. Perhaps pull into a service station, licensed premises or shopping centre that is likely to be fitted with external CCTV. This will often discourage the aggressor from taking the matter further if they know their actions (and registration details) are going to be recorded.

If no such place is available continue to drive without reacting to the aggressor until a place of safety is available, avoid making eye contact and attempt to disengage from the situation as best and safely as you can.

If you feel that you are in imminent danger, pull over and call triple zero (000). Don’t forget that ‘000’ from a mobile phone doesn’t necessarily go to your nearest operator, so always be ready to say ‘I need police in (name of City/town or nearest regional centre)’.

When speaking with a 000 operator, pass on relevant information that could assist police to investigate the matter, for example, registration details, descriptions of the person/s in the vehicle, time, date, correct location (in case there are traffic monitoring cameras located nearby etc.), descriptions about any features of the vehicle that are not standard (i.e. post factory fitted wheels, decorations, accessories, damage).

Emergency first-aid apps reason

If you carry any kind of video recording device, ensure the footage is set aside so that it doesn’t get recorded over before being provided to police. Make sure you don’t just secure the footage of the incident – also keep footage leading up to and beyond the incident to help clarify any potential counter claims by the other party that it was actually you that was the aggressor.

If the situation is over, but you are still of the belief that the matter warrants investigation with a view to action by police, you always have the right to report it. You can either attend your nearest open police station to speak to someone, contact the non-urgent police reporting number which is now 131 444 in almost all Australian Police Jurisdictions. Similarly most policing services across Australia also provide on-line reporting services. Just search the police service in your State or Territory to find their websites and follow the prompts.

Be mindful, however that any complaint of an incident involving one person upon another without any supporting evidence is often difficult to successfully prosecute. A successful prosecution requires sufficient evidence being presented to a court to determine that an offence was committed beyond reasonable doubt.

However, this should not prevent you from reporting the matter, but is something to keep in mind if police determine there is not sufficient evidence for a matter to proceed. It doesn’t necessarily mean police don’t believe you! If you provide police with a video recording you must be willing and able to give evidence.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com