AA president addresses major conference on whether more motorcycles could reduce casualties
More than half of all drivers (57%) are often surprised when a motorcycle appears from nowhere, according to the AA President addressing a major motorcycle conference* in London on 11 November.
These revelations come at a time when provisional government figures show an 8% increase in motorcyclists killed or seriously injured in the spring this year compared to the spring last year.**
The AA president addressed the issue of “Sharing the roads: Changing attitudes” by highlighting a recent AA-Populus poll of 21,165 conducted between 11-17 October 2013.
King pointed out that there was a considerable cross-over between drivers and those on two wheels. Some 18% of AA members hold a motorcycle licence, 8% ride a motorcycle but 28% used to ride a motorbike but don’t now – this increases to 40% of the over 65s. Fifty per cent of drivers also have at least one bicycle in their household.
We need to ensure that drivers are much more aware of the presence and possible presence of motorbikes and indeed cycles on our roads
Edmund King, AA president
Edmund King, AA president, said: “We need to ensure that drivers are much more aware of the presence and possible presence of motorbikes and indeed cycles on our roads. It is worrying that half of all drivers are often caught out by ‘invisible’ motorcycles seemingly coming out of nowhere. Motorcyclists also need to always be aware that they might not be seen.
“We have heard much lately about improving the safety of cyclists from the Prime Minister downwards yet motorcyclists appear to be the forgotten cousins. Yet motorbikes and scooters can play a vital role in helping to reduce congestion and enhance mobility in our towns and cities.
“We need a step change in attitudes to provide a positive role for powered two-wheelers in our transport strategy. Safer, more fuel-efficient bikes coupled with serious inclusion of motorcycling within transport policy could bring benefits for all road users. All too often motorcycling is written off as deemed to be unsafe.”
If there were a lot more motorcycles on the roads:
King concluded: “We need to work in collaboration with others when looking at transport policy to always think once, think twice, think bikes.”
The AA and Motorbikes
(11 November 2013)
* Motor Cycle Industry Association conference in association with ACPO, DFT at the Department for Transport, London.