European Road Safety

FEMA – Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations – Speaks On European Road Safety

fema_logo_circle180whiteFEMA’s latest press release informs us that it’s representatives have told the European Commission that there is no need is no need for a three stage licence system.

The three stage licence system FEMA refers to is the implementation of the 3rd European Driving Licence Directive.

This was implemented in the UK including Northern Ireland and the rest of Europe in January 2013.

The directive incorported a raft of changes to the motorcycle licence and testing requirements.

At Right To Ride we reported extensively on the implementation in Northern Ireland and were involved in replying to a public consultation and a stakeholder’s group with riders group (MAG – Motorcycle Action Group – BMF – British Motorcyclists Federation) , trainers and government as well as enforcement agencies.

At that time Right To Ride’s Trevor Baird said, “Although we are between a rock and a hard place as regards to what the directive intends to be implemented, there is some flexibility to get the best out of the directive for Northern Ireland riders. We welcome the opportunity to be part of this stakeholders group to put our views and those of the motorcycle community across.”

However back to Brussels and FEMA – On 17th November 2014 Aline Delhaye and Dolf Willigers represented FEMA at the “workshop in preparation of the mid-term evaluation of Commission Road Safety Policy Orientations 2011-2020” in the Berlaymont building in Brussels.

In Brussels FEMA brought forward the topic of training and licensing and offered help and expertise to the European Commission to formulate a suitable directive.

dolf_brussel_171114_2 FEMA reports that delegates from several governmental and nongovernmental organizations gave in an assessment of the period 2011-2014 their views on the success of the Road Safety Policy of the Commission. Most were quite satisfied, but also stated that the term was very short to take conclusions.

The FEMA press release states that, “It seemed FEMA was the only organization that wasn’t very pleased with the results, this mainly because of the effects of the third driving licence directive.”

Adding that it, “Considers this directive as having reinforced barriers to entry to motorcycling and believes in giving riders high quality training, the efficacy of which is likewise confirmed by the outcome of the Riderscan survey. We do not see any evidence for the necessity of a three stage license system.”

In simple terms, the licencing regime as introduced at least in the UK, requires young riders who wish to take up motorcycling a route of progressive access to different licence categories via testing before they can gain a full motorcycle licence at 21 years. Riders at certain ages can gain access through different licence categories through direct access including to a full motorcycle licence at 24 years.

FEMA states that, “Several speakers also put emphasis on training and awareness of road users, others focused on ICT – Information and Communication Technology to achieve safer traffic. Most speakers asked more attention for vulnerable road users, including motorcyclists.”

Do motorcyclists – categorised as vulnerable road users really need more attention from the European Commission? Possibly not.

FEMA continued, “When looking at the future, several speakers asked for impact assessments. FEMA advocated the need of data and accident related research and mentioned the role of ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems). Several other speakers did the same, although the ‘safety organizations’ focused more on intelligent speed assistant (ISA) systems and mandatory alcohol interlocks.”

Finally FEMA states that, “FEMA has brought forward again the topic of training and licensing and offered help and expertise to the Commission to formulate a suitable directive. The representative of the Commission stated that when the time comes for legislation, the Commission will use the knowledge of the stakeholders. Of course we will do everything we can to get involved in a proper training and licensing system.”

At Right to Ride we look forward to viewing FEMA’s formulation of a suitable directive on behalf of riders across the European Union for a proper training and licencing system. The licencing system is a done deal and little more can be added to what is now legislation. It is highly unlikely that member states would have the time or inclination to change the driving licence directive considering the money that they have spent in implementing the incumbent directive.

However, the training system which FEMA was instrumental in developing, is already there for the taking. Let’s hope that the European Commission in its wisdom will finally make good use of its own funded research. The Initial Rider Training Programme is available in numerous languages – here: www.initialridertraining.eu

What’s your opinion of the licencing system that UK Riders have to go through?

Original Source – FEMA – Click Here

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Links Information

Right To Ride – EU Licence For Northern Ireland – Click Here

FEMA – Riderscan – www.riderscan.eu

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