The issue of front number plates on motorcycles has reared its head in Victoria, but to considerable opposition from motorcycling groups.
New figures showing that numbers of riders are escaping speed camera fines is driving the push for front plates from both the police and road safety groups.
A report from Road Safety Commissioner, Gordon Lewis, says 69 percent of motorcyclists caught exceeding the speed limit by a roadside camera will never be issued with an infringement notice; compared with just four percent of cars.
More than 53,000 riders have avoided penalties in the last five years in Victoria, which the report says is due to the lack of frontal identification on their bikes.
Front number plates on bikes were scrapped in Victoria (and other states) over 30 years ago, as the sideways guard-mounted conventional metal plates of yesteryear were believed to be a major safety risk to both riders and pedestrians.
Since then, front styling on many modern motorcycles leaves virtually no room for even a sticker carrying the registration details; much less a motorcycle-sized number plate.
Victorian Motorcycle Council’s John Eacott said riders were not to blame for the high number of ineligible fines.
“We are not a bunch of hoons, we are not a bunch of law-breakers, we are operating our motorcycles in accordance with Australian design rules,” Mr Eacott said, speaking with Nine News.
“And those cameras that don’t pick us up because they don’t have a frontal identification [system] – that is the fault of the camera system, not the fault of the motorcyclist.”
The report shows front-mounted number plates are no guarantee to reduce the number of riders slipping through the net however, as a further 21 percent of riders escaped detection from rear-facing cameras as well.
Despite the majority wearing correctly-mounted rear number plates complying with legislation, the registration number was considered unreadable in the traffic camera images.