While the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG UK) and riders groups across Europe struggle to improve the survival of riders on the roads, the butterfly population is being looked after worldwide with a new Butterfly Handbook for Highways Engineers supported by the Minister for Road Safety, Dr Stephen Ladyman.
English Nature's Chief Scientist, Dr Keith Duff, said: "We hope that road engineers across the country will use the handbook to design and construct roads which enrich the value of our countryside for butterflies and other species."
MAG requests that the same road engineers enrich the value of our countryside and urban areas for the motorcycle species by taking notice of the Institute of Highway Incorporated Engineers (IHIE) Guidelines on Improving Safety through Engineering and Integration for motorcycling as well as the recently published ACEM Guidelines for PTW-Safer Road Design In Europe publications.
MAG is involved in a raft of issues to promote a better motorcycling environment such as bus lane use, advanced stop lines, exemption from congestion charging, and road tolls, secure parking facilities. This includes the way riders use this environment and how other road users need to be aware of and look out for motorcyclists.
One of the issues that MAG is concerned with on the UK roads is the absence of clear (European) regulations, which include the requirement of crash barriers to meet the needs of motorcyclists. Riders are dependent on the goodwill of local, regional and national road authorities to adapt existing crash barriers to a standard that would protect motorcyclists.
At present MAG is campaigning for the government to make an immediate public commitment that:
- There will be no more wire rope type barrier systems fitted in the UK. MAG considers these systems the most aggressive vehicle restraint system used on the roads.
- These high maintenance and expensive systems will be systematically identified and replaced expediently.
- A review of the placement of crash barriers is undertaken with those identified as dangerous for motorcycles fitted with a motorcycle-friendly guard rail.
- Decisions by road authorities to install Vehicle Restraint Systems should take into consideration the safety of motorcyclists so that they are not a greater danger than the obstacle they are intended to protect.
- In Europe the standard for crash barriers - EN 1317 should include testing with motorcycles, so that crash barriers can be proven safe for all road users.
- Motorcycle-friendly secondary rails and all other forms of post protection devices are included in the standards of tests for other vehicles.
- Thus allowing road authorities in the UK the freedom to fit these systems and devices without expensive and time consuming secondary UK testing.
MAG's Director Of Public Affairs, Trevor Baird, commented, "The aim of MAG UK on this one stop issue is to improve the safety of Vehicle Restraint Systems across Europe thus reducing the potential for injury and death of motorcyclists when impacting these systems."