RoSPA – 1. Introduction

1.1 Motorcycling is an important and popular mode of transport, which has some environmental advantages over other forms of motorised transport, as well as other advantages such as flexible journeys and sometimes more efficient use of road and parking space. Unfortunately, it is also associated with a significant accident and casualty risk.

1.2 The purpose of this paper is to:

a) outline the current situation regarding the crash risk associated with motorcycling
b) identify existing problems and potential safety interventions
c) develop RoSPA’s policy positions in relation to motorcycling.

1.3 Motorcycles, also described as two-wheeled motor vehicles (TWMVs) and powered two-wheelers (PTWs), encompass a variety of vehicles, the main types being mopeds, scooters and motorcycles. The terms motorcycles, Two-wheeled Motor Vehicles and Powered Two Wheelers are interchangeable in this paper, and except where specified, refer to all types of the vehicles listed above.

1.4 The Government’s Road Safety Strategy, “Tomorrow’s Roads : Safer for Everyone” states that the government’s aims for improving the safety of motorcycling are :

  • to improve training and testing for all learner riders;
  • to publish advice for people returning to motorcycling after a break, and people riding as part of their work;
  • to ensure the quality of instruction; · through training and testing, to help drivers become more aware of how vulnerable motorcyclists are;
  • to promote improvements in engineering and technical standards which could protect motorcyclists better; and to work with representatives of interested organisations, in an advisory group, to look at issues of concern.

1.5 The DETR’s Guidance on Local Transport Plans requires Local Authorities to consider the needs of motorcyclists when developing their local transport plans, policies and strategies.