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Euro Trash
 
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Euro Trash - January 28th 2005


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    It's more Eurotrash says the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) of the latest licensing proposals under the 3rd European Driving Licence Directive to come out of Brussels.

    The European Parliament's Transport Committee has voted in favour of amendments to the directive in a poor effort to harmonize motorcycle testing and licenses across the EU.

    The proposed changes also aim to create a safer testing regime for riders but simply moving the age limit or Direct Access to 26 does not make a safer rider. Nor does waiting until you are at least 19 years to ride a bike bigger than 125cc".

    Brussels has created a hodgepodge of differing age limits to the licence structure for riders and in doing so, has denied riders the right balance between safety, mobility and access to Powered-Two Wheelers while failing to address the real issues of motorcycle safety.

    MAG says that quick-fixes for safety by unreasonably limiting access to motorcycles will not work.

    Instead, MAG recommends a constructive approach featuring:

    The introduction of long term education for road safety starting at school level.

    High quality cost-effective initial rider training.

    Raising the awareness of other vehicle drivers to motorcycles.

    MAG Director of Public Affairs Trevor Baird says, "There is a reluctance to look at the facts and an enthusiasm to reach for the unrealistic objective of a harmonised European motorcycle licence.

    There are big cultural differences between the European states and the 'one size fits all' approach isn't justified. Simply limiting younger riders to smaller bikes makes no sense either."

    MAG is not alone, a Pan European front consisting of FEMA (Federation of European Motorcyclists' Associations) representing twenty two European riders organizations, the FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) and ACEM, the Motorcycle Industry in Europe, have been working in partnership by presenting a joint position paper and amendments to the directive.

    MAG has lobbied UK MEP's in the European Parliament's Transport Committee and has met representatives of the UK government to state its position together with other rider groups, representatives of the motorcycle industry (MCIA) and the Motorcycle Rider Training Association (MRTA).

    MAG calls on the European institutes to listen to the rider lobby, Antonio Perlot, Secretary General of FEMA said, "Our objective is to contribute to the identification of an approach to Powered Two-Wheelers insuring the coexistence of safety and mobility, through an effective and affordable licensing scheme. The Transport Committee of the European Parliament is also proposing a revolutionary approach, shifting the emphasis from testing to training."

    MAG will be lobbying MEP's and MP's in earnest prior to a European Parliament vote on the directive in February and will be asking riders through in its political activists arm the 'Email Army' to respond.

    Details of the Initial Rider Training Project are available at www.initialridertraining.com. Subscribe to the Email Army at www.lists.mag-uk.org/mailman/listinfo.