Saturday, 7 November 2009

Fear & Loathing on the Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road
Every motorcyclist in Victoria pays $60 extra on their motorcycle registration just to fund "nanny state" advertising like the sign below! This extra tax on motorcyclist started as a "trial" - but clearly has now become permanent.

As someone who has used the GOR safely for 35 years I resent starting my recreational ride by being subject to flawed advertising, which is funded from a tax that is fundamentally inequitable.

Guy Allen's interesting editorial on the Victorian "safety levy" here

I agree that wearing "all the gear all the time" (ATGATT) is a a pretty sensible approach for motorcyclists. However, one of the greatest threats for motorcyclists on the GOR is from tourists who are watching the scenery rather than the road, or who are not used to driving on the left side of the road. In both of these circumstances motorcyclists are put at risk as drivers cut corners and veer onto the wrong side of the road. The exuberance of youth and sheer stupidity of some motorcyclists themselves, have to be acknowledged as additional risk factors.

The sign below fails to address the root cause of problems on the GOR. I've seen no evidence at all that this sort of advertising has any affect on individual behavior. What I have seen in the past though is police use the safety theme as a justification for what boils down to virtually harassment of motorcyclists. I do not consider that singling out and pulling over motorcyclists only to do license checks repeatedly, sometimes within a few kilometers stretch of the GOR, a reasonable approach to road safety - though typically justified as a "safety blitz".

Another TAC shocking advertisement

This advertisement from SA seems closer to the target to me, but again, is there any evidence that it leads to behavior change?

Anyway, I managed to have a pretty enjoyable run early in the morning from Geelong to Skene's Creek before I traveled inland via the Otway Ranges.

Turned off to head inland here.

Near Tanybryn I saw two wedge tail eagles at close quarters which was quite spectacular - I've never seen them in the Otways before.

I got back home around lunch time, feeling invigorated from the run.

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