These are the questions most frequently asked of MAG Ireland.
Q. Why did MAG Ireland Support IBT (Initial Basic Training)?
A. Because the EU wants to legislate motorcycles out of existence, and is using casualty rates to justify it’s position. Between 2001 & 2008 casualty figures for other transport modes (cars, trucks, buses etc.) fell by an average of 30%. Motorcycle casualties fell by less than 5%. As a result we now face the imposition of mandatory ABS, more restrictive licenses, and “technical measures” such as anti-tamper & throttle control.
The EU aims to cut road deaths in half by 2020 (compared to 2010 levels), and MAG Ireland believes IBT will help to cut our casualty rates. We think that’s a better approach to casualty reduction than the punitive and unproven restrictions being proposed by the EU. Hence MAG Ireland supports both IBT and advanced rider training post test. If “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” then an ounce of IBT “prevention” is most certainly worth a pound of the EU’s “no more bikes” cure.
Q. Why is MAG Ireland doing nothing about [insert topic of choice here]?
A. Quite simply because we don’t have enough volunteers.
With just a handful of part time board members doing 99% of the work, we haven’t a hope of covering every possible issue. So we pick ten or so that we think we can make progress on, and we focus our activities on those. If you want to help make a difference, join MAG Ireland. If you really want to make a difference, join & then volunteer your services.
MAG Ireland needs volunteers at all levels, from people willing to write to their TD’s or start their own local MAG group to professionals who can lend expert services or experience to the MAG executive.
MAG particularly needs the services of professionally qualified or experienced people in the fields of engineering, ICT, accounting/finance, insurance, project management and more. If you can help, we need to hear from you.
Q. Why does MAG Ireland only concentrate on Dublin issues?
A. When MAG first campaigned for access to bus lanes people stood up and decried it as a Dublin issue. Now there are bus lanes in places as far apart as Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath and Galway city to name but two.
When MAG first campaigned against road tolling for bikes, people stood up and decried it as a Dublin issue because the toll was on the M50. Now there’s a toll on every motorway in the country, sometimes two, and more planned. Even national roads will have tolls if the current Government gets it’s way.
When MAG came out with a statement on the 30kph limit in Dublin, people still came out of the woodwork to decry it as a Dublin issue despite the fact that the 30kph limit can be applied anywhere, such as on the N2 in Slane in Co. Meath for example.
The reality is that there is no such thing as a Dublin issue, because every issue is a Dublin issue. And a Cork issue. And a Limerick issue, and so on. MAG Ireland is a national organisation with members in every county. All MAG Ireland campaigns are National issues.
Q. Why doesn’t MAG Ireland run demos anymore?
A. A decade ago, MAG Ireland was on the streets, banging on the doors of the the insurers, the Dept. of Transport & so on. Today, in a lot of cases, we’re inside those doors pushing the riders rights issues with the relevant people and we have found that steady communication with the relevant agencies can get the riders rights agenda taken seriously. It’s a different approach to that of a decade ago.
MAG Ireland does occasionally run demonstrations to draw attention to specific issues, such as the EU Commission proposals for an NCT style test, but in general demonstrations & protest rides are difficult to organise and manage, and they usually achieve very little in real terms.
Our Government has a long history of ignoring protests as hauliers, taxi drivers and farmers have all discovered. Demos certainly have their place – they help to boost MAG membership plus they make people feel that MAG is “doing something” – so we might well run more demos in future if the need arises.
Q. Where does the money go?
A. MAG Ireland’s principal outgoings are the rent for the office, utility bills, printing, postage & consumables like paper. A small portion of our funds goes to FEMA to enable us, together with other riders rights organisations across Europe, to fight your corner at the EU level. All MAG executive members are volunteers who each meet the costs of attending meetings etc. out of our own pockets. Accounts are presented at the annual AGM, and available for any member to inspect on the day.
Q. Why did MAG Ireland do [this] instead of doing [that]?
A. MAG Ireland recognises that you as an individual rider may sometimes disagree with the decisions we make, but we feel it’s important that you understand that everything we do is driven by a desire to promote and protect motorcycling. The Chairman’s address at our 2010 AGM dealt with this very point;
There have always been, and will always be, differences of opinion regarding how best to achieve our objectives. Each substantive decision taken by MAG will inevitably alienate some who feel that a different approach could or should have been taken. MAG Ireland makes it’s choices in the best interest of it’s membership. Some choices will always be divisive, but they are made in pursuit of the overall goal of defending our right to ride. Now more than ever, we as riders need to present a united front towards that common goal.
Q: Why was the discount for younger members scrapped?
A. Members under the age of 25 used get a discount. MAG was then criticised for “charging older members more”. At the 2012 AGM the membership fees were cut to the discounted rate for all members, not just under 25′s.
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Page last updated: 25 November 2012