BMF LAUNCHES ROAD SAFETY CAMPAIGN
The British Motorcyclists Federation, Britain’s largest rider group, has
today launched its 2002 Road Safety Campaign designed to bring a new perspective to powered two-wheeler (PTW) safety.
Launching the campaign at the BMF Show, Europe’s largest outdoor motorcycle show, the campaign is designed to bring to the attention of Road Safety agencies, both nationally and locally, the need to change attitudes in road users by re-structuring road traffic law enforcement; bring home to riders that they also have responsibilities and to introduce the ‘BMF Rider Safe Award’, an award given to an individual or team for their contribution to rider safety.
The BMF say that as minority and vulnerable road users, road safety initiatives are invariably aimed more at the PTW rider than other drivers but that it’s now time to see a change of emphasis away from the simplistic obsession with speed cameras to the pursuit of more evidentially-led traffic offence prosecutions. The BMF also wants to see a halt to the running-down of road traffic police units and asks for the Government to recognise that traffic policing is a core function of UK Police Forces.
The introduction of speed cameras in particular has brought a fixation on Œspeed at the expense of standards’ say the BMF who point out that since 1985, convictions for speeding have quadrupled to nearly one and a quarter million, while convictions for careless, dangerous or drunken driving have fallen from 250,000 to 190,000. In view of this, the BMF say that instead of paying for the installation of more cameras, the ‘netting off’ revenue from speed cameras should be used to fund road safety education in schools and colleges.
This could be via the Government introducing the ‘Motor Vehicle and Road User Studies GCSE’ (the so called road safety GCSE), as a positive step toward developing better informed and more responsible road users and providing such things as pre-driver training courses.
The rider’s role in road safety is emphasised in a new leaflet, ‘Don’t Make An Impact’, pointing out that 60% of rural bike accidents are down to rider error and encouraging riders to improve their riding skills.
Along with safe riding tips and information on advanced rider training courses, the leaflet also contains a Road Defect Report Form for riders to send to their local councils highlighting such hazards as dangerous potholes and rutted road surfaces.
The BMF Rider Safe Award’ is designed to acknowledge and reward individuals or a group of people who have made the greatest contribution to rider safety in the field of training and assessment. It will accompanied by an award of £250 to be spent on the winning scheme Marking the launch of its campaign, BMF Chief Executive Simon Wilkinson said: “We are only too aware of the vulnerability of the PTW user but there is a need for improved road user behaviour across the board.
We must keep our eye on the ball and while excessive speed can be a factor, poor driving and riding is a greater cause of road accidents and that’s where we’d like to see the emphasis. Our campaign is designed to address these issues and also reward those who make a real contribution to bike safety”.
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