Motorcycle road safety boosted by new partnership

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Highways England is the latest name to collaborate on a motorcycle safety policy framework.

The framework will push for two wheelers to be included in mainstream transport policy, something that doesn’t happen at the moment.

It will also urge UK government to consider rider safety consistently within road design, again something that isn’t done at the moment.

Highways England, the company tasked with running more than 4,000 miles of English motorways, has joined forces with the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) to produce the whitepaper.

Called ‘Realising the Motorcycling Opportunity: A Motorcycle Safety and Transport Policy Framework’, there are seven areas that have been identified to improve rider safety with safer infrastructure, road user education and working alongside cycling groups some of the major focuses.

The aim of the framework is to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities on the strategic road network by 2040.

In terms of figures, the target is vague, with ‘as close to zero’ the remit for the suggested changes.

Safe Systems

Safe Systems is set to be a huge consideration for the policy framework, which kicked off with the NPCC and MCIA two years ago.

Safe Systems accept that human error and fallibility is often unavoidable but that forgiving road designs can help reduce the number of injuries and fatalities on the road.

It’s a method used by the cycling lobby in the UK and one that has also been used for motorbikes and scooters on foreign soil.

The impact for both modes of transport was positive, with reductions almost immediately.

Mike Wilson, Highways England’s Chief Highways Engineer, said: “Safety is our top priority and we believe no one should be harmed when travelling or working on our road network.

“We are committed to both reducing the number of motorcycle incidents and casualties on our roads and to improving the experience motorcyclists have on those roads; this influential partnership with the industry and police supports that commitment.”