Alongside the launch of The Road Safety Strategy to 2020 – Vision: Driving Road Safety Forward, by the Environment Minister Edwin Poots, was the announcement of a consultation on a Graduated Driver Licensing scheme which reforms the learner and restricted driving schemes.
Mr Poots said, “Government in Northern Ireland is fully committed to improving safety for all road users. Working together, I firmly believe that we can make a journey on our roads as safe as anywhere in the world.” He also mentioned there must be a reduction in injuries to motorcyclists.
The strategy contains 199 action measures which are presented under ‘Safer Roads’, ‘Safer Vehicles’, ‘Safer Road Users’ and ‘Safer Road User Groups’. One of the key road safety challenges to be addressed over the 10 year lifetime of the strategy includes protecting motorcyclists.
Right To Right was a participant in the pre-consultation engagement and along with the British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF), also participated in the formal consultation to the strategy.
Many of the suggestions proposed in the 2010 consultation are included in the strategy, from
- The setting up of a Motorcycling Forum, including a range of stakeholders which will consider an inclusive and strategic approach to motorcycling.
- Consider provision of specific route treatments for popular motorcycle ‘runs’ such as motorcycle ‘friendly’ barriers and additional signing.
- Investigate development of additional signing systems to warn road users of the possible presence of motorcyclists ahead.
At the launch, Right To Ride’s, Trevor Baird, commented to the Minister, “I would like to commend the Minister and the department for the consideration given to motorcyclists and the setting up of a motorcycle forum, hopefully to deliver a motorcycling safety strategy to improve motorcycle safety.”
However as motorcyclists and a Rider’s Rights organization, there are some issues in the strategy that concern us.
Hopefully the proposed forum and consideration of the development of a motorcycling safety strategy for Northern Ireland will deliver a relevant and non restrictive strategy for motorcycling. We will be watching and will be ready to offer our opinions and constructive criticism as and when appropriate.
Northern Ireland’s Road Safety Strategy to 2020 – pdf 1.6mb – Click Here
Easy Read Road Safety Plan to 2020 – pdf 787kb – Click Here
Riding Forward – Road Safety
16th June 2010
The consultation sought to improve not only motorcycle safety but safety for all road users. We generally agree with the positive spirit of the consultation paper, but we had concerns about some of the action measures.
We welcomed the “consideration” of a motorcycling safety strategy for Northern Ireland and the establishment of a Motorcycle Forum which would consider an inclusive and strategic approach to motorcycling.
The consultation set out several possible measures that would be considered, investigated or introduced.
Our comment regarding this was that focus should be on involving local stakeholders and a joined up campaign to get the message through to Northern Ireland road users.
Money wasted on useless shock, horror campaigns, websites that are never updated and (expensive) external consultants could be better spent by tapping into the wealth of knowledge of local experts to find appropriate solutions to reduce casualties on the roads of Northern Ireland.
View our full response and background information – Click Here