The Sex Party’s candidate for the Melbourne by Election has called on the government to abandon proposals for compulsory wearing of fluoro jackets for motorbike riders and the imposition of $6,000 fees for ‘supervised training’ of new riders.
Fiona Patten said that the evidence was that the rate of motorbike fatalities in Victoria had declined by 31.6% over 10 years to 2009. “There have been a lot of new and inexperienced riders hitting the roads, no airbag-type safety developments for bikes and the number of kilometres travelled by riders has increased due to the increase of commuter riders and yet less and less riders are having fatal accidents”, she said. “So why these heavy-handed laws? There is not a scrap of evidence to suggest that lives will be saved if motorbike riders have to comply with a dress code”.
The government has introduced special levies on the registration of motorbikes –some of which is spent to cover funding for the enforcement of motorcycle black spots. “This means that the motorcyclist is being taxed so that they can be fined. Imagine if car owners were faced with an extra levy to fund more speed cameras” she said. “This levy needs to be repealed or at the least redirected towards education of riders and motorists”.
Ms Patten said that the government should once and for all tell the motoring public what the law is in relation to motorcyclists ‘filtering’ in traffic. “I know that it annoys motorists when they seeing motorcyclists filter through stationary traffic but we need to clarify in everyone’s mind that this is legal behaviour and a positive thing, as it makes for a smoother flow of traffic”.
She said scooter riders needed specifically targeted education especially around protective clothing. “The scooter riders I see buzzing around the electorate are often in Italian suits and stilettos!”, she said. “Hazard awareness and rider training are also important here but without the nannyism”.
The Sex Party’s Victorian motorbike policy:
• Limited and discounted recreational registration for motorcyclists similar to the vintage car restricted registration
• Encourage take up of training via registration and insurance discounts
• Clarify that filtering is legal
• No legislated clothing requirements for bike riders
• No legislated ‘Motor cycle black spots’
• Specific education programs for new scooter riders