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Cop calls for motorcycle front number plates

front number plate turn speed cameras around

A 13% drop in speed camera offences by Victorian motorcycles despite bike registrations increasing 25% has been cited as a need for front number plates.

The Victorian Motorcycle Council says the statistics should be a good news story, but claim Road Safety Camera Commissioner Gordon Lewis has twisted the figures for his own purposes and to vilify riders. The VMC says the call for front number plates is “little more than a cynical attempt to raise revenue” that would put the state out of step with the rest of the world.

Front number plates would mark a return to the bad old days when front number plates were aptly called “people slicers” because of their effect in an accident. It would also put the state totally out of step with modern design and aerodynamics. If it ever happened – and it is unlikely –  many manufacturers would abandon the Victorian market.

The Commissioner’s report reveals a 13% drop in the number of speeding motorcycles detected on Victorian roads, down more than 3000 in just one year, from 15,938 in 2012/13 to 12,888 in 2013/14. The Commissioner called the statistics “chilling”, but the VMC says there are no statistics to indicate an increase in death or injury among riders. In fact, they say motorcyclist fatality and injury figures have never been lower in real terms.

VMC spokesman John Eacott says the figures show one in 14 registered motorcycles are detected speeding compared with about one in four other vehicles.

The commissioner has also claimed that the increase in undetectable motorcycles is “alarming, but the VMC says the actual numbers have gone down, while the rate has increased marginally from 64% in 2009/10 to 73%.

The VMC says the increased rate is due to the increasing number and frequency of use of speed cameras, most of which are placed facing the front of oncoming vehicles.

“By the Commissioner’s own admission, the camera system has failed to identify a completely legal and ADR-compliant mode of transport. This will be corrected by new cameras capable of capturing vehicles from both directions, which represents the single greatest admission that the camera system was flawed from the very get go and confirms what the VMC has been saying all along,” John says.

  1. Hi Mark,

    many thanks for this article. VMC found an error in the 30% reduction figure and has amended their website and facebook posts to read the correct figure of a 13% reduction. Still valid, but I thought you should know.

  2. Hello Mark – well written piece – but there is item that you ought to know – Gordon Lewis is not a policeman – he is the bureaucrat charged with looking after speed cameras.

  3. All this does is reinforce the fact that all the speed cameras duty is….. to raise re venue from motorists! Really how dumb do they think we are? I reckon all motorists should make it as hard s they can for the cameras to photograph them. Don`t worry about quoting figures of the amount of accidents CAUSED by motorcyclists! Oh no that`s never mentioned,just that 1 every now and then ,out of (how many thousands on the road that day) might not have to pay a revenue fine…….oh poor government,bleed,bleed,bleed!!

  4. If our beloved Commissioner is so interested in motorcycle safety why is he repeatedly telling riders they have a low chance of being pinged for speeding. Strikes me as totally irresponsible. In their 2002 report on the feasibility of frontal identification for motorcycles prepared for Vicroads, Oxford Systematics noted that “However, the knowledge that the Police place such reliance on frontal images was not widely known amongst motorcyclists across most of Australia until the recent publicity. “ Like the police in the past, the Commissioner has made sure that every impressionable young motorcyclist in Victoria knows there is a reduced chance they will be caught if they speed. The next young rider who dies may be someone who has taken on board the Commissioner’s message.

    1. Short of revenue. Motorcyclists not speeding enough so he encourages them to speed so they get pinged more & revenue goes up.

  5. On the year to date as 27 August figures supplied by TAC there has been a 33% reduction in motorcycle fatalities so far this year.
    Hardly an indication of an out of control motorcycling community!
    I also wonder how those figures justify the pending compulsion for learners in Victoria to start wearing hi visibility clothing later this year?

  6. Yes, (as Oxford Systematics is myself) I did find this in 2002 – and the two reports I wrote for Vicroads are up on my website for downloading– they are almost impossible to locate on the Vicroads site these days

  7. Increasingly difficult to identify police officers, police ID gradually becoming more concealed.
    All police should have their name & service number embroided in LARGE Hi-RES letters on the front & back of their uniform.

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