More Motorcycles, More Safety?

Jan 11, 2015 View Comments by

More Motorcycles, More Safety?A recent report by the United Kingdom’s Association of Police Chief Officers and the Motorcycle Industry Association contends that one of the best ways to eliminate congestion and improve road safety is to increase the use of motorcycles on public roads. The report repeatedly emphasizes that motorcyclists make better road users than car drivers because they tend to be much more aware and conscientious of others on the road.

The report sites evidence from other European countries that as the proportion of motorcycles to cars increases, the motorcycle accident rate decreases. The report proposes that motorcycling be encouraged in several ways including making drivers take the same theory test as riders, required road awareness lessons, and more. The report also recommends greater integration of motorcycles into transportation planning, “coherent and appropriate” clothing guidelines, and BikeSafe training courses taught by police.

Though the report focuses on motorcycling issues specific to the U.K., many of the topics discussed are relevant to motorcycles and traffic on this side of the pond. You can check out the lengthy report here. The general tone and aim of the APCO and MCIA report can be summed up by the following quote:

“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.”

What efforts do you think would encourage increased motorcycle use in this country?

 

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