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While you were away……

July 27, 2010


Crewkerne, England – Its holiday time! Time for opportunist government press officers to slip out press releases containing things that they would prefer were not noticed, even buried and forgotten.

If you thought the UK government were masters of the buried story well think again. The true champions of slipping out the unpalatable are the press officers employed by the European Union.

Take the European Commission Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG Move) for example. Conveniently timed to clash with European parliamentary, civil service and European national holidays they last week announced their plans for the 2011-2020 European Road Safety Programme. Granted this may not be of interest to those of the general population enjoying a staycation or a vacation in the sun, many of whom seem quite happy for DG Move to make everything from alco locks to deep fat fryers mandatory on European vehicles. It takes all sorts; we are all the same but different.

So what about motorcycles? Ah ha DG Move has not forgotten us. If fact we are to be a priority. Now be honest for a moment there a European motorcycling fantasy edged into your mind. A network of motorcycle only priority routes reminiscent of Moscow’s politburo-only Zil lanes perhaps. Stretching to the outer limits of the EU, with cafes every 50 miles (80km) serving bacon sandwiches, massive fry ups and, in deference to the Brussels mandarins, a low-fat vegetarian alternative. Well sorry to burst that little bubble but back down on planet reality DG Move is talking safety.

Over the next nine years we can look forward to:-

A number of functional vehicle safety measures like e.g. mandatory fitting of Advanced Brake Systems, Automatic Headlamp On and updated anti-tampering measures (so speed controls cannot be removed).


 Technical standards on protective equipment such as clothing, and to study the feasibility of equipping motorcycles with an airbag and/or including the airbag in the protective clothing.

Not to mention

EU legislation on road worthiness testing/inspections to motorbikes and other powered two wheelers (which does not exist at the moment).

Now you may be wondering when you get the chance to discuss all this and get to offer your input. Obviously the recently departed, post wise, European Commission’s Vice-President and Commissioner in charge of Transport, Antonio Tajani, the new post holder, Siim Kallas, Madame Isabelle Kardacz, Head of the European Commission Road Safety Unit and Maria Cristina Marolda, Policy Officer in charge of Road Safety in the European Union are simple dying to evaluate your views. After all the EU is about democracy and participation and as tax payers our opinions count.

Well not to worry as your voice has already been heard via the European Motorcyclists Forum. That’s the forum that’s not really a forum just a few meetings. Meetings where some rather misguided representatives of the Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations (FEMA) and the European National representative Organisations, plus a few well-meaning hangers-on, get coerced into rubber stamping anything that DG Move fancies. While the few thinking objectors present get ignored.

So sit back relax everything’s under control. Yep if DG Move has their way even your throttle will be nicely under control. Err their control not yours!!

If you don’t feel like delegating  the speed you ride at to a EU Commissioner then visit No To Throttle Control here…

© Back Roads Rider 2010

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Ned Ludd permalink
    July 27, 2010 7:11 pm

    Years ago when dissidents did not want to follow the party line, they were chewed up and spat out – left out in the cold/ignored – all that stuff.

    Times have changed. So the question that riders need to ask themselves is: do we really need to give out voice over to the condescending gaggle of Captain Americas that purport to be the voice of riders in Europe.

    The power of the internet and emails has changed all that – for those that are sufficiently pissed off with the state of affairs that we find ourselves in.

    So folks – you don’t have to be a Luddite – nor a proselite of the church of Riders Rights Organisations.

    All you really need is an email address:

    Providing the content does not contain abuse or offensive language, you out there have direct access to the person in control – Head of the EU Commission’s Road Safety Unit.

    Go for it!


  1. Anonymous
  2. MAG UK Comes Out EU Safety |
  3. MAG UK Comes Out EU Safety

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