EU road safety mandarins announce “A new focus on Motorcyclists”

Brussels, July 20th 2010 the EU Commission announced a new “A new focus on Motorcyclists “ as part of it’s Road Safety Action Programme 2011-2020. The intention to target motorcycles is just one of seven strategic objectives announced as part of the programme, but by no means the only one to affect us.

The full text of the proposal is on the EU Commission web site here;

However, the key points from Section 7 are;

  • Mandatory Advanced Braking Systems
  • Updated anti-tampering measures (i.e. you cannot modify your bike)
  • Extended roadworthiness testing (i.e. an NCT style annual bike test)

MAG Ireland, like our colleagues in Northern Ireland and the UK and Europe, are dismayed – though not surprised – to see that the EU Commission ignore the real experts in the field, and revert to type by hauling out yet more unproven and expensive proposals that clearly demonstrate a stubborn refusal to accept the facts as presented by people who actually ride motorcycles in the real world.

For example, the proposal to extend roadworthiness testing to all vehicles including motorcycles, despite there being no evidence that mechanical deficiencies are in any way a statistically measurable factor in motorcycle accidents. And while MAG is not opposed to ABS per-se, we have real difficulties with the compulsion aspect of the proposal as outlined, and it’s effect on small motorcycles. MAG Ireland believes the choice should be the riders to make.

MAG Ireland will be coordinating our response through FEMA, who have already thrown down the gauntlet to the EU Commission on the key issues affecting motorcycle users.

Read the FEMA statement here :,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=83&cntnt01returnid=57

It’s appalling that despite having made progress on many of these issues in the past, the EU Commission appears to keep returning to them as a “solution” to the “problem” of motorcycles. Inevitably,  the Commission claims that restrictions are necessary to reduce casualties, and inevitably any reductions are deemed insufficient, and so more restrictions are proposed. Restrictions on motorcycling are seen as improvements in road safety and vice versa. As bikers we can never win in this situation.

MAG Ireland will continue to  monitor these new developments via FEMA, and will be making an input on behalf of Irish motorcyclists once the proposals have been studied in detail.

Once again the battle lines are being drawn, and once again MAG is calling for the renewed support of our membership in defending our rights as motorcyclists.