Brake’s ‘Vision Zero’ sees no room for motorcycles: MCN

15.48 | 20 September 2010 | | 4 comments

A report in Motorcycle News (MCN) says that Brake, the road safety charity, is backing a casualty reduction policy whose author once said motorcycles must be removed from the roads.

Road Safety GB has moved quickly to distanced itself from Brake’s position, describing this approach as “likely to do more harm than good”.

MCN says that Brake is lobbying the government to adopt the ideas of Claes Tingvall, a Swede who once said: “We must prevent the recruiting of new motorcyclists. In long-term thinking, I regret to say that motorcycles must go.”

Tingvall originally devised ‘Vision Zero’ in the 1990s (which has been adopted by Brake) and once said on Swedish TV: “There is no room for motorcycles in Vision Zero.”

According to MCN, Brake’s manifesto states: “Our vision, Vision Zero, imagines a world where road deaths and injuries, and carbon emissions from vehicles, have been reduced to zero.”

Ian Mutch, president of the Motorcycle Action Group, said: “The rabid end of the road safety lobby cannot tolerate the idea that anybody would trade a bit of safety for quality of life and fun.

“Everybody who gets on a motorcycle makes trade-off between safety and enjoyment and there is a growing school of thought which says it’s not acceptable for you as an individual to make that choice. That’s the great challenge facing the motorcycle lobby.”

A Road Safety GB spokesperson said: "Road safety groups should be engaging with riders and helping them stay safe on the roads, not suggesting they have their chosen mode of transport banned.

“Comments like this do more harm than good and are not representative of the views of our members.

“Motorcycles and other powered two wheelers are an important part of the transport mix and can help to relieve congestion in urban areas provided they’re used responsibly and are given due respect by other road users."

Click here to read the full MCN report.


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    Brake’s manifesto states: “Our vision, Vision Zero, imagines a world where road deaths and injuries, and carbon emissions from vehicles, have been reduced to zero.”

    Easy one this – ban all forms of motorised transport, not just motorbikes. I’m sure the odd death caused by a runaway horse or ox drawn cart won’t be too much cause for concern.

    Vince Morley – Milton Keynes
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    I agree with Roy and Dave on this one. Why oh why don’t organisations think it through before associating themselves with a ludicrous point of view. Road safety professionals devote thousands of hours and precious resources to engage with motorcyclists – a vulnerable road user group. Alot of excellent work has been done, links with rider groups have been established with the aim of promoting riding along with the proactive management of risk. I’d like everybody to get the message – road safety professionals don’t want to discourage motorcycling; they want to promote and encourage skillful riding together the use of strategies that promote excellent riding practise. They want more riders riding more miles with less casualties. Motorcycling can and should play a key role in the future development of road transport. We also want riders to enjoy themselves and have fun, we want to encourage them to ride skillfully and responsibly – we want them to have lots of fun – safely and responsibly.

    Brake is an organisation that has done some very good work in the interests of road safety. It has the potential to do excellent work in many areas related to transport and road safety. Key individuals in organisations really do need to use their collective ‘loafs’ and think through the potential consequences of a given position. The last thing any road safety professional wants is to alienate some segments of the biking community and drive them in a more extreme direction.

    Mark – Wiltshire
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    I agree Roy, it can be hard enough to get riders to engage with road safety initiatives without giving them the idea that we want to ban bikes. Brake revisiting Tingvall’s comments could do real harm to the relationship some road safety units have built up with local riders & rider’s groups. In a time of financial short fall what we need are well thought out, cost effective policies and campaigns not the headline grabbing sensationalism that Brake seem to have fallen back on to gain publicity.

    Dave, Leeds
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    Oh dear; this is Brake doing what Brake does best, making silly comments that gets them publicity which makes it easier for them to raise funding from the gullible. Tingvall made ludicrous comments many years ago and no one took him seriously except those who are themselves ludicrous in their comments. I am sure Tingvall realised that what he said was an extremely ideological philosophy that he knew was beyond the realms of reality. It is to be regretted the Road Safety GB pay attention to Brake when they are discredited so frequently. However, I am delighted that, in this case, Road Safety GB has moved quickly to distance itself from Brake’s position on motorcycles. The further, the better.

    Roy Buchanan, Sutton
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