The Motorcycle Action Group is delighted with the news that Britain's bike industry has stumped up the cash to invest in the nationwide Bikesafe initiative while slamming the Government for failing to put its money where its mouth is.
MAG has supported Bikesafe since it's inception in 1997 in Yorkshire driven then by Chief Superintendent David Short. Bikesafe, acting as a conduit combines rider assessment, road safety discussion and assisted motorcycle riding to identify areas where riders could benefit from further advanced motorcycle training.
The MCIA found £37,500 to inject into Bikesafe which will see the initiative keeping up to speed until April 2005. MAG agrees with the bike industry that while the Government claims reducing bike accidents is important to it, pressure needs to be placed on ministers to find a way of funding Bikesafe from the cash collected by speed cameras.
Bikesafe, which is police run, has a proven track record and public support according to the MCIA and believes the programme has helped with the 8% decrease in bike accidents in London in 2003. Figures presented to MAG at the London Motorcycle Working Group from Transport For London support motorcyclists' view that other vehicle users cause motorcycle accidents. With the introduction of congestion charging, which motorcycles are exempt from, motorcycle use has increased and other vehicle use has decreased.
MAG's Director of Public Affairs says, "This does not mean motorcyclists need to be complacent, there is always the need to hone your riding skills. Riders should "bite the bullet", take a Bikesafe assessment course and introduce themselves to advanced training, you'll be surprised at what you don't know."
Industry spokesman Craig Carey-Clinch, said; "Government seems to expect that a scheme it has already indicated it supports, can run on good will, private sector cash and fresh air and in the process reduce the number of motorcycle accidents about which it claims to have so much concern. The refusal of Ministers to consider speed camera funding is short sighted and exasperating to say the least."
"Speed cameras are so unpopular partly because there is a public perception that cash for cameras disappears into the black hole of safety camera partnerships never to be seen again. Public acceptability of speed cameras would improve if some of the revenue raised was ploughed back into a scheme which the public can see helps to improve road safety in an area of particular public concern - motorcycle accidents."
This article was kindly provided by www.mag-uk.org