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Stuck in the middle!!

October 9, 2011


Ludlow, England – Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right…

Another week another protest. This time the UK’s largest circulation motorcycle paper, Motorcycle News, has jumped on the European Union (EU) Commissions Proposals for Framework Regulation(s) for Motorcycles bandwagon and is promoting a demo in Brussels, slated for late November.

Am I alone in thinking that “the protest” has now become an entity of its own, separated from the actually issue and unfortunately based on a considerable amount of disinformation. After all “the protest” is a handy device, a cloak, to hide the failings of the European “riders rights groups” who, in the final analyses, will have little or no effect on the outcome.

Am I alone in having the temerity to suggest that if all the money spent by the protesters on protesting, i.e. fuel, ferries, food etc etc, was pooled into a “fighting fund” we could at least afford to buy the time of a Brussels lobbyist who knew what he/she was doing.

Am I alone in feeling stuck in middle?

Justice for Bikers?

The UK Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke announced his intention to include a new offence, causing serious injury by dangerous driving, in the Government’s forthcoming Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment Bill.

The enactment of this legislation means that prosecutors will have more options in cases of dangerous driving; dangerous driving – maximum jail sentence two years, causing serious injury by dangerous driving – maximum jail sentence five years, causing death by dangerous driving – maximum jail sentence fourteen years. However lets not forget that those jailed for dangerous driving offences can be released once they have served fifty per cent of their sentence.

The Coroners and Justice Act has gone someway to close the loop-hole where disqualification from driving ran concurrently with a jail sentence but the fact remains that there is little protection for the vulnerable road user from the hard-core of bad drivers.

Perhaps we should try deterrence. Perhaps we should have mandatory sentences and bans. Perhaps its is time to reconsider culpability in light of a driver’s actions before the crash.

As a victims father was heard to comment: “There are certain people out there who don’t care about people’s lives and drive around in a way that could easily kill someone. Then they hold their hands up and say ‘I didn’t mean to do it’ and they get away with a light sentence.”

Perhaps we should be protesting about that!

Ride safe.

© Back Roads Rider 2011

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Elaine permalink
    October 9, 2011 8:33 pm

    MCN is organising a ride to Brussels on November 22nd – good luck there as the vast majority of their readers will have put their bikes to sleepy byes for the winter. With Ms Andreason – UKIP as their saviour – using gems like

    “To recap briefly, the European Parliament’s Internal Market Committee, chaired by Conservative MEP Malcolm Harbour, wants legislation in place to stop riders modifying or working on their bikes. Tuning would become impossible and even home-servicing severely hampered under plans. This obviously discriminates against disabled riders who must tweak their bikes in order to use them.

    New bikes are also to get ABS under the plans, which according to those I have spoken to does not work well on loose surfaces. On top of this, bikes over 7 years old would be prevented from entering towns and cities. Outrageous!”

    Outrageous indeed – as there are no plans to stop riders modifying or working on their bikes and where did the discrimination against disabled riders come from? Banning bikes over 7 years old entering towns? The French proposed banning all vehicles, that went nowhere and now here we are – stuck in the middle – of MCN and Ms Andreasen – who evidently likes deleting comments that challenge her ignorance.

    In the meantime, the United Bikers of Ireland has now been set up to fight the EU proposals – with a demonstration in October in Dublin against the EU Anti Bike Legislation – whatever that is…..

    Time to go fishing!

  2. October 11, 2011 12:17 am

    It just seems like the usual rubbish, lots of people protesting about absolutely nothing to do with whats actually going on, because in fact, not many people actually know whats going on, this could be resulting from the mainstream media printing such mediocre bullsh1t, so that people are missing the point, as the media just want to sell copies of their newspapers or magazines or what have you….

    But in reality where can I understand what laws are really being proposed to be changed? and how all of this is going to my riding life? To be honest, I for one, have absolutely no idea what’s going on, I’m frightfully unaware of the present situation, of what is really happening.. and how and what I can do about it, productively.

    It all gets very complicated, and I wouldn’t mind just getting on with my simple riding life!

    • Wallace & Grumpy permalink
      October 11, 2011 6:09 pm

      It gets worse, apart from all the confusion here in the UK, some of us have major concerns due to where the proposal sits at present within the legislative process. It is our understanding that the proposal is scheduled to be voted on before the regulations, delegated acts and the adoption of harmonised international standards, have been agreed on.

      All these issues need to be formulated before any agreement or alignment within the Council of Ministers and before any vote within the EU parliament takes place regarding the Commission’s proposal and subsequent amendments put forward by the IMCO committee.

      Failure to do so would create an impossible situation whereby the motorcycle industry, consumers and member state governments are not able to have a clear understanding of what the simplification of this regulation actually entails.


  1. El Camino – The Road

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