The Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) and Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) have launched (8 Dec) a policy document designed to encourage greater use of motorcycles on UK roads, which the partners say “should improve road safety as a result”.
The document, ‘Realising the Motorcycling Opportunity; a motorcycle safety and transport policy framework’, has been developed in response to a slowdown in the reduction in rider casualties.
ACPO and MCIA say “encouraging rather than discouraging motorcycling should contribute to better safety outcomes”, pointing to European data which shows that when a greater percentage of traffic is made up of motorcycles, mopeds or scooters, riders are less likely to be involved in an accident.
The policy document calls for motorcycles to be included in mainstream transport policy and sets out a framework of practical recommendations addressing how this might be achieved.
The partners also say there is a “growing body of evidence” which shows that if more people started their road careers on a motorcycle, scooter or moped, this would lead to improvements in driver behaviour towards all vulnerable road users.
Measures called for in the paper include: education for all road users; one theory test for all road users (currently there are different tests for motorcyclists and car drivers); compulsory road user awareness lessons within the school curriculum; and a culture of post-test training for all vehicle modes.
Deputy chief constable Tim Madgwick, ACPO’s motorcycling lead, said: “After taking over as ACPO motorcycling lead, I wanted to ensure that casualty reduction was still a priority and am pleased that we have been able to work together (with MCIA) to build this framework which should see some real advancement in improving road safety, particularly for motorcyclists.
“The framework places education at the heart of it with some proposed transformations to improve the theory test and greater recognition and use of BikeSafe and the RIDE scheme.”
Steve Kenward, CEO of the MCIA, added: “For too long the Government, local authorities and transport planners seem to have deliberately avoided talking about motorcycle use, a practice which will increasingly fail as a method of reducing rider accidents.
“Motorcycles need to be treated as a legitimate form of transport which can save time, space and money for commuters, while having the added benefit of reducing congestion for all road users.”
Steve Baker MP, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Motorcycle Group, said: “It’s time for officialdom to stop seeing motorcycling as a problem. Increased motorcycle use offers affordable access to personal transport and an antidote to congestion.
“If we want to reduce congestion and improve the quality of people’s lives, we need to embrace all forms of two-wheeled transport. This document gives a clear framework as to how that can be achieved while improving safety for all road users.”