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Your Rights – Leaving on Euro Platform Number…..

July 1, 2010



Euro Platform??

Biggar, Scotland – Welcome news? The European Commission has launched its new ‘Motorcycle Platform’ to engage with motorcyclists across the 27 member states of the EU.

On the face of yes, good news. An EU wide Motorcyclists’ Forum a ‘Platform’ for discussion allowing riders to exchange views with the policy strategists and decision makers, on their future needs and expectations. Great so how do I get involved? You don’t but the people who represent you in Europe do. Yes folks the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA) will be informing the  policy and  project officers down at the European Commissions DG MOVE of all you wants, needs and aspirations motorcycling wise. How will FEMA know what you want? Well all their members, like the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) and the British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF) will tell them for you.

But I’m not a member or affiliate of a rider’s representative group. I can’t afford it, I don’ agree with their policies, I don’t think they do a very good job, I don’t care! Well you are not alone, of a reckoned 18 million motorcycle and scooter users in the European Union only 2% (360.000) are members of riders groups. The Italian riders group ‘Coordinamento Motociclisti’ is alleged to have only 500 members yet Italy has the best part of 10 million users.

So the unrepresented are having their European agenda set by a minority. Why? Because the European Commission will not talk to individuals, it will only talk to EU wide representative bodies based in Brussels. So join a riders group. I can’t afford it, I don’ agree with their policies, I don’t think they do a very good job, I don’t care! Circular argument.

Meantime the Commission is spending your money, via UK contributions to the EU, on sorting things like technical standards for anti-lock braking systems (ABS), riding tests, technical inspections, road safety action plans, intelligent transport systems, the Saferider project complete the force feed throttle concept. That’s the bunny that closes the throttle for you and it’s a deliverable of the Saferider project. Meaning? The European Commission is obliged to support it.

The Euro Biker TGV is about to leave the Motorcycle Platform calling at self-interest, self-delusion, paid research, self replicating representation, lack of democracy and little consultation. Unfortunately all seats are taken, it’s all first class and it’s full. Yes the European Transport Safety Council, DG Enterprise and Industry, DG Move, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme, World Health Organisation, Association des Constructeurs Europeens de Motocycles, the Federation of European Motorcycling Associations all have seats. Oh dear it appears the majority of European riders could not get on board, no tickets available, dress code perhaps. Err no it appears the chef de train had some issues on allowing open debate, responding to opinion, respecting riders, common sense and majority views on board.

Still not worry there always another (gravy) train due on the EU High Speed Biker Line. Let’s hope it’s not the World Health Organisation and World Bank special. That’s got a missive emblazoned on each coach which says: ‘We have advised that care should be taken to avoid the adoption of policies which could encourage the growth of motorcycle traffic by giving advantages to two-wheeler users’.

Its summer in England. How do I know? Another journalist has decided to have a go at biking that’s how. This time it’s the Guardian’s Ed Douglas who’s trying to improve his career prospects by ‘doing one’ about biking.  See here…

To get stuck in Ed’s used as his spring-board the Road Safety Foundation’s latest communiqué on the most dangerous roads in Britain. ‘Motorcyclists who speed on public roads are immoral and criminally selfish’, and we are ‘intolerable and immoral’ in Ed’s view. Don’t worry dear it will pass.

© Back Roads Rider 2010

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Choo Choo Train permalink
    July 1, 2010 12:20 pm

    ah but there are three sides to every story and lots of other stories too – but for a start

    see FEMA press release

    according to them – the conference was a great success and everything is hunky dory

    and then there is a third side of the story

    It’s a bit like that Japanese film – Rashōmon: a 1950 Japanese crime mystery film directed by Akira Kurosawa – for the film buffs.

    Although maybe more akin to a scene from Blazing Saddles – pledging allegiance to Hedley Lamarr

    • Kawasaki1100 permalink
      July 1, 2010 7:23 pm

      Is Hedley Lamarr supposed to be a parody of the FEMA President? Hedley Lamarr doesn’t look anything like him!

      • Back Roads Rider permalink*
        July 1, 2010 10:52 pm

        Hedley Lamarr = Gerard Livitt

        Well not wishing to be judgemental but I think there’s a passing resemblance, but then that’s only my humble opinion.

  2. Honda90 permalink
    July 1, 2010 2:40 pm

    I read the bit about the Guardian having a pop at us. Then I read the actual article. I went up to the PEak District a couple of weeks ago and found myself agreeing with most of the article: it was a rant against the idiots amongst us, not with all bikers (actually, I’m a motorcyclist/scooterist, but that’s a different topic). When I’m out riding, I get annoyed with prats who can’t ride safely or considerately. They put everyone in danger, including other riders (especially if you’re on a scooter!).

    As the roads everywhere get more crowded, we all need to be a bit more tolerant, patient and safe. This isn’t about speed as such, it’s about not overtaking when it’s not safe, as the article shows. If you can’t make the bend and kill someone as a consequence, I’m not going to defend you.

  3. July 1, 2010 6:23 pm

    I’ve just read that article. I agree 100% with the journalist and with Honda90 (used to ride one of those). I ride a 1000cc KTM. But twats that can’t drive or ride safely should be locked up.

    What I am against is this thing that “speed kills”…well yes if nobody moved we would be unlikey to hit anything. Really though inappropriate speed is what kills. 30 were 15 is more dangerous than 100 on an empty 3 lane motorway. So its to do with appropriateness.

    Then what about all these inconsistent speed limits. I see national speed limit applies past some houses, I see 30 limits with wide open fields either side. Where is the logic? Where is the consistency?

    If people are against the authority and their signs, it is this non-logic applied that makes them just ignore them all..or at least contributes to it.

    John Reeves, RoSPA (gold), MIAM

    • Gasper permalink
      July 1, 2010 11:40 pm

      Re the article by Ed Douglas. and??

      We know the problems

      1) Cat & Fiddle is a “bad” road. It is from an engineering point of view – wrong. The curves are an accident – or crash – waiting to happen.

      2) Crotch rockets who think that they can be just like their heroes and ride the road as if it is a race track.

      3) The industry that continues to produce race replicas – thus supplying crotch rockets with “the dream”

      4) lack of incentives for riders to go out and do advanced training to improve their knowledge and skills.

      So rather than complain, what are the solutions? That’s what I want to know.

      Did the FEMA conference give us anything new? It would appear not.


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