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General road safety

I have had a call from a bloke in Western Victoria (May 23, 2023). He dropped his bike because warning signs at a roadwork site had been removed before the site was properly cleaned up. Gravel brought him down. He wants compensation from Regional Roads Victoria.

If you’ve had a crash and need legal advice contact the Law Institute of Victoria. Tel: 9607 9311. Email:

Get all the info on the crash into one folder – written material drawings, photos, videos, a list of witnesses and officials contacted and so on.

In my opinion the only way Victorian roads will become safer is if road authorities have to explain themselves in front of a judge.

Damien Codognotto


MOTORCYCLE & SCOOTER stop lines are accepted in other countries. They work. They improve traffic flow and make motorcycling in traffic safer.

The Motorcycle Riders Association Australia (MRAA) made submissions to the City of Melbourne’s (CoM’s) motorcycle committee to install motorcycle stop lines at suitable intersections. Motorcycle stop lines were put in the Melbourne Motorcycle Plan as item M8.

The City of Melbourne installed bicycle stop lines without trial or study. They work. They improve traffic flow and make bicycling in traffic safer. The rules changed and bicycle stop lines were installed.

However, under pressure from VicRoads the City of Melbourne insisted on a trial of motorcycle stop lines in the CBD. These two tax/rate payer funded road authorities spent over $40,000 hiring The Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) to conduct a feasibility study on a trial. That is a study to say if a trial could be done. Not a study to see if motorcycle stop lines would or would not work.

The costly ARRB feasibility said a motorcycle stop line trial was not feasible. It was an expensive way for the CoM to say no to a trail. In my opinion a trial was likely to show motorcycle stop boxes worked as well as, or better than, bicycle stop lines/boxes. Again, in my opinion it was a deep seated bias, a prejudice, against the Victorian motorcycle community at VicRoads.

Steve Bardsley MBA is a member of the MRAA Executive. His work is now. You can read his papers at

Damien Codognotto OAM


The Motorcycle Riders Association Australia agrees. Secretive road authorities in this country are an impediment to improving road safety. This is clear from the steadily increasing number of major property damage, serious injury and fatal road crashes.

The Hobart Mercury. Monday, February 20, 2023.

Two things are obvious in Victoria and elsewhere. Numerous Parliamentary road safety inquiries have documented the lack of reliable crash and traffic data available and the need to address the systemic failures in research organisations and in tax payer funded departments. Bureaucratic inertia gets in the way. One. Systemic failures are not addressed and the road toll rises. Two. Expensive, outdated media campaigns have limited value using funds that could be put to more effective use.

The TOWARDS ZERO campaigns have zero credibility with much of the road using public. The original campaign, VISION ZERO came from Sweden to Victoria decades ago with Claes Tingval. Someone pointed out that a zero road toll was impossible unless Australians were banned from ever using our roads so the road authorities modified what was silly to what was slightly less silly, TOWARDS ZERO. Apparently not embarrassing a colleague was important. The road toll rises.

No one was ever held to account for this double fatal crash which was clearly caused by a neglected road surface the road authority knew about.

The reform of Australia’s road safety systems has to begin with more comprehensive, more uniform crash investigation systems. No one can develop reliable road trauma countermeasures without reliable traffic and crash data. Better data must be shared with stakeholders. Interested parties must be included in research and development of road trauma countermeasures. Road authorities must be held to account when failures occur.

Damien Codognotto OAM