A European Commission funded motorcycle project 2BeSafe www.2besafe.eu , initiated over two years ago which focuses on “Two Wheeler Behaviour and Safety”, has broken the surface with the launch of a survey.
As reported by the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA) the survey is designed “to better understand the needs of riders in terms of safety”.
The 2BeSafe survey asks motorcyclists about their personal details, family, riding experience, accidents, strategies, motivation and habits, as well as perception of assistance technology systems, including advanced braking systems, navigation units, air bags and other riding equipment.
The control of the motorcycle other than by the rider has crept into the 2BeSafe survey with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA). According to the description in the survey “These systems adapt the distance to the vehicle ahead automatically either by slowing the motorcycle if following too closely, or accelerating the motorcycle to maintain a preset following distance when traffic allows”.
The questions on technology seem to intertwine with the previous SAFERIDER project survey carried out in 2008. However the objectives of the 2BeSafe project do not mention the development of the SAFERIDER IT systems, so there is no clear reason why the survey should ask these questions, because this is not the remit of the project.
Is the 2BeSafe project really just SAFERIDER2 in another guise?
The last part of the survey prompts riders to reply not just about their attitude to riding but their attitude to breaking the law.
Even sex is in the survey! They want to know if riders, “Ride fast because the opposite sex enjoys it” but unfortunately they forgot to consider that there are motorcyclists who may want to attract the same sex!
Right To Ride Opinion – Comments
Right To Ride comments, “This is yet another EU survey wanting to know if you like speeding; If you take risks; if you break the law – and – if you want technology such as Intelligent Speed Adaptations (ISA) on your motorcycle. It is in our view, another attempt to identify motorcyclists as “bad boys” and to foist technology on motorcyclists as the solution to reduce motorcycle casualties.
The FP7 EU funded project 2BeSafe has gathered researchers from 10 European countries, Australia and Israel. The researchers who put the survey together claim to aim to improve the general knowledge of rider behaviour, but instead demonstrate a lack of understanding of what is after all, a form of transport, not belonging to any one group of society.
We believe that the survey is flawed.
If, as FEMA suggests, the results of the survey are designed to help with the identification of positive measures for motorcyclist safety in the form of recommendations for traffic authorities, trainers, manufacturers, and infrastructure operators, then we are in big trouble.
We at Right To Ride also believe that the outcome of the survey is already a foregone conclusion. We base this opinion on comments made in the first document published by the consortium Rider / Driver behaviours and road safety for PTW in which they state
“Risk taking, as well as sensation seeking is a typical behaviour of PTWs (motorcyclists). This behaviour is usually reflected in activities such as disobeying traffic signal, give way or stop sign, non compliance to double white lines or pedestrian crossing, making illegal turns or speeding, maintaining low gaps with the following vehicles and so on. (…) because motorcycle riding is well known to be a dangerous activity, it ‘may tend to attract risk-seeking individuals, in all age and socio-economic categories’, which would have a corresponding effect on the total motorcycle accident figures )”.
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