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New plan to improve safety for Motorcyclists

New plan to improve safety for Motorcyclists

DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT News Release (124) issued by The Government News Network on 23 July 2008

Plans to tackle the numbers of motorcyclists killed or injured on Britain's roads were published today by Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick.

The new Motorcycling Strategy Action Plan - agreed with the National Motorcycle Council - sets out what the Government will do to improve safety for motorcyclists and to continue to facilitate motorcycling as a choice of travel.

Jim Fitzpatrick said:

"Motorcyclists are the single most vulnerable group on Britain's roads today. They account for just 1% of all road traffic, but for 20% of all those killed on the roads.

"The new action plan sets out how we will work to improve the safety of motorcyclists, and make sure that we continue to address their concerns and fully consider their needs when making decisions."

Updated actions in the new plan include building on initial work to identify the feasibility of a motorcycle safety assessment programme, in particular, looking at the safety benefit to motorcyclists offered by new technologies and the potential for including security and environmental aspects. We will also investigate reporting options for diesel spills and other highway defects, and disseminate options for tackling diesel spills. Since the strategy was published in 2005:

* The DfT has developed and launched a new TV and radio THINK! campaign to encourage car drivers to "take longer to look for bikes".

* THINK! has sponsored the British Superbikes Championship.

* The DfT has published new safety ratings for motorcycle helmets through the SHARP scheme that could save up to 50 lives a year.

* The Driving Standards Agency has established a voluntary register of approved Post Test Motorcycle Trainers and an Enhanced Rider Scheme offering insurance discounts to licensed riders who take further training with an approved instructor.

* The DfT has published new guidance to local authorities on Use of Bus Lanes by Motorcycles.

* Guidance to highway authorities on motorcycle-friendly infrastructure has been published by the Institute of Highway Incorporated Engineers with support from DfT.

The 42 new actions update those in the 2005 Strategy. Some of the original actions have been completed, others are ongoing, many have developed over time and been revised to reflect the latest progress, while some new issues have arisen requiring new actions.

Notes to Editors

1. The revised action plan for the Government's Motorcycling Strategy is available on the Department's website

2. In February 2005, the Department for Transport (DfT) published the Government's Motorcycling Strategy. The theme for the Strategy is to facilitate motorcycling as a choice of travel within a safe and sustainable transport framework.

3. The Government's Motorcycling Strategy is being taken forward by the National Motorcycle Council (NMC), which includes representatives of motorcycle user groups, manufacturing, retailing and training industries as well as local government and Department for Transport officials.

4. Membership of the NMC includes representatives from: Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCIA), British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF), Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), Despatch Association, Motorcycle Rider Training Association (MRTA), Motorcycle Retailers Association (MRA), RAC Foundation, Institute of Highway Incorporated Engineers (IHIE), Kill Spills Group, Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), Local Authority Road Safety Officers' Association (LARSOA), Transport for London (TfL), and the Department for Transport (DfT) and its agencies, Driving Standards Agency (DSA), Highways Agency (HA), Vehicle Operator and Services Agency (VOSA).

5. In March 2007 the Transport Select Committee published its report on its inquiry into the Government's Motorcycling Strategy, to which the DfT responded in June 2007. We gave an undertaking to review and publish revised actions.

6. Our overall Strategy remains as set out in 2005. The revised action plan contains two parts. Firstly, it includes our new action plan, as agreed with the NMC. This sets out what we and our partners will be doing over the next few years to take forward the Strategy.

7. The second part of the document sets out in more detail progress with the original actions in the 2005 Strategy. As well as explaining what we have done so far, this provides the background to the new action plan and the changes that have been made.

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