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The Bigger Picture…..

June 14, 2010


Fort William, Scotland – It is sometimes a good idea to stop, draw breath, sit down and consider the big picture.

Campaigns demanding free secure parking and access to bus lanes are fine but there are issues, not of this land, just as significant that need attention.

Take the 2nd and 3rd EU Driving Licence Directives as an example. It’s become fashionable to blame the UK Driving Standards Agency (DSA) and the Department of Transport (DfT) for the mess over the form of legislation and implementation of these.

But look at the bigger picture. The Federation of European Motorcycling Associations (FEMA) failed to come up with common position that the national rider representative groups could understand and support. They then failed to form a cohesive MEP caucus around the position that, after endless meetings, was finally agreed but consider by some FEMA members as a worthless compromise. Hardly surprising then that neither the Directives rapporteurs nor MEP’s understood FEMA’s position, as FEMA didn’t understand it either!!

Meantime the UK riders groups failed to start a second strand by getting a common position with the DSA, DfT, Motorcycle Industry Association (MCI) and the rider training organisations, which really should have been a position similar to FEMA’s. Then there’s the sub text of MCI facing all points of the compass at once while gigging in the Association des Constructeurs Europeens de Motocycles euro big band. Thus the UK riders groups effectively had four positions, their own, FEMA’s, the UK governments, and one they didn’t know about. As one rider group lobbyist said at the time ‘we seem to have as many or more positions than the Karma Sutra and none of them are particular satisfying’.

Worried about the continuing story of Automatic Headlights On, Anti Skid Braking Systems, and Collision Avoidance Systems. Concerned about anything that turns a very simple device, a motorcycle, via a twenty year research programme and the Berne based motocyclotron into a technological dodo, which is about as much fun as haemorrhoids. Worry no more, end your concern. We have, after all, the following looking after the big picture for us; The European Transport Safety Council, DG Enterprise and Industry, DG Move, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme, Make Roads Safe, World Health Organisation, Association des Constructeurs Europeens de Motocycles, the Federation of European Motorcycling Associations.

Mind you considering the number of self obsessed, self-interested clowns that people such self-perpetuating ‘big picture’ organisations where discussions on promotions, salary increases, expenses, the next overseas jolly, the size of the office and the best coffee machine often take precedence perhaps we should be worried i.e. our interests come last. There is always plan B, ignore them or even plan C, occupy a bigger picture than ‘they’ do!

Things PR wise must be a bit quiet down at the good ole RAC Foundation, guardians of UK road user interests. Last week saw their publicity machine grind into action with yet another repeat of the old chestnut about the return of front number plates for motorcycles and scooters. Why? Well we need them cos all us bikers are avoiding detection by speed cameras and automatic number plate readers because we don’t have front plates. Please someone tell them that most ‘authorities’ authorised to use systems based on number plate reading have equipment that is capable of reading the rear plates on bikes.

Hey we could look at the bigger picture. Why not fit bikes with passive radio frequency identification chips containing the registration number, and then we wouldn’t need registration plates at all. Come to that we could chip the bikers themselves.

Humm is that the big picture or the big brother?

© Back Roads Rider 2010

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Foghorn Leghorn permalink
    June 14, 2010 2:10 pm

    I say there, I say…. you forgot throttle control!

  2. dave permalink
    June 15, 2010 8:36 am

    BRR don’t give ’em ideas… chipped number plates have already been suggested once and thankfully they seem to have been forgotten.

  3. Whoopee Cushion permalink
    June 16, 2010 12:35 am

    Yeah but – yeah but – it seems more like the Ginger Whinger’s fantasy with his ickle recorder and a poor cow confused by his mumblings rather than RAC policy.

    Anyhoo the whole discussion is redundant because the gummint hasn’t got a pot to p*ss. So road safety is low on their agenda – hallalooyah!


  1. Anonymous

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