It is essential that the safety and security needs of all motorcycle riders are met. The two most high-profile UK rider organisations, the British Motorcyclists’ Federation (BMF) and Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) are well-respected and organised but, despite their best endeavours, their membership may not necessarily represent all riders. The range and use of motorcycles is very wide: from restricted mopeds and scooters used as fashionable, basic transport for commuting to leisure riding and touring. Even this last category includes both classic machines and sports bikes which require different riding techniques and may be used by riders with different attitudes. A full understanding of the needs of diverse users is necessary in order to provide a safer riding environment. Benefits may also be found in dialogue with local motorcycle dealerships and businesses.
Local authorities may find it useful to establish a motorcycle forum in order to facilitate information gathering and identify motorcyclists’ needs. Authorities with experience in this field include Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, Devon County Council, Bedfordshire County Council, Cornwall County Council and Nottinghamshire County Council (see example below). The forum should be geographically representative and include appropriate professionals from road safety engineering, road safety education, the police, tourism and economic development fields. Other bodies that may be able to help include regional groups of the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). The forum should be supplemented by other consultation mechanisms such as:
In 2004, after a publicity campaign in Toulouse, city authorities appointed a co-ordinator (M. Moto) to work on reducing motorcycle casualties. As an experienced motorcyclist, M. Moto works with the city’s technical staff, police and rider groups to promote safe motorcycling. Similar to Cycling Officers in many British local authorities, M. Moto is an advocate for riders and provides effective advice to other agencies.
Example: Nottinghamshire County Council
Nottinghamshire County Council has established a motorcyclist forum to examine issues affecting local riders and aim to make motorcycling in the area safer and more convenient. They encourage riders of all ages to get involved and provide feedback which may inform the Council’s policies. The forum meets every three months in different locations around the County to maximise its reach.