Future Tense

strasbourg2ACEM the motorcycle manufacturers’ association in Europe has released the latest edition of its newsletter which in part looks at the future of motorcycling from an industry perspective.

According to Antonio Perlot, ACEM Secretary General – the European elections back in May have brought to Brussels many new Members of Parliament – In the coming weeks the new Commission will take office (this has now taken place) – so November and December, and into 2015, promise to be very busy months, as EC priorities become more defined and stakeholders engage with the new Commissioners and their Cabinets .

Type-Approval Package Motorcycle – In terms of regulation, the new Type-Approval package for L-category vehicles has been finalised and looks as far as 2020, with challenging objectives, some requiring still in-depth technical and economic analysis to be performed by the Commission.

Industry Policy – ACEM is also looking at 2020 and beyond in its recently issued Road Safety Strategy, which shows strong innovation from manufacturing members. This, in spite of the European market only showing timid signs of (very early) recovery, is a testimony to the forward-looking commitment of ACEM members not only in the field of technology, but also in the area of training and activities at national level, together with industry national associations.

Road safety strategy – The motorcycle industry unveiled its new road safety strategy to improve safety for motorcyclists across Europe – The safe ride to the future, its new road safety strategy to further improve safety levels for motorcyclists in Europe.

European Law – On 22 August the European Commission published in the Official Journal of the EU, the implementing regulation on administrative requirements for the approval and market surveillance of two- or three-wheel vehicles and quadricycles (Commission implementing regulation 901/2014).

ACEM celebrates its 20th anniversary in the European Parliament – On 7 October 2014 ACEM organised a cocktail reception and a photography exhibition in the European Parliament to commemorate its 20th anniversary.

The event, kindly hosted by Bernd Lange MEP, was attended by a host of esteemed guests and friends of ACEM including several recently elected and re-elected members of the Parliament, Commission officials and industry representatives.

ACEM President Stephan Schaller commented: “ACEM is in an excellent position to provide expertise on motorcycling issues, and over the years we have developed a good working relationship with the EU institutions, and particularly with the European Parliament. We hope we will continue to strengthen this working relationship with you”.

The retirement of outgoing Secretary General Jacques Compagne as well as his major contribution to the Motorcycle Industry was celebrated at an evening reception – according to ACEM the two events were an opportunity to look back at past achievements and also to look ahead.

Market – Registrations of PTWs increase by 0.86% during the first eight months of the year – A total of 779,588 powered two wheelers (PTWs) were registered during the first seven months of 2014 in the EU. This represents an increase of 1.5% compared with the 768,232 units registered between January and July 2013. Between January and July registrations in the motorcycle segment grew by 7.4%, whilst moped registrations fell by 11%.

ACEM appoints new public affairs manager – The European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Ludovic Basset as its new Public Affairs Manager from October 2014. Mr Basset is a highly experienced EU affairs specialist with more than 10 years of experience in advocacy and public affairs.

Antonio Perlot stated that, “The new ACEM Secretariat is looking forward to further engage with policymakers and continue bringing forward the values of the Industry and the assets of its vehicles, within EU policy.”

So there you have what ACEM has been up to and some of what it is looking to do in the future as representatives of its members – the motorcycle industry in Europe. But what about the future tense for motorcycling?

Development Future Policy

FIM-FEMA-photo_111114-250But is future policy already being developed?

Apart from ACEM’s plans, FEMA – Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations has recently announced a new co-operation with FIM – Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme and FIM Europe to defend motorcycling.

This new co-operation is formulating a coordinated response to an OECD-ITF draft report on the safety of Powered Two Wheelers. The group says it has established common ground on motorcycling, mobility, training, awareness of riders by other road users, infrastructure, intelligent transport systems, and the need for more research.

The draft OECD-ITF report would appear to be an update to the Joint OECD/ITF Transport Research Committee Workshop on Motorcycling Safety held in Lillehammer (Norway) in 2008. The workshop aimed to identify the real problems of motorcyclist safety, discussed practical solutions to these problems, and proposed a set of measures and recommendations to improve safety.

Nearly 100 expert participants from 21 countries, attended the workshop and produced a final report with 19 top priorities (links available below).

Let us hope that the outcome of this workshop does not get left at the roadside and that the draft OECD-ITF report has followed through on these forward thinking measures and recommendations.

The completed OECD-ITF report is expected to be published shortly and FEMA comments that it will have a major impact on policy by governments and the EU institutions for many years to come.

At Right To Ride we have just been given the opportunity to submit to the draft report and have quickly assembled a motley crew for constructive responses and intelligent answers.

Policy Now IMMA

immacoversharedIn the meantime IMMA – International Motorcycle Manufacturers Association have produced their document – The Shared Road to Safety – A Global Approach for Safer Motorcycling – which looks at the, “Position of the Powered Two Wheeler (PTW) in society, its economic contribution, how PTWs are used and how infrastructure can be developed to support rider safety.”

The document “emphasises the importance to consider local, national and regional differences of motorcycling in the context of policy making.”

Without stating what a system would entail, the IMMA document refers to an integrated approach, “Creating a system which enables safer riding and driving for all, requires the collaboration of the PTW industry, all road user groups, engineers, road designers, road safety experts, the police, national policy makers and local authorities.”

On technology advances the document states that, “It should be remembered that providing PTWs with additional vehicle related options or technologies – or introducing a vehicle specific regulation is not on its own sufficient without a strong and continued integrated policy involving rider behaviour, training and infrastructure.” whatever that integrated approach or policy or system might be.

Our own thoughts are that there needs to some meat added to the bare bones of suggestion – in other words a plan of action – and what that would be, is a whole other step forward.

European Commission – Tenders and Proposals

strasbourg1Finally, policy is being drafted by the European Commission in the form of the update of the information contained in the Road Safety Observatory and a study on accident causation for traffic accidents involving powered 2-wheelers and bicycles in the European Union.

Both of these have been put out to public tender.

The Road Safety Observatory is in part the integrated knowledge from a previous European project – European Road Safety Observatory – and contains a section on powered two wheelers.

Although the section on the Commission’s website was updated with a caveat that, “The opinions expressed in the studies are those of the consultant and do not necessarily represent the position of the Commission” – the powered two wheeler section contains gems such as, “Riding a PTW is also much more dangerous than using another motor vehicle.” and “A further reduction in number of PTW accidents is only possible with a very restrictive licensing system with access only at higher age limits, more extensive training and testing, lower power to weight ratios or restricted top speed. These measures will not be popular with present user groups or the PTW industry. Discouraging or restricting the use of PTW’s may be more acceptable if alternatives are made more attractive.”

We had previously tried to get the Commission to remove this text as we considered it unscientific and is contrary to the spirit of DG TREN’s (now DG MOVE) principle of transport for all, although the Road Safety Unit deleted a statement from their home page in which they stated that, “Motorcycles and mopeds are the most dangerous mode of transport in the EU does not bring added value”.

The European Road Safety Observatory was developed during the period 2004 – 2008 and certainly needs updated and will see the section on motorcycles and mopeds reviewed. Let’s hope that those that are awarded the tender have an open mind and an open unbiased approach compared to the previous writers and will engage with riders this time.

The study on accident causation for traffic accidents involving powered 2-wheelers and bicycles in the European Union is within one of the strategic objectives identified by the European Commission to improve the safety of vulnerable road users.

Within the study tender specifications it states that, “With this category of road users, motorcycle and moped users require specific attention given the trend in the number of accidents involving them and their important share of fatalities and serious injuries.” with cyclists also demanding specific attention, “since cycling as a means of transport in urban areas is strongly increasing, including the use of electric bikes, resulting in new safety challenges.”

strasbourg4The specifications state as, “regarding comprehensive accident causation analysis”, that none is available which covers the whole EU with a common investigation methodology, despite the fact that up-to-date accident causation information is essential to define road safety measures and evaluate their effectiveness.

The study will look at traffic accidents that happen within the time scale of the study with the results of the study to help the Commission, Member States authorities and road safety stakeholders when deciding on the opportunity and effectiveness of measures to improve the road safety for the types of users addressed.

Maybe this study is just an update to the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM) MAIDS Motorcycle Accidents

In Depth Study which saw its last version published in April 2009.

However what this study will also pay particular attention to, is the contribution of technical defects, “in-depth investigation shall include a detailed technical inspection of the powered two-wheelers involved in each accident.”

The results of the study will be used by the European Commission to report the European Council and Parliament on the inclusion of powered two-wheelers under the scope of the periodic technical inspection directive – Road Worthiness Test (RWT) Package.

The European Directive on Road Worthiness Testing, agreed in March 2014 included the introduction of extending mandatory periodical testing for Powered Two Wheelers across all of the European member states.

The directive compromised on the introduction for motorcycles – heavy motorcycles would be subject to periodic roadworthiness tests from 2022. However member states could exclude heavy motorcycles from testing if they have put in place alternative effective road safety measures, taking into account in particular road safety statistics of the 5 years. Heavy motorcycles in this context are (L-vehicles with an engine displacement of more than 125 cm3).

However for light motorcycles and where this study will be used, is that within five years the Commission will submit to the European Parliament and the Council a report on the effectiveness of their possible inclusion in the scope of the directive.

Future Proof

So maybe the title of this article should have been “Future Proof” instead of “Future Tense”.

Instead of looking at the facts or intentions for motorcycling as they appear to be approaching into the future we should be future proofing ourselves against the anticipated future.

Maybe it is time to gird our loins in preparation of what is to come for motorcycling and not leave it a minute too late!

Links & Information

Full ACEM newsletter available at – Click Here

You can also find ACEM on Facebook – Click Here

FEMA – Defending Motorcycling – Click Here

IMMA – International Motorcycle Manufacturers Association – The Shared Road to Safety – A Global Approach for Safer Motorcycling – pdf 5.6mb – Click Here

IMMA – www.immamotorcycles.org

(*OECD – Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development based in Paris, which also hosts the International Transport Forum).

Workshop on Motorcycling Safety held in Lillehammer (Norway)

Workshop on Motorcycling Safety – Final Report – June 2008 pdf 514kb

Workshop on Motorcycling Safety – Annexes to the Final Report – June 2008 pdf 6.14mb

Top Priorities Identified by the Workshop – June 2008 pdf 155kb

Road Safety Knowledge Base – Powered Two Wheelers – Click Here

Right to Ride EU – Road Worthiness Testing – Click Here

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  1. David L Hough says:

    From the standpoint of a yank on the other side of the pond, reading about the IMMA causes the hairs to stand up on the back of my neck. In the USA, the industry got a clever and early foothold in motorcycle “safety” and has managed to create a system whereby states provide cheap and easy PTW training plus a quick unlimited license. It has taken a while for states to begin to realize that the industry system is resulting in a high and rising motorcyclist fatality rate. Very recently, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) tore the sheet with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, and is seeking someone with curricula other than MSF to administer the CHP rider training program. That’s about a third of motorcyclists in the USA.

    So, when I hear that the industry in Europe has a great plan for motorcycle “safety” I hear them saying “we want more control of the vehicle “safety” infrastructure, so that we can create rules and procedures that will favor motorcycles. (read: favor greater profits from more riders being brought into the fold)

    I would suggest urgent and strong action to keep the motorcycle industry away from anything dealing with motorcyclist safety, training, licensine, et al. They can’t help themselves from doing whatever it takes to increase profits. They will use the smoothest sounding phrases, produce the best-looking charts, mention the most scientific-sounding studies, and explain how neat it is all going to be, but it’s all a scam. “Seventy-six trombones, ta ta ta…”

    If you can’t keep the industry foxes out of the safety henhouse, then make sure they must prove any proposals bring about a reduction in the fatality rate. No excuses, no BS, no get out of jail card. The current training/licensing system in the UK results in a fatality rate of around 5.0 motorcyclists per million population and is slowly decreasing. The current rate in the USA is 13.5 and rising.

    pmdave

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