In the light of comments made in the motorcycle press about the acceptability of Intelligent Speed Adaption (ISA) technology, The Motorcycle Action Group wishes to make its position crystal clear.
MAG President Ian Mutch was emphatic about the issue. "Let's keep this one simple, we don't want it, not today not tomorrow not ever."
Withdrawing control from the rider is fundamentally what MAG was set up to oppose.
MAG's Director of Public Affairs Trevor Baird recently rode a prototype motorcycle fitted with ISA technology which was developed by the University of Leeds, the Department for Transport and MIRA (Motor Industry Research Association).
The system fitted to the bike slows the bike down through speed limits by acting on the throttle from information supplied by digitally mapped GPS signals. The system also warns the rider of the speed limit through audible alarms, flashing lights and vibrating apparatus in the seat.
Baird condemned the prototype technology as, "dangerous as it overloads the rider with information thus distracting concentration. Furthermore the apparatus as it is at present will close the throttle mid corner where consistency of power is critical to stability. However we must be aware of future developments that may overcome these shortcomings as the technology evolves."
Whatever technical improvements are made, MAG is clear about its position.
Motorcycling is about fun and freedom and control, your hand on your throttle, your decision. If people abuse that control and fall foul of the law then that is a different issue but when technology is deployed to directly control motorcycles then a big line is crossed and MAG knows exactly which side of that line it stands on.
This is ultimately a philosophic issue, it's not just about safety, it's about what sort of society we want to live in. MAG says, we don't want to live in a society with the level of control which ISA can make possible and we intend to get more votes for our point of view than the safety zealots get for theirs.
To this end MAG is re launching its 2001 campaign to oppose the compulsory fitment to privately owned vehicles of any device designed to arbitrarily remove control from the driver and asks all vehicle users to sign the Mulhouse Declaration on the MAG campaign website at www.mag-uk.org where riders can join the organisation on line .