Industry

MAG speaks out about highway code changes

The Motorcycle Action Group has spoken out about proposed highway code changes for ‘vulnerable road users’

LAST week we brought you the news that the government was going to consult on various changes to the current highway code. If you haven’t read the highway code changes article you can find it here, although here is a brief synopsis.

The current highway code has been around for many years and is more than likely due for an update. In the update, the government is looking in particular to consider the needs of the UK’s most vulnerable road users, something it outlines as pedestrians, cyclists, and horse riders.

So once again the UK motorcycle riding public has been omitted from the group, despite making up a great number of road casualties and deaths every year – often through no fault of our own.

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) has responded to the news, with a fairly strongly worded announcement from MAG’s Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown.

His statement reads:

“This is a shocking demonstration of the lack of care for the welfare of the most vulnerable road user group on the roads.  As motorcyclists, we have to face the accusations and vilification of our legitimate choice of transport mode, whilst simultaneously suffering a near complete lack of interest in making the roads safer for us.  We take no issue with moves to improve safety for other road users, but this systemic and sustained process of turning a blind eye to the needs of motorcyclists is unforgiveable.

“It is little wonder that motorcyclists get angry about this kind of thing, and we fully share their outrage.  We consistently campaign for improved motorcycle safety and bend over backwards to support the limited number of initiatives designed to reduce motorcycle casualties, but the mere title of this consultation reveals the depth of the problem we face.  How can it be that the most vulnerable road user group is the one road user group that is ignored?

“We are calling on the department to immediately revise the wording of the announcement to include motorcyclists, and then to develop a meaningful discourse on what amendments can be made to the Highway Code to help improve the safety of riders.  We will be writing yet again to the Secretary of State for Transport and urging our members to write in the strongest terms to their MPs.

“We are aware that our latest letter writing campaign calling on MPs to support our three reasonable demands for post-COVID transport restart upset the Department, but the Department should prepare for more upset in the coming weeks. We will not be silent until our right for a safe road environment is recognised.”

To help out, you can contact your MP asking them to uphold the Coalition of Motorcycling Organisations’ (COMO) three demands. This endeavour has gained traction in recent weeks, with many local MPs contacting the secretary of state and even having formal written parliamentary questions raised.

For more information, head to: mag-uk.org/three-demands

Comments

Licensed2008's picture

Have MAG really taken this position? I learned about this consultation through Visordown and read and responded to the consultation document yesterday. Motorcyclists are mentioned frequently throughout, and always as 'vulnerable road users'.

They are included as such in the proposed heirarchy of road users, ranking above cars, vans, trucks etc. I. e. they are consistently recognised as vulnerable, where car drivers are not.

About the only thing I disagreed with in the proposal was the recommendation to pass horses and horse-drawn vehicles at the extremely low speed of 15mph. The rest of it I thought was good, well thought-out and considerate of motorcyclists. Read it for yourself. If MAG have really taken that position, it suggests they haven't read it. Unless they literally just want to include the word 'motorcycle' in the title, which I think is splitting hairs?

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