HOG Rally gets green light from police

Hog rally

Harley riders on their way to Cairns for the 23rd annual national HOG Rally this weekend have been told they have nothing to fear from the police.

In a carefully orchestrated media opportunity, three of the top cops from Townsville police were on hand when several motorcycle media arrived in a convoy at the local Harley dealership, Sun City, this afternoon on their way to report on the rally.

Hog rally
Ray Wilson, Banksy and Fat. Bub at the HOG bar.

Acting Inspector Adam Muir, Senior Sergeant Ian Wilkie and Detective Inspector David Nixon were present, along with a highway patrol officer and his pursuit vehicle and an officer on a police motorcycle.

Ian admitted the VLAD laws caught them by surprise and there was some police confusion and public misconceptions shortly after. “The legislation came out quicker than we are used to,” he says. “There were some concerns among riders that they would be targeted but as time goes on they now find they haven’t been.”

He and other senior police have been addressing social rider groups such as the local chapter of HOG to explain the laws and confirm that legitimate groups should not be concerned. He says they have only been targeting the Rebels, Odin’s Warriors and Renegades who have been declared outlaw gangs by the legislation.

“In the early days, a group of HOG members made some panic calls to us,” he says.
Members of the local HOG chapter I spoke to confirmed that they had not been targeted and had been told by the police that riders would not be harassed on their way to the HOG Rally.

Hog rally
“Shag” tries out a police bike for size

One member, “Shag”, said they bad only been pulled over once by police since the VLAD laws were introduced. Another member, Ray Wilson, confirmed the police had rung them to say that no riders would be hassled going to or from the rally.

The media group has been riding Harleys from Rockhampton over the past couple of days and has not seen an overt presence of police vehicles on the highways. However, Acting Inspector Adam Muir said they would be patrolling to ensure that riders are “riding safely”.

Sun City Harley-Davidson dealer Marc Storey took the opportunity to show the media around his two-year-old store. He has thoughtfully provided a free camping area and showers for riders passing through, not only for the rally, but any time of year. He has also provided a premises at the rear of the property for the HOG chapter.

“Customer service is very important. People like to do business with people,” Marc says.

5 Comments

  1. I must admit , I was one of those who chose not to go , initially because of concerns over harassment , but as it turned out my fiscal situation wouldn’t have allowed it anyway . On the surface this looks like a pleasant surprise and a good outcome , but there have been no apologies as such from the LNP or the QPS for the hastily rolled out legislation or the jackbooted enforcement approach , ( what Stewart preferred to call ” professional intercepts ” ) at least in the initial stages , and all those overzealous cops are still convinced they did nothing wrong , sure , some of the stories would have been exaggerated and some simply fictitious pot stirring , BUT , where there’s smoke …………….. I reserve my judgement until down the track . Glad the Rally was a success and the local economy got a boost , BUT , if the rally had of been cancelled due to low registration and harassment concerns then local businesses that lost out would have been jumping up and down and making life difficult for the LNP , and that may have had better long term results than simply copping it on the chin and sailing on regardless .

  2. No Paul this year its the brown nose competition, as you can see by the photos its already started.
    my moneys on the bloke sitting on the cop bike

  3. I’ve been riding up here in FNQ since the VLAD legislation was introduced, usually with 3 others. We’ve seen quite a few police officers during our rides. We haven’t been pulled over at all. I think most police officers understand what a recreational motorcyclist is. I’ve got nothing to hide, if I am pulled over I will answer their questions politely, because they are only doing their job. I find that generally speaking, if you’re civil and polite (to most people) you’ll get the same response in return. Dealing with the police is the same. Be civil, most of the time they will respond in kind.

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