Rules that prevent riders stretching their legs or standing up on motorcycle footpegs have been confirmed as flawed by Queensland Transport and Main Roads officials, according to racing legend Kevin Bartlett.
The 1974 Bathurst 1000 winner and long-time motorcycle rider started a campaign against Rule 271 and recently met with TMR officials. “They agreed that the rule is flawed and said they will review it,” KB says. “They will now take that to the Transport Minister and then begins the slow political process.”
KB says it will be a long political process and he has suggested riders don’t hold their breath. “It won’t happen today or tomorrow but I’m assured it will be on the agenda. I now have to congratulate that police officer for lifting his leg off the pegs. He’s a hero.”
He is referring to the media sensation that followed the publication of photographs of a cop taking his feet off the motorcycle footpegs on the Ipswich Motorway shortly after a rider was controversially fined for doing the same thing. Even the Police Commissioner admitted he sometimes stretches his legs when riding and Queensland’s top traffic cop Michael Keating told a recent meeting he spent an entire day brushing up on Rule 271 after the incident.
“I didn’t have to explain it to any of the TMR guys. None of them said ‘what’s that all about?’” KB says. “I submitted something and they had a good look at it and they can see where I am coming from.”
KB says the law shouldn’t be amended as suggested by the Australian Motorcycle Council in a submission to the National Transport Council. Their submission doesn’t mention standing up or stretching your legs while riding, only removing your leg as a rider is slowing down to stop. “The AMC is just kowtowing and that is bullshit. In my opinion it shouldn’t be there at all,” KB says.
“There are other provisions under new hooning laws, plus there are the dangerous operation of a motor vehicle laws. If you are obviously skylarking and riding dangerously there are laws to cover that and we don’t want that.
The racing legend says he was happy with the positive response his submission received. “I walked away with a grin on my face thinking they have taken notice. My job is done. Now we will see what the process brings us, but don’t hold your breath as it now has to go through a political process.”
KB says he told the TMR officials that they could be the leaders in overturning this flawed law and that other states would take note and follow, eventually leading to a change in the national road rules.
LATE UPDATE: Queensland Police have responded to requests for comment: “Until any legislative changes are made, the Queensland Police Service is not in a position to discuss enforcement strategies in relation to section 271 of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management – Road Rules) Regulation 2009. There is no intention to withdraw any fines that have been issued under the current legislation.”