A landmark policy to encourage greater use of motorcycles across the UK and improve road safety has been launched this week.

The Motorcycle Industry Association and Association of Chief Police Officers have joined forces to launch the ‘Realising the Motorcycling Opportunity’ document – in response to the slowdown of reductions in rider casualties.

Despite rider safety improving considerably since 2000, motorcyclists are currently over represented in road fatality statistics (one per cent of traffic, 19 per cent of fatalities). 

Both police and industry agree traditional road safety policies directed at motorcycling will only partially deliver more positive outcomes for motorcycle safety beyond those already achieved.

The document, which was unveiled at a Parliamentary Reception hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Motorcycle Group on 8th December, calls for motorcycles to be included in mainstream transport policy and sets out a framework of practical recommendations addressing how this might be achieved.

Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick, Motorcycling Lead for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), said he was pleased to be joining forces with the MCIA.

“Over recent years, the number of motorcycle casualties has reduced which is encouraging,” he said.

“However, this reduction seems to be slowing, with the emphasis moving away from progress in safety and too many motorcyclists are still being killed and injured on the roads.

“After taking over as the ACPO Motorcycling Lead, I wanted to ensure that casualty reduction was still a priority and I am pleased that these views were shared by MCIA and that we have been able to work together to build this framework which should see some real advancement in improving road safety, particularly for motorcyclists.”

Some of the measures called for in the paper include:

  • One theory test for all road users (motorcyclists have to do a different one to drivers)
  • Compulsory road user awareness lessons within the school curriculum
  • A culture of post-test training for all vehicle modes

The scheme will also include a more comprehensive breakdown of motorcycle accident statistics and include motorcycle use as core part of overall transport policy, along with walking, cycling and public transport.

Steve Kenward, CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA), added that inclusion in transport policy is the only way forward to improve safety.

“For too long, the Government, local authorities and transport planners seem to have deliberately avoided talking about motorcycle use, a practice which will increasingly fail as a method of reducing rider accidents,” he said.

“Motorcycles need to be treated as a legitimate form of transport, which can save time, space and money for commuters, whilst having the added benefit of reducing congestion for all road users.”

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