"Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You" (SMIDSY)
For far too long motorcyclists have been treated as the second-class citizens of the road: maligned, pigeon-holed as a nuisance and in many instances, literally run off the road by drivers.
Maurice Blackburn has taken on the task of helping to sort out this unfair treatment of riders. We are leading a growing campaign for change, tackling the issue from all angles, not just in court. By pushing for legislative change in parliament and bold online awareness campaigns, we are providing riders with a new and strong voice.
Riders face a distinct set of challenges, both on and off the road, from mutterings of "Sorry Mate I Didn't See You" (SMIDSY), dangerous road surfaces and wire barriers, to inconsistent road rules from state to state.
On this page and on our Stop SMIDSY Facebook page, you can find information on common issues riders face. We encourage you to join in the conversation and take part in our campaigns.
SMIDSY "Sorry mate I didn’t see you"
"Any person who's riding a motorcycle, when they're involved in an incident, they're just automatically deemed at fault. It's the furthest thing from the truth.
I wasn't doing anything wrong… I was coming out of a roundabout, just around the corner from home. All of a sudden bang."
Shannon, motorbike accident survivor
Wire rope barriers on the side of the road are quick and easy to install, and relatively cheap, at least in the short term. Unfortunately the wire ropes and vertical posts can be extremely dangerous for riders.
The smooth surface created by concrete barriers is by far safer if you slide along the road after an accident, like motorcyclists can.
Even though it’s safer for riders and eases traffic congestion, lane filtering has not been legalised in some Australian states and is still widely misunderstood by drivers. It’s time for national consistency and a comprehensive driver awareness campaign on this important road rule.
For riders, a helmet cam can capture the sights of your ride and also provide crucial evidence if you get involved in an incident on the road.
But the rules around helmet cameras are inconsistent across Australia. In our opinion they are legal to use in all States, but the legislation only makes that clear in Queensland and the ACT. We’ve seen several cases of riders being charged elsewhere, most recently in South Australia.
An increasing number of Australians are using their smartphones while driving. No one is more aware of this than riders, who can see the offending motorists while they are filtering or stopped at intersections. Distracted drivers are a common cause of motorcycle accidents, so any increase in distraction can be fatal for riders.
Debris left on the road after repair work is incredibly dangerous for motorcyclists and has caused serious injuries to riders.
The debris, which can stretch out for the entire width of a road and be metres long, is often left for several days before a contractor returns to sweep it away. We need to get to the bottom of why it’s happening and how to stop it.
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Malcolm CummingOffice Leader
"Malcolm Cumming has worked as a litigation lawyer since 1997, joining Maurice Blackburn in 1999 and being appointed to Principal in 2010"
Andrew McKenzieQueensland Head of Road Injuries
"Andrew McKenzie is a passionate fighter for what is fair. He is a Principal at Maurice Blackburn and head of our Queensland personal injury department"
Danielle De PaoliSpecial Counsel
"Danielle De Paoli is Special Counsel of Maurice Blackburn’s Parramatta office. She is a Law Society of NSW Personal Injury Accredited Specialist."
Tony KerinState Managing Principal
"Tony Kerin is the Managing Principal in Maurice Blackburn’s Adelaide office, with 30 years’ experience as a lawyer."