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Saving 25,000 Motorcycle Lives

24
November
2004
  Posted at 12:00:00 PM
  File under  News Opinion
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France

Save Lives logo
Stay with me folks, this is a long one. The European Motorcycle Industry representatives, together with the European Commission {link}, have initiated a plan to save 25,000 lives. Not a bad endeavor. (note: move your mouse over the green underlined text for an explanation to pop-up)

Using ACEM's published and very detailed MAIDS report  {link} as basis, the group are initiating a Plan (with a capital "P") to save the lives of us motorcyclists.

In brief, their Plan consists of the following:
  • Support for the stepped European driving license as published in the European Directive 91/439/EC and 2000/56/EC. Doesn't mean anything, so have a look at the document it question (pdf file - {link}).

    It's kind of an interesting read once you go past all the standard blurb at the beginning. I particularly like section 3-3.1.2 "Visibility of motorcycle riders for other road users", specially considering that here in France they're doing the opposite! Section 6 should be an interesting read as well. It describes what you will need to do & know in order to get your license.
  • ACEM will be looking at ways of communicating an motorcycle awareness campaign to cars & trucks.
  • They are going to make everyone aware (for those that aren't) that it's dangerous to drink & drive.
  • Using the European Road Safety Charter, ACEM member manufacturers will progressively increase the advanced braking system for motorcycles, so that by 2010 all new motorcycles will have an advanced braking system available.
  • They will further education of helmet use.
  • ACEM will further additional investigations in accident cases involving roadside barrier collisions (you know, those barriers that will decapitate you).

OK, here's my take on it. Sounds nice, sounds like a good step, but that's all it is. A lot more needs to be done to further the safety of motorcycles, and it's not with the motorcyclist that it needs to happen. In the MAIDS report, it's obvious that it's the other driver that causes the accident, not the biker.

Yes, we bikers need to take great care and acknowledge that cars & trucks don't always see us, but other drivers need far more incentives to make sure that there's no motorcycle around when they maneuver around. How often do we not see cars change lanes without looking or signalling ? How often do we see cars totally engrossed talking on the phone while looking at a paper ??? Reading a map while driving ?? Running red lights ??? Tailgating motorcycles ?? Driving through tunnels without their lights on ?? ... the list goes on....

My solution
: How about making it mandatory for any car driver, in order to get their license, they need to complete the motorcycle exam as well. So they get to spend at least 20 hours on a motorcycle!

Click here to access ACEM.
Click here to access the MAIDS Report





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