BORDER and North East motorcyclists joined 200 others in the marginal seat of Seymour on Saturday in a push to persuade the Victorian government to adopt new motorcycle and scooter safety laws.
Independent Riders Group spokeswoman Cate Hughes travelled from Broadford to ride with the motorcyclists from the Wodonga Homemaker Centre where the member for Benambra, Bill Tilley, discussed their concerns before their departure on the Fair Go Run.
Mr Tilley is a member of the all-party Victorian Parliament road safety committee, which released the Road Safety Committee Inquiry into Motorcycle Safety in December, a former police officer and an experienced motorcyclist.
He said he had seen first-hand the tragic results of motorcycle crashes and recognised the importance of motorcyclists’ safety.
“These memories stay with you,” he said.
“They are absolute tragedies and quite often unnecessary.
“Every road-user — motorcycle rider, car driver, truck driver — has a responsibility to bring this all together.
“Education and proper driver training can help make the roads safer.”
The government is due to respond to the safety committee’s report by June.
The report covers such issues as the attitudes of motorcyclists and drivers towards each other and the difficulty of accurately assessing motorcycle trauma.
Saturday’s ride was the first of a series to be held in marginal seats.
The report has recommended the abolition of a motorcycle safety levy that riders’ group spokesman Damien Cogdognotto said was a “discriminatory” $70 tax.
“It was indexed by the last government so it automatically increases every year,” he said.
“We are legitimate road users. We more than pay our way.”
Mr Tilley agreed the levy affected only one class of road user and the money had not been spent on that group.
“The committee generally had some concerns in relation to that,” he said.
Mr Cogdognotto said about 200 riders had listened to speeches at Seymour including one from Liberal Seymour MP Cindy McLeish.
He said Victoria’s 326,000 licensed motorcycle and scooter riders deserved a fair go.
“Candidates who support our right to have the recommendations implemented have our support,” he said.
He said motorcyclists needed to send a strong message to car drivers.
“Too many of us are having our property smashed, our bodies broken and, too often, our lives taken because a car driver does the wrong thing,” he said.