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Industry Launches New Motorcycle Safety Strategy As Statistics Show That Motorcycle Safety IS Improving - July 20th 2005

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    The Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCI) has today launched the motorcycle industry's new motorcycle safety strategy. This new strategy follows the successful implementation of the majority of the actions in its 2003 strategy for making motorcycle safer to use on UK roads.

    The new strategy has been launched against a backdrop of improving motorcycle safety. In 2004 motorcycle casualties fell by 10%, with the number of motorcycle fatalities falling by 16%, the largest percentage improvement of any form of private transport.

    The industry's 2003 safety strategy outlined the motorcycle industry's position on how the motorcycle casualty reduction strategy should evolve. It offered commitment to developing solutions and recognised that safety issues went far beyond just the motorcycle rider and the motorcycle itself. It offered a range of initiatives to be undertaken by industry, Government and through partnership between Government and industry.

    The policy paper became known as 'The 19 Point Safety Plan' and since its publication in October 2003, the MCI has committed significant resources to its implementation, with activities strongly supported by MCI member companies through a new industry body, the Motorcycle Safety Committee (MSC).

    These actions culminated in the launch of the DfT supported 'A Street, A Track, An Open Road' rider skills DVD in February 2005, which is now supplied to the buyers of all new powered two wheelers.

    In March 2005, the industry reviewed the 19 Point Safety Plan. This review was prompted by the high level of activity over the proceeding 18 months, coupled with a need to evolve the strategy due to the changing road safety picture. The review revealed that although great progress had been made by industry (with this partly reflected in the improved motorcycle safety figures) much still needed to be done, in particular by the Government. Key items of concern include the Government's unwillingness to fund the successful Bikesafe Programme, failure to close loopholes in pre licence training and a failure to offer further incentives for people to undertake post motorcycle test training.

    MCI has presented several key points in the new strategy these include:

  1. Bikesafe funding - Government's continued concern about motorcycle safety should be matched with a willingness to fund local motorcycle safety programmes such as Bikesafe.
  2. Licensing - Government should resist European proposals to introduce a new rider licensing regime which discriminates against novice motorcyclists by raising ages of access to motorcycles and significantly increasing the cost of gaining a licence - while doing nothing to modify the decades old car licence regime.
  3. National strategy - Government to place priority on implementing its ground breaking National Motorcycle Strategy.
  4. Craig Carey-Clinch MCI's Director of Public Affairs said, "The industry's new safety strategy represents a step forward in the motorcycle industry's commitment to safer roads for motorcyclists. The new strategy will augment MCI's actions since 2003, which have shown a clear willingness to tackle the issues and deliver initiatives. We now call on Government to do the same by supporting the kind of actions which will allow motorcycling opportunities as both a leisure activity and an alternative to the car to be explored in a safer environment."