The voice of motorcycling in Northern Ireland is muffled by apathy and there is a vacuum that has left riders vulnerable to anyone who believes that we have no right to be on the road.
This is a fact and the constant changes in laws from Europe and Westminster make it harder for riders to enjoy the simple pleasure of motorcycling.
The greatest risk that riders’ organisations face is forgetting the grass roots members and by getting too close to industry, too close to the orthodox views of government and research institutes that think they know better.
With years of fighting for riders’ rights in Westminster and in Brussels, riders have learnt that knowledge is power and understanding how to walk in the corridors of power without compromise is an art form that takes years of skill and learning.
Right To Ride has now split in two, separating European from Northern Ireland issues that affect riders.
Our new website www.righttoride.eu will concentrate on legislation from the EU Commission, especially that which threatens to strangle motorcycling.
We will promote and protect that collective lump of metal, rubber and plastic that we could not live without – the motorcycle – and all that it means as part of our way of life.
And to explain to the uninitiated about why motorcycling is such an important part of the lives of millions of people.
Issues that are the basis of a passionate debate – Caring about the rights and welfare of motorcyclists!
Motorcycling as we know it is being attacked on all fronts:
- Car manufacturers want us off the roads, because they fear losses in car sales and so lobby government in Europe and nationally to support their industry at the expense of motorcycling.
- An example is legislation from Europe to make daytime running lights compulsory for cars which was a cheap fix for the car manufacturers.
- Through the power of lobbying, they prevented a project which the EU intended to legislate forcing manufacturers to develop soft front parts of motor vehicles to improve pedestrian protection.
- Motorcycle manufacturers (and magazines) that advertise irresponsible behaviour such as encouraging riders to use the public roads like a race track and promoting stunts like sliding, ‘knees down’ and riding on the back wheel through promotional videos and on their websites.
- However the industry is also involved at UN and European level, jumping on the safety band wagon by claiming that they want to reduce motorcycle casualties.
- Research institutes that receive millions of Euros from EU funding, with some projects that aim to find solutions, mainly set by political pressure and commercial targets.
- The focus is on the machine, not on the rider, yet, human behaviour is recognised as the greatest cause of road casualties.
- The best “gadget” for controlling a motorcycle is situated between the rider’s ears.
- Insurance companies that look for ways to hike up premiums to force motorcyclists off the road especially young riders who just can’t afford the extortionate cost of basic third party insurance.
- Governments and local authorities, unwilling to recognise that the greatest cause of injuries for riders – are car drivers, in spite of increasing evidence that demonstrates this fact, there has been no change in training for car drivers to look for motorcyclists (especially at junctions).
- Environmentalists that fail to acknowledge motorised two wheeled transport as the only alternative to cars and as a formidable congestion and pollution buster.
- An unforgiving road infrastructure that is not designed or maintained with motorcycles in mind, crash barriers that are not motorcycle friendly– including wire rope barriers (Start of the use of wirerope barriers in Northern Ireland?) – slippery manhole covers, bad repairs, diesel spills.
- Ourselves because riders have forgotten how to challenge these organisations and institutions.
How should riders’ rights be promoted in Northern Ireland?
Giving riders a voice by using a fresh and alternative approach with the backing of individual riders, clubs, trainers and anybody else who cares enough.
No deals on insurance, travel or cheap clothing. But if the opportunity arises, we will point you in the right direction – For Free.
No membership fees, nothing but the support of riders, to put the case for riders in the corridors of power.
Right to Ride
Our main aims and objectives remain unchanged, however we are reiterating that at Right To Ride we can only do this by consultation with and support from riders; to define our position which is that there is always a line that we will not cross when engaging with authorities and decision makers, principles which we will not compromise under any circumstance.
It would be a sad day if we were not able to express our views openly and even forcefully if necessary.
Riders’ organisations are not knitting circles and the stakes (our freedom to ride) are high.
It seems to us that if another organisation does not accept or like our positions or views, then that is their problem, not ours.
Right To Ride
This website is the online presence of Right-to-Ride Ltd and Write To Ride.
Right-To-Ride Ltd is a non profit company limited by guarantee (Registered Number N1073799).
C/o E. Rice & Co
(Please note this is our registered company address please contact us via telephone or email for our mailing address)
Register of Interest Representatives – European Commission – in the context of the European Transparency Initiative.
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