Bike industry starts the fight back
The organisation which represents the bike industry has started the fight back against " increasingly sensation-led comment and campaigning on motorcycle safety " .
And it challenging the mainstream media to admit its mistakes and put the record straight.
A spokesman for the Motorcycle Industry Association said: " Campaigning by the North Yorkshire local pressure group BAND, using the names of celebrities to highlight problems on certain Yorkshire rural roads, has been seized upon to generate an entirely wrong picture of national motorcycle safety. "
They say the mainstream media is being mislead by: Wild claims about 180 mph motorcycling; distorted casualty figures; and claims of danger to other road users from ‘racing bikers’ and 'blood on the roads'’.
The organisation says: " This seems to have become the latest fashionable way of presenting motorcycling as dangerous and unacceptable. "
The MCI sets out the real facts on accident rates.
" Stories and campaigns have been fuelled by an increase in casualties, particularly in rural areas, in recent years. However instead of 28,000 riders being killed or seriously injured (KSI), in 2002 (as has been claimed in various articles), the real KSI number was 7500, with 609 riders killed. Nearly half of these tragic deaths occurred in urban areas at low speeds - often due to riders coming into collision with cars which had pulled into the path of the rider. "
" Recent increases in the number of casualties to a great extent reflect the massive increase in motorcycling in recent years.
" If the number of casualties are compared against the amount of new motorcycling that is going on (the casualty rate), the chances of having a crash are the lowest for 10 years. More recently, the motorcycle casualty rate has fallen by 12% over the Government's 1994-98 baseline casualty figures. "
Craig Carey Clinch, MCI Director of Public Affairs said: " Sensationalism and anti motorcycle campaigning is doing nothing but painting all motorcyclists as hooligans, when we are in reality only facing problems from a comparative few irresponsible idiots who's antics will ultimately be controlled by police enforcement if education fails.
" We don't need new laws; neither do we need biker demonisation by the media. This type of negativity - or 'Bikeism' -- will only lead to a continuation of the current problems, with the benefits of motorcycling for both leisure and commuting continuing to be under developed.
This may not be a nice sexy or sensational story, but it's what's really going on out there. The MCI invites the media to write the really challenging story - putting the record straight. "