AMC Position Statement – Frontal Identification
It has been proposed that motorcycles be fitted with some form of Frontal Identification, namely number-plates, decals, or some form of electronic/technical identification device. The reasoning behind frontal identification is not to provide a benefit to motorcycle road safety but primarily to allow speed cameras and speed enforcement devices to frontally identify motorcycles.
Where we are now
Investigations are currently underway in some States, notably Victoria, into the feasibility of fitting frontal identification to motorcycles. This frontal identification would most likely at this stage be a numberplate or decal.
Some stakeholders in road safety are of the opinion that motorcycle safety could be improved if motorcycle were to fitted with some form of frontal identification which would allow motorcycles to be ‘caught’ by speed cameras which photograph only the front of vehicles.
Road safety is a State based responsibility and while States sometimes agree to work co-operatively on issues in which they have a common interest they are not bound by this agreement.
While Frontal Identification is an item on the National Road Safety Strategic Plan, not all States support this proposal.
One report has indicated that the cost of installing frontal identification decals on motorcycles in Victoria will be in the order of $12 million with an ongoing cost of $1 million per annum.
Before a proposal of this type is adopted it is necessary for a Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) to be prepared. A RIS includes estimates of the cost of implementing the proposal and the benefits of the proposal. For a proposal to be adopted the ‘benefits’ need to be greater than the ‘costs’. This is usually referred to as the Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR).
Initial indications are that the costs will be far greater than the benefits.
Where we want to be
The AMC’s position is to oppose frontal identification until such time as a direct cause and effect relationship between road safety and frontal identification can be established.
That any Regulation Impact Statement is vigorous in its assessment of the benefits and costs associated with the introduction of frontal identification for motorcycles.
That other options such as, cameras that photo the rear of vehicles are also investigated.
How to get there
Work with rider groups in all states so that any Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) considers all the ramifications and costs of any proposed means of frontal identification.