A Motorcycle Safety and Transport Policy Framework
The most sustainable route to safer motorcycling lies within taking a comprehensive approach to safety policy and practice, based on a ‘shared responsibility’ approach and through exploring proper linkage with ‘command’ transport policy. An attitudinal approach must be pursued that is based around: ‘Motorcycling carries many socio-economic benefits and an opportunity to offer the public a further alternative to the car for commuting. What do we need to do to support motorcycling, decrease casualties and reduce rider vulnerability?’
The first and most important step is to recognise motorcycling’s place within society and the overall transport system. Indeed, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) firmly stated this key point in their primary recommendations from the 2008 Lillehammer safety conference.
Such an approach opens up the opportunity to integrate motorcycle safety as an integral part of broader transport policy/planning and enables a reduction in rider vulnerability and improves accessibility as part of this. This will result in not only fewer motorcycle casualties, but will also open opportunities to further develop the already important role that motorcycling plays in social, business, practical and leisure transport.
Cycling is an important mode of transport which shares many common issues with motorcycling when it comes to safety, infrastructure policy and issues arising from other road users. Like cycling, motorcycling is not in itself dangerous. But riders of both modes are subject to certain vulnerabilities on the highway. Bicycles and motorcycles share many common attributes and needs. Many synergies exist between cycling and motorcycling. By recognising the socially positive attributes of cycling, much has been done to cater for cycling and improve visibility within traffic. The same approach is now needed for motorcycling. During discussions, both the CTC and the AA have noted shared issues between cycling and motorcycling.
This will help society realise the opportunities that are offered by the whole two-wheeled sector – providing two-wheeled commuter transport in the 0-30+ mile range, as opposed to the 0-5 mile range that is offered by cycling as a stand-alone mode. This then would provide a more robust answer in society’s efforts to tackle congestion, emissions and transport costs. The ‘Door-to-Door Journey’ strategy would also be enriched.