The Motorcycle Action Group President, Ian Mutch and Director of Public Affairs, Trevor Baird joined members of the Government Advisory Group on Motorcycling in Central London to record the delivery of the group's landmark report on motorcycling.
The group was joined by Roads Safety Minister David Jamieson to pose" for a photograph in a motorcycle parking bay, the opportunity to point out the crowded state of the bay was not wasted, underlining one element of the reports advice to increase motorcycle parking allocation in Central London.
The Motorcycle Action Group campaigned for the establishment of the Advisory Group as far back as 1997 when Shadow Roads Minister Glenda Jackson promised that such a group would be formed if Labour won the election. Members of other parties also supported the initiative which has provided riders access to the heart of Government to put their views on all issues of relevance to today's motorcyclist.
The report is a recommendation to Government to develop a strategy for motorcycling in the UK. MAG Director Of Public Affairs Trevor Baird says, "We don't want the report to be lost in the black hole of civil servantdom. MAG will be pushing for the promised publication of the Government's National Motorcycle Strategy and to develop the future role of the group from advisory to strategy making"
With an increase of motorcycle deaths by 14% in 2003 the report has faced up to the challenge to make biking safer and to take account of the needs of motorcyclists.
MAG President Ian Mutch said. What MAG has tried to do is create a pro motorcycling culture that recognises the value of motorcycles to the greater transport plan. The formation of the Advisory Group was a big step in the right direction and first impressions of the report are encouraging."
MAG supports 99% of the suggestions and recommendations in the report, specifically:
- Drivers made aware of issues such as how their actions can affect motorcyclists.
- Raising the awareness of all road users about motorcyclists.
- Funding a fully national Bikesafe programme that is operated to an agreed national standard.
- That the role of Rider Improvement and Speed Awareness schemes be extended for offending motorcyclists.
- Research into car driver skills, knowledge and attitudes in relation to motorcycle safety, including the incidence of drivers 'looking but failing to see' in accidents involving motorcycles.
- That the press should be discouraged from glamorising inappropriate speed and behaviour.
- That policing should be targeted on better driving/riding standards through enforcement and education.
- Find a compromise solution through the UN-ECE in Geneva that would require machines to be fitted with an AHO override switch.
- Daytime running lamps, review the European Commission research to ensure any reported benefits are fully relevant to GB road and traffic mix conditions.
- Consider whether or not the training and testing structure for Direct Access adequately
equips riders for the conditions that they face on the road.
- For candidates to complete a minimum number of hours on-road assessed riding (utilising a log-book scheme) prior to being awarded a test pass;
- Encourage riders to take post-test training. For example, exemption from or a reduction in VED for riders who have undertaken further training.
- Riders should learn skills such as braking, skid and speed control at the national limits.
- That research should continue into Electronic Vehicle Identification but that civil liberty issues need to be properly considered and consulted upon.
- Remedy the bias of some institutions - including local authorities, employers, regional
government, educational bodies, environmental and safety pressure groups - which the Group believes is contrary to improving PTW safety.
- That the second full Local Transport Plans should include appropriate provision for PTWs.
- That potential or perceived conflicts between PTWs and other road users should be properly explored
- Continue research into the use of ASLs, encouraging further sites in different situations for trials, and consider the policy of allowing PTWs to use ASLs in the light of that research.
The full report can be downloaded at; Full report
Information provided by Trevor Baird, Director Of Public Affairs of www.mag-uk.org