Right to Ride – Right To Be Angry!

The Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA) has published its latest newsletter, a spring issue where in most parts of Europe the snow is gone and the sun is back, welcoming riders to the 2010 motorcycling season.

Like Right To Ride, FEMA has been busy during the winter months with its members agreeing on a position paper regarding the forthcoming framework of a “Regulation on Type Approval of two and three wheelers” which will affect the rights of riders to legally modify their motorcycles.

FEMA’s direction is clear cut: “No power limit, no ABS compulsion, no modification constraints.” and that the focus should be moved to safer road infrastructure, improved training, and increased awareness”, we assume by other drivers.

The FEMA newsletter reports on a raft of issues that the organisation is involved in from: the advantages that two wheels can determine energy-efficiency, driving a change regarding crash barriers and dangerous road infrastructure.

The newsletter also reports on issues that some of its members are facing, for example NMCU in Norway who are campaigning against a court decision after the court cleared a driver from responsibility for overlooking and seriously injuring a motorcyclist; SMC in Sweden who campaigned and succeeded in getting the Swedish Parliament to turn down proposals to introduce front number plates for all Swedish motorcycles.

Right To Ride congratulates the French riders’ organisation FFMC – Federation of Angry Riders in celebrating its 30th anniversary and their continued “Angry” protests and condemnation of repressive regulations that saw 40,000 riders take to the streets in protest! Maybe we should rename ourselves Right To Be Angry!

The FEMA newsletter appears to reiterate the philosophy of its charter which was signed by all its member organisations in 2008. The charter re established FEMA’s vision of a world where motorcycling is promoted and all riders’ interests are preserved; riders are protected from negative discrimination and exploitation; the advantages of motorcycling are promoted; safe and responsible road use are promoted and the spirit of motorcycling is preserved throughout Europe and globally.

Meanwhile at Right To Ride, during the winter months we have had a bee in our bonnet regarding the European Commission’s Europa website which stated that, “Riding a PTW is also much more dangerous than using another motor vehicle.” We successfully campaigned to have certain parts of the “Dangerous Motorcycles” text removed from one web page, but this offending text still remains on the Europa website.

We have asked for other offending comments to be removed which include, “Discouraging or restricting the use of PTWs” to be replaced with scientific, unbiased research.

We contacted FEMA who assured that they were dealing with this and our three Northern Ireland MEPs, only receiving acknowledgment and positive correspondence from the DUP’s Diane Dodds.

We find it incredulous that FEMA and its members are seen to be supporting the European Commission by having a link on the very same Europa website as well as organising an International Motorcyclists’ Conference in Brussels in June with the support and participation of the very same European Commission.

While on the one hand the European Commission makes friends with motorcycling, on the other hand, its real feelings are in plain view: that motorcycling is dangerous and that motorcycling should be discouraged or restricted.

Northern Ireland riders who are members of the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG UK) and the British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF) are represented at FEMA by these two UK organisations.

Finally FEMA has decided to provide riders all around Europe with a “My Rights” section on the FEMA website to exchange experiences about incidents where their right as motorcyclists has been curtailed or ignored.

As FEMA says, “Our rights are not always respected” and “We are looking forward to your story.”

Links

FEMA Newsletter – Click Here

FEMA – My Rights – Click Here

FEMA – First International Motorcyclists’ Conference – Click Here

Right To Ride – Europe Brands Motorcycles As Dangerous – Click Here

Europa website – Click Here

Why Worry!

Well the so called experts who wrote the offending text on European Road Safety Observatory (ERSO) website – which ended up on the Europa website and in a full report supported by the European Commission – has been quoted by another bunch of experts in the literature review of the – National Motorcycle Action Plan Technical Report, Road Safety Authority (RSA), Rep. of Ireland – published in April 2009.

So while this remains on the EU website, the anti motorcycling text will be quoted by expert after expert and used to formulate proposed motorcycle legislation which will need always to be fought against!

Page 65 of the RSA document

Powered Two Wheelers Website

3.8.5 This was published by the European Road Safety Observatory on 02 September 2008.

3.8.6 It is available on the European Road Safety Observatory (ERSO) website and is aimed at road safety professionals. ERSO is the Gateway into a Central Resource of European Road Safety data, knowledge and links. The pilot website is one of the final results of SafetyNet, which is an integrated project funded by DG-TREN of the European Commission.

3.8.8 ………….Riding a PTW is also much more dangerous than using another motor vehicle.

Page 67

3.8.12 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 PTWs may be more acceptable if alternatives are made more attractive.

Full Report Click Here

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