Queensland Police have today launched their new DayGlo yellow motorcycles and high-visibility motorcycle police jackets to “send a message”.
In launching Operation Papa Guardian for the summer, Acting Deputy Commissioner Bob Gee says “high visibility on the road saves lives”.
“We make no apology for being highly visible,” he says.
Motorcycle police with the new DayGlo livery will patrol the Bruce, Warrego and Cunningham highways over summer “focusing on the Fatal Five”.
“We don’t want to give out tickets today,” he said.
“But we make no apology for enforcing the law.”
He rejected media claims that a police memo suggested that police performance would be measured on the number of tickets issued.
“Since the Fitzgerald Inquiry 30 years ago there has never been and never will be quotas,” he says.
“We would much prefer to prevent crime and make the community safer.”
He said the leaked memo sent to a major Brisbane police station “needs to put into context” of management action.
DayGlo bikes and jackets
The new livery motorcycles that replace the old orange bikes and the new hi-vis jackets will serve a dual purpose.
Road Policing Operation Inspector Peter Flanders says they will increase visibility to other motorists of the presence of police and making the motorcycle police safer.
“We had to strike a balance between workplace health and safety on reflective material and making the jackets protective for the rider,” he says.
The jackets were made by G-Moto by Glanda to special Queensland Police specifications.
They replace hi-vis reflective vests that were worn over the previous black motorcycle jacket.
“So we can hop off the bike and don’t have to waste time putting on a reflective vest,” he says.
“If we had to give chase while wearing the vest, it would fly up in your face.”
Peter says he would like to see riders follow the lead of the police and take responsibility for their own safety with proper motorcycle gear.
But should a minimum standard of riding gear, apart from helmets, be mandated as has been suggested by VicPol?
“In the ideal world yes, but whether we like it or not there is a civil rights issue,” Peter says.
“I’d prefer to see the motorcycle community promote it.”
He compared the use of safety riding gear to drink driving.
“After 30 years of campaigning, the community now thinks drink driving is bad. In the same way, I’d like to see the riding community view riding in shorts and thongs as bad.
“But these things need to be decided within the riding community not imposed from without.”
Bob seems more adamant about setting minimum gear standards.
“There are standards for vehicles, so why not for motorcycle riding gear?
“People need to think responsibly for their own safety,” he says.
DayGlo doesn’t always work as is seen in this police video.
Peter says they have spoken “at length” with Transport and Main Roads and studied the Australian Design Rules on helmets in relation to fitting action cameras.
Unlike VicPol, he says Queensland Police will take no action against any rider with a helmet camera.
He says they have no problem with small cameras fitted to helmets with clamps, velcro or adhesive, so long as no holes are drilled into the helmet to bolt on the camera.
“Everyone uses them,” he says. “We will take no action against anyone that uses them.
“We wear them for evidence and we quite often get evidence from motorcycle riders against themselves.”
Peter started riding police bikes in 1987 and has owned 28 bikes in his riding career.
“I have the best job in the world,” he says.
Peter says there are many advantage of using a motorcycle for traffic patrols.
“You can ride between the traffic and see people using phones and not wearing seatbelt and children unrestrained in cars,” he said.
“Motorcycle police have an aura about them that if you get pulled up you know it’s not going to be the best day of your life.
“So adjust your driving behaviour.”
Assistant Commissioner Michael Keating says the new DayGlo motorcycles would play an important part in traffic management for next year’s Commonwealth Games.