Join the freedom fighters
You’ll see MAG at almost motorcycle rally or event in the UK, but do you know what they do and what it means for you?
The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) was founded in 1973 to campaign against the newly-introduced helmet law, the compulsory aspect of which was seen by many as an infringement of civil liberties. This established MAG as a voice for motorcyclists and since then the organisation has campaigned hard ‘to protect and promote motorcycling and the interests and rights of all riders, from learners to advanced riders’.
Over the years this has included fighting against such proposals as the plan to fit all new motorcycles with leg protectors (which in all likelihood would have done more harm than good), a 100bhp limit and more recently an EU anti-tampering law whereby it would be illegal to make any mechanical modifications to new machines.
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“Consultations arrive on our doorstep by the bus load,” says Vice Chair Andy Carrott. “We then work through each one to see what may have an impact on motorcyclists and whether there needs to be a response. Current issues include charges for older motorcycles in low emission zones, tolls on the Thames crossing, cycle lane light segregation devices (essentially a mini kerb installed in the road) and anti-social behaviour injunctions that could cause any two riders out together to be in breach.”
As a volunteer-led rights group MAG is not aligned with any political party and this allows them to be taken seriously by officials at all levels, from local councillors to members of parliament. Their two full-time campaigners Dr Leon Mannings (Transport Policy Advisor) and Lembit Opik (Director of Communications and Public Affairs) regularly engage with politicians and ministers to ensure that motorcyclists’ best interests are taken into account.
Funding is crucial to MAG’s survival and they rely solely on membership subscriptions, donations and proceeds from events. With rallies and social gatherings held on national, regional and local levels throughout the year there are plenty of ways to get involved, so if you want your voice to continue to be heard, show your support!
Where is it?
Nationwide, with both regional and local groups.
What does it cost?
Annual subscription is £27.
When is it?
Meetings and events on all levels throughout the year.