Road Safety group adopts policy with ‘no room for motorcycles’

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A leading road safety group is backing a casualty reduction policy whose author once said motorcycles must be removed from the roads.

Claes Tingvall said: “We must prevent the recruiting of new motorcyclists. In long-term thinking, I regret to say that motorcycles must go.”

But the charity Brake is lobbying the Government to adopt his ideas.

The group’s manifesto states: ‘Our vision, Vision Zero, imagines a world where road deaths and injuries, and carbon emissions from vehicles, have been reduced to zero.’ 

Tingvall, the Swede who originally devised Vision Zero in the 1990s, once said on Swedish TV: “There is no room for motorcycles in Vision Zero.” He told a magazine: “It will never function to combine motorcycles with our high ambitions of road safety.”

He softened his stance following protest from the Swedish motorcycling community, but speaking to MCN in 2005 he maintained: “If you want to make a motorcycle 100 per cent safe, it has to no longer be a motorcycle.”

Brake is advocating engine capacity limits ‘to within the maximum speed limits’ and restrictions on road use when ‘sustainable, safer transport options are accessible’.
No one from the group was available to comment.

Ian Mutch, president of the Motorcycle Action Group, said: “The rabid end of the road safety lobby cannot tolerate the idea that anybody would trade a bit of safety for quality of life and fun.

“Everybody who gets on a motorcycle makes trade-off between safety and enjoyment and there is a growing school of thought which says it’s not acceptable for you as an individual to make that choice. That’s the great challenge facing the motorcycle lobby.”

He said the best answer was for riders to boost their number – the goal of our MCN 1000 campaign.

Steve Farrell

By Steve Farrell