Strong Global Lobby!

hurricaneDo you know that outside of Europe, motorcycle lobbying, along with Riders Rights, is alive and kicking and that there is a focus on global lobbying at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe – UNECE?

Motorcycle rider issues are dealt through representation at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) WP29 Vehicle Regulations and WP1 Road Traffic Safety. At present the representation appears to be through the FIM – Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme.

Previously an International Co-operation Fund financed an “International Coalition” of motorcycle organisations which enabled desemination of technical information and road traffic safety information to these rider organisations.

FEMA (Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations) originally had special consultative status granted in 1996 and the international coalition’s purpose was to provide for greater and more cost-effective participation in the global harmonization of the processes for vehicle regulations, road rules and road safety issues within the agencies of the United Nations.

These rider organisations then were able to either react in their own country or disseminate any information to their own members and thus to the general motorcycle population.

The last report listed to the NGO (Non Government Organisation) Branch of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, who effectively decide who can attend meetings and participate, was in 2003 – the report can be viewed – Click Here – pdf – 65kb.

41 NGOs were granted consultative status by the council in 1946; by 1992 more that 700 NGOs had attained consultative status and the number has been steadily increasing ever since to over 3,400 organizations.

FIM attends meetings as a Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) and last year they reported on the “Licence Gaff” in relation to the introduction of the 3rd European Driving Licence Directive – for the article – Click Here

It seemed that the European bodies (i.e. The Commission) forgot to discuss the new licence categories with the UNECE WP1 – Road Traffic Safety – to ensure that all the licences could be recognised outside the European Union eg Russia. Validity of the new “A2” licence category for riders travelling outside the EU.

But after some shuffling of papers and a few eyebrows raised, all has remained calm and Russia apparently that it will allow visitors (tourists) to ride in Russia with an A” motorcycle Licence.

NGO Branch of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs –

The motorcycle industry represents itself separately at the UNECE.

A Strong Powerful Lobby

badges250 What looked like a strong powerful lobby that could represent riders at the UNECE by participating fully to meetings seems to have faded somewhat and one would be hard pressed to find information in the public domain on what the UNECE is discussing regarding motorcycles.

This is now particularly relevant now that the European Institutions have given accession to UNECE Regulations regarding the adoption of uniform technical prescriptions for wheeled vehicles, equipment and parts which can be fitted and/or be used on wheeled vehicles.

You may wish to read this and weep!

The document is a Progress report on the 2011 activities of the World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations – pdf – 61 KB – 23rd March 2012 as it says, “A major driving factor for this work and effort is the increasingly important role that UNECE Regulations play in EU type-approval legislation for motor vehicle safety……..”

Some of the WP Groups (Working Groups) within the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) are:

  • Working Party on Noise (GRB)
  • Working Party on Lighting and Light-Signalling (GRE)
  • Working Party on Pollution and Energy (GRPE)
  • Working Party on Brakes and Running Gear (GRRF)
  • Working Party on General Safety Provisions (GRSG)
  • Working Party on Passive Safety (GRSP)

The Working Party on Road Traffic Safety (WP.1) works on:

  • Legal Instruments
    Texts and Status
    WP.1 sets of best practices on road traffic and road signs and signals
    Distinguishing Signs of Vehicles
  • Special Projects
    UNDA Project on Setting Road Safety Targets
  • Global Road Safety
  • UNECE Road Traffic Legislation Database

These are the basics of what the UNECE deals with as regards vehicles, a full list and information can be found on their website

This is why in our opinion we need a stong powerful lobby, not only in Europe but on the global stage, a lobby that works and understands the systems of what lobbying is, while being technically strong to understand the issues and have a strong idea of its position on road traffic safety.

What must not happen whether nationally, in Europe or globally, is to make shrill and strident attacks on the system and complain about the system, because the system will in any case, just move on.

Decisions will be made and riders could end up with a strong pasting of egg on their face especially from those we are trying to persuade to support us.

However there must be representation and understanding in the first place on the mundane and tedious technical issues that will eventually make it onto the bikes we ride.

At Right To Ride we now have registered our profile with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) Link Here

UNECE WPI – Road Safety Film

In 2011 the UNECE WP1 on Road Traffic Safety produced a video, which probably hasn’t seen the light of day much in motorcycling circles, we just came across it recently.

If you go to 4mins 11secs (video link below should jump to that point) Nick Rogers talks about a safe and forgiving roads infrastructure for motorcycles and riders that will save lives, protect you from the mistakes of others and from your own mistakes. They are designed so that if you have an accident it won’t be made worst by what you might hit at the roadside.

Nick was the representative of IMMA – International Motorcycle Manufacturers Association for many years at UNECE.

When I started to represent the interests of the “International Coalition” at UNECE he guided me physically around the warren of the Palais des Nations in Geneva and through the complexities of meetings and agendas.

Even so I managed to get the secretary of WP1 on Road Traffic Safety to wag her finger at me at a meeting.

Apparently I was talking about the wrong thing when I mentioned, that according to the convention on road safety, it is permissible for a car to filter past a rider when they are waiting at a railway level crossing but not the other way round.

Well you had to be there and understand how dry and serious the text of the convention is taken by the government representatives to the meetings.

From memory it was either the representative of Bulgaria or Romania, outside of the meeting in the marbled halls of the Palais des Nations , that thought it was funny but then again it was his first meeting and he was under the age of forty!

Trevor Baird – Right To Ride

UNECE WPI – Road Safety Film

Global Motorcycling Lobbying

Global motorcycling lobbying includes the representation from these organisations who made up the afore mentioned “International Coalition”:

mrflogoMotorcycle Riders Foundation – MRF

On Facebook – Click Here

amalogoAmerican Motorcyclist Association – AMA

On Facebook – Click Here

fimlogoFIM – Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme – FIM

On Facebook – Click Here and Here

FIM – Click Here

fema_logo_circle180whiteFederation of European Motorcyclists Associations – FEMA

Facebook – Click Here

Leave Comments On Right To Ride EU – Click Here

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