The Queensland Police have set up a register for recreational rides.
It was suggested by Police Commissioner Ian Stewart at a meeting with rider groups last month as a way for innocent recreational rider groups to avoid unwanted and misdirected attention of police searching for “vicious lawless associates” to disestablish under the new anti-bikie laws, including the Vicious Lawless Associates Disestablishment (VLAD) Act.
While none at the meeting objected, afterwards the Motorcycle Riders Association of Queensland and Australian Motorcycle Council said it was insane.
Now that the online “service” has been set up, we find it is also quite intrusive. Check it out here.
They want the full name of the person responsible for organising the ride, plus their date of birth, phone number, email address and club position, plus similar details for a second contact person.
It also asks for the name of the club or group, distinguishing clothing or insignia, the ride name, how many will attend, where it starts and ends, the route and stops along the way.
Presumably police in the area will be notified. But nowhere does it give any assurances that the police will leave them alone to conduct their charity or social ride.
In fact, it gives the police vital intelligence about our movements and allows them to pass on that information to other “persons and agencies outside the QPS”.
So you could expect they may turn up to check the IDs of riders at the start to search for VLAs. It also gives them the opportunity to organise transport inspectors to check for unroadworthy vehicles.
They also have details for setting up RBTs and radars along the route.
The people at the meeting who didn’t speak up and object to this registration process should be ashamed.
The register says that you should only use the “service” if you are registering a ride of 12 or more on behalf of an association or club and if you have a valid email address (otherwise, there is a phone register you can use).
The fine print at the bottom reads: “The collection of this information is authorised by legislation or Queensland Police Service (QPS) policy established under the Police Service Administration Act 1990 (Qld) and the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 (Qld). The information may be used to assist in performing the statutory functions and responsibilities of the QPS. The QPS may disclose some or all of this information to employees and contractors involved in the processing of this form. The information may also be disclosed to those persons and agencies outside the QPS as provided for by legislation or in accordance with the Information Privacy Act 2009. Failure to supply the requested information may mean that the QPS is unable to process this form.”
There is nothing on the website that says it is illegal to send in false registrations, but if I know riders there will be quite a jokers who will have a bit of fun with the form as I have. Check out the attached images.
If you have any suggestions on how to fill them out, please share them and let’s have a bit of a laugh.
Meanwhile, one reader of MotorbikeWriter suggested that if the police get a lot of nonsense ride registrations (eg Smurfette and the Panty Chasers Annual Laundry Run to Mount Isa), it will waste police time and eventually misuse of the registration system will become an offence and jokers will be “hunted down”.
Those who register to avoid harassment will probably end up being harassed anyway. The result will be that no one registers.
Police will then get sick of having to deal with the vast number of social and charity rides during the peak Christmas season that they didn’t know about.
The result could be that ride registration becomes law.
The Queensland Government has already had to rewrite and amend its hastily drafted “anti-bikie” laws, so there is nothing stopping them from adding this little “gem”.
There are three things we can do: Vote them out at the next election; donate to the AMC’s Fighting Fund to finance a High Court challenge to the laws; and keep riding, not registering.
Just don’t expect this sick police joke to fade away.