Ian Churchlow, the Motorcycle Action Group's (MAG) representative on a European bikers' rights federation, represented the movement at a major working group on riders' rights in Brussels.
MAG Director Ian Churchlow has just returned from Brussels, having attended a full day conference held by the Federation of International Motorcyclists (FIM), to discuss issues affecting bikers across the European continent and beyond.
Ian says, "this was a joint working group between FEMA and FIM and we met at FEMA Office Brussels on 18th October (2017). We identified many areas where we have common interests and shared concerns. These include motorcycle exhaust sounds and the balance between the damage irresponsible use of the motorcycle throttle and illegal exhausts can make to the image of motorcyclists versus the right to buy an aftermarket exhaust system without undue restrictions."
"We also covered the question of self-driving cars and whether this could lead to further road space limitations, thanks to dedicated autonomous car lanes. We have many position statements on matters including Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), motorcycle accident black spots, dangerous roadside crash barriers, motorcycles in the environment, traffic-calming systems and a great deal more. One of the key areas of common interest is finding a better approach to initial training, licence conditions and tests.'
Ian believes that FIM, FEMA and FIVA (the federation which protects the interests of users of older vehicles) should adopt single-position statements where possible and externally communicate a united position on major motorcycle issues: "Policies like 'Vision Zero' – the goal of achieving no deaths on the roads at all – are logically and practically problematic, and we discussed options. What's certain is that working together we've got a greater chance of influencing such policies than if working separately. MAG is just one voice in this international working group, but I think everyone feels we have a lot to offer. I'm delighted that we now have a place at the table on these strategic groups."
Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or firstname.lastname@example.org
NB: FEMA = Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations