A Motorcycle Safety and Transport Policy Framework
This is an issue that requires decisive action. To effectively address this major challenge, industry and police efforts will need to be complemented with action by other key stakeholders. We all have a responsibility for road safety – either as transport providers, road users or public authorities.
For this reason, better and more effective partnerships, such as this one between MCIA, NPCC and Highways England, must be established. The British Road Safety Statement advocates the benefits of working in partnership and recognises the benefits that a multiagency approach, including working with road safety groups and local authorities, can bring.
We must build on the political momentum generated by the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety and the Government’s objective to reduce the number of road deaths on Britain’s roads. The government’s Road Safety Delivery Model details how resources will be strategically focussed on making roads safer for all.
By improving road safety, we will also be able to further reap the considerable benefits that motorcycling brings to society. Motorcycling offers quality of life, among other things, through better access to jobs and services, affordable mobility, and the enjoyment of sports, leisure and tourism.
Moreover, motorcycles produce lower carbon emissions in aggregate than cars, help to reduce traffic congestion and resolve parking issues. These societal benefits are largely overlooked in the public debate.
This Motorcycle Safety and Transport Policy Framework will aim to facilitate the changes in direction and attitude that are required to make this happen, create safer motorcycling and allow society and government to realise the motorcycling opportunity in a safe and structured manner. This Framework is challenging, both philosophically and practically – and is meant to be so. In order to realise its objectives, full engagement from the stakeholders identified will be essential.
The Framework will not be a ‘publish today, forget tomorrow’ document. It is envisaged that the Framework will achieve real change on a ‘short generational’ basis and will propose activities that will be developed over an extended timescale.
It is important to note that although the Framework goes into detail about the position of motorcycling in society and wider public policy, it is not about promoting motorcycling per se. However, activities which may result in an increase in motorcycle and scooter usage will require accompanying activities to address key issues related to motorcycle awareness, rider safety awareness, education, better riding and addressing negative public stereotypes. This will allow the ‘managed’ integration of more motorcycle use into the overall traffic system, so leading to greater social benefit. Policy activities will need to be geared towards ensuring that a less vulnerable roads environment is in place as motorcycle use evolves and grows. This will help reduce risk and casualties. Appropriate messaging will be developed.