Motorcyclists' voices were heard on the international motorcycle safety scene recently. Among the recommendations accepted by the International Transport Forum of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) were to create better motorcycle safety training, teach car drivers to watch for motorcycles, and promote responsible riding. The meeting was held June 10-11 in Lillehammer, Norway.
The International Transport Forum, comprised of high-level officials in the transportation, logistics and mobility arenas in their countries, held the workshop to focus on motorcycle safety. Ed Moreland, AMA vice president for government relations, Kirk Willard, president of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, John Chatterton-Ross, Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme, director of European Union public affairs, and Hans Petter Strifeldt, president of the European Federation of Motorcyclists' Associations, were among those representing the interests of riders.
Others taking part from the United States included representatives of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)--a powerful Washington, D.C.-based group of insurance companies that recently suggested banning or capping the speeds of "sport" and "supersport" motorcycles.
"High-level transportation officials from around the world attended this conference to discuss motorcycling and motorcycle safety, so it was critical that motorcyclists made their voices heard," Moreland said. "Based on many of the recommendations, I feel we succeeded."
One recommendation is to create a tiered approach to motorcycle safety training that builds on existing standards, focuses on risk awareness and risk avoidance and understands the limits of riders and their motorcycles. Another calls for the general training of all drivers to watch for motorcycles and to share the road. A third suggests that the motorcycle industry promote and market responsible motorcycling. Riders are asked to be responsible as well.
The workshop attendees encouraged training for road planners, as well as highway and traffic engineers, so that motorcyclists are considered in their designs. Other recommendations include better braking systems for motorcycles, formal safety meetings between motorcyclists, government policy makers and other interested parties, and more safety messages geared for motorcyclists.
"Quite often these types of meetings occur in a vacuum, devoid of the opinions and perspective of the people most impacted by the topics discussed," said Moreland. "This meeting was particularly significant because the real-world perspective of riders was given equal weight and our input was recognized on a global stage."
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