Position Statement – Frontal Identification

In some States it has been proposed that motorcycles be fitted with some form of Frontal Identification, namely numberplates or decals. However, this proposal is not currently being investigated in NSW

Priority:– Medium

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 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 several States are working co-operatively to investigate frontal identification for motorcycles, the RTA has indicated at several meetings and in National Road Safety Strategic Panel (NRSS) documentation that they are not supporting this research but are investigation other means of identifying motorcycles.

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:-

While it is not currently proposed to introduce front numberplates or decals in NSW we need to ensure that this situation does not change and that we stay in touch with developments in other states.

We also need to keep in touch with what other means of identification that the RTA may be investigating.

How to get there:-

Work with the Australian Motorcycle Council (AMC) and rider groups in other states so that any Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) considers all the ramifications and costs of any proposed means of frontal identification.