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UK Motorcycle industry back European safety campaign

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The Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCI) is giving its full backing to a new Europe-wide road safety campaign developed by the Association des Constructeurs Européens de Motocycles (ACEM).

The campaign will last 13 months and uses a cartoon format to highlight everyday risks to riders of powered two wheelers (PTWs).

The objective of the safety campaign is to raise riders’ awareness of the potential risks posed by road layouts and traffic situations encountered throughout Europe. Developed with motorcycle trainers and instructors, the cartoon format is designed to help riders avoid these risks, by being eye-catching and entertaining.

Cartoons covering 13 topics will be released on a monthly basis, each focusing on a specific issue or risk. As well as drawing attention to the risk, riders will be given tips and recommendations on how best to tackle various situations. The first cartoon covering road junctions can be downloaded from www.acem.eu/cartoon.

Accidents caused by ‘road infrastructure’ account for 8 per cent of total accidents according to MAIDS.* The poor condition of many European roads and the fact that the specific needs of PTWs are still often neglected in road engineering, are the main reasons for this. Rider behaviour in addressing each situation plays a major role in PTW safety. By providing more information on the road environment, this safety campaign will help riders in making better choices and contribute to improving their own safety.

The campaign is also supported by the recently formed Motor Cycle Industry Trainers’ Association. The MCI’s Craig Carey-Clinch said: “Road safety is a priority for the motorcycle industry and the British government, so we welcome this European-wide campaign and urge riders to make full use of the tips and information in each of the cartoons.

“We also hope that road engineers, planners and policy makers will take note, and make better provision for the increasing numbers of PTW riders in the future.”

The comic strip medium was chosen as a user-friendly format, with subsequent monthly releases featuring roadside hazards, dangerous road surfaces, diesel and liquid spills, damaged and badly repaired surfaces, poorly designed traffic calming devices, night time hazards, winter and ice treatments, surface debris, badly designed central islands, metal fixtures and paint markings and badly designed curves.

In 2006, ACEM released the Guidelines for PTW-Safer Road Design in Europe as part of the integrated approach of its Safety Plan for Action. This technical manual, developed together with road engineers and mainly aimed at policy makers, urban planners and contractors, includes information which could also have safety benefits for PTW users.

ACEM, which represents the motorcycle Industry in Europe, is a signatory of the European Road Safety Charter aimed at reducing road fatalities by 50 per cent by 2010.

Craig Carey-Clinch added: “PTW use is increasing – especially as everyday transport for commuters and young people. This initiative sees motorcycle manufacturers willingly taking their share of collective responsibility with a pledge to obtaining the European Road Safety Charter goal. However, in order to be effective, safety policies need to be based on an integrated approach, combining actions from the authorities and PTW users.”

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