Victoria Police will be out in force over the next few days as warning to motorcyclists to ride safely on their way to and from the World Superbikes at Phillip Island this weekend.
In previous years, VicPol have conducted “Motosafe” operations around the WSBK and MotoGP events.
We contacted VicPol to find out what they had planned for this year and they replied:
Local police will be out on patrol this weekend to keep those attending the Superbike World Championship event safe. The number of lives lost so far this year is concerning and shows we cannot afford to be complacent about safety on our roads. We are particularly concerned about the number of motorcyclist lives lost this year, so encourage everyone making the journey to Phillip Island on their motorcycle to ride to the conditions and wear protective boots, pants, gloves and a jacket and helmet.
We are also told VicPol will have their solo patrols at Phillip island for general traffic policing.
Riders have complained in the past that over-zealous police make life difficult for riders.
They have reported long queues for licence checks at road blocks, indiscriminate roadside bike inspections and an abundance of speed detection.
Some have even said they not return because of the heavy handed police presence.
So while these events are recognised as two of the major tourist attractions to the state, these police operations seem to have had the reverse effect.
We invite riders to leave a comment below of their experiences to alert other riders.
And make sure you have fun at the Island and get home in one piece.
For those interstate riders visiting Victoria, remember it is not legal to ride in a bus, bicycle, transit, tram or truck lane.
The only exception is if you are stopping for an emergency or turning and then you can only be in the lane for 1090m (50m for bicycle and tram lanes).
Also, VicPol now have automatic number plate recognition technology to detect unregistered vehicles.
WSBK and MotoGP are significant tourist events that reap millions of dollars in annual revenue for Victoria.
The Victorian Government’s Motorcycle Tourism Strategy 2013-2016 actually says “motorcycle tourism has the potential to make an important contribution to the Victorian economy, particularly in regional areas. Motorcycling is the fastest growing road user sector.”
The strategy has not been updated since 2016.
Also, an Australian Financial Review report cited the booming motorcycle tourism industry as being dominated by domestic intra-state bikers taking short, weekend rides into rural areas and staying in country hotels.
“Others do longer inter-state trips through classic touring country such as coastal and alpine roads. Then there’s the motorbike tourists who tour for several weeks or months, either in a tour group or by hiring bikes and self-guiding,” the report stated.
And, of course, making an annual pilgrimage to the island!