Europe Brands Motorcycles As Dangerous

10th April 2010

Although certain parts of the “Dangerous Motorcycles” text has been removed from the Europa website – see reports below.

The content of the knowledge document in the specialist page – specifically HERE still has the offending text:

“Riding a PTW is also much more dangerous than using another motor vehicle.”

The European Commission has drawn to our attention that:

“This text – as many texts quoted in this website – is an output of a project carried out by scientists. As a standard rule, the Commission never brings alterations to such texts. To make things clear, they are covered by the following disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the studies are those of the consultant and do not necessarily represent the position of the Commission”.

We have asked for the offending comments to be removed and replaced with scientific, unbiased research.

For example the comment:

“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.”

This comment is unscientific and is contrary to the spirit of DG TREN’s principle of transport for all.

In the first place there is no evidence that imposing a restrictive licence system will reduce casualties, the evidence supports this – and indeed is contrary to this statement – it is a recognised fact that experience has a far greater effect on casualty reductions.

There is conclusive evidence that power to weight ratios do not affect accident statistics – rather it is the style of motorcycle (e.g. sports bike) that has a greater influence.

While we appreciate that the Commission may not alter the texts – I cannot see any reason why this text should remain on the DG TREN website. It reflects a biased opinion of motorcycling, in spite of the fact that DG TREN recognises PTWs as a sustainable, important, cost effective means of transport.

Furthermore, it does not carry the name of the consultant – which implies that the work is supported by the Commission.

For this reason, we have included a link to the UK government’s website where there is a review of literature in relation to motorcycle safety. This review looks without prejudice at the issues concerning accident causation and possible solutions for PTW casualties.

Click Here pdf 360kb – Road Safety Research Report No. 85 Car Drivers’ Skills and Attitudes to Motorcycle Safety: A Review David Crundall, David Clarke, Patrick Ward and Craig Bartle, School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, May 2008, Department for Transport: London

We have written to Northern Irelands three elected MEPs and to date we have only received acknowledgment and correspondence from the DUP’s Diane Dodds.

Further contact to date within the European Commission and the editorial group responsible for the “knowledge web page” has led us at present to an impasse.

While we welcome dialogue with the Commission, we feel that the views of motorcyclists need to be considered and respected. Consequently we – and many other motorcyclists – believe that the text must be removed.

We will continue to lobby through professional dialogue to argue the case that the text must be removed.

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