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Riders’ voices heard at global forum

International summit produces recommendations for motorcycle safety

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jun. 23, 2008
An international gathering of transportation officials highlighted the importance of motorcycle safety training during a June 10-11 workshop in Lillehammer, Norway.

The workshop brought together transportation officials from around the world including representatives of the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to discuss motorcycle safety.

Ed Moreland, AMA vice president for government relations, Kirk Willard, president of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, Hans Petter Strifeldt, president of the European Federation of Motorcyclists’ Associations and John Chatterton-Ross, director of European Union public affairs for the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) were among those who represented the interests of riders at the International Transport Forum.

“Quite often these types of meetings occur in the vacuum of academia, devoid of the opinions and perspective of the people most impacted by the topics discussed,” says 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.”

The workshop produced several recommendations for improving motorcycle safety.  One recommendation is to create a tiered system of motorcycle safety training built on existing standards to focus on risk awareness, risk avoidance, and greater understanding of the limits of riders.

The forum also recommended that the motorcycle industry play an active role in promoting responsible riding. A third recommendation called for better training of all drivers to be more aware of motorcycles.

Other recommendations include providing training for road planners and engineers to consider the needs of motorcyclists when designing roads, and improving braking systems for motorcycles. The forum also called for formal safety meetings between motorcyclists and policy makers.

“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,” says Moreland. “Based on the recommendations, I feel we succeeded.”