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.
“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:
- A Victorian Road Trauma Summit in June was told speed limits on Australia’s unsealed country road network should be dropped from 100km/h to 80km/h;
- After a national summit on driver distraction in Brisbane, Victoria proposed one demerit point for 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.); and
- An all-states road policing forum in Victoria this week decided on a National Day of Action with no specific plans or targets.
“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.”