British and Irish riders protest as authorities confirm determination to mandate hi-viz clothing for bikers.

The Road Safety Authority in Ireland has confirmed that it intends to make hi-viz clothing compulsory for all motorcyclists from 2014.

The Motorcycle Action Group (UK) requested confirmation yesterday after the RSA told a reporter on Belfast newspaper ‘News Letter’;

“…at present the RSA’s preference is for the voluntary wearing of high visibility jackets rather than compulsion.”

This contradicted the RSA’s position in the National Motorcycle Safety Action Plan 2010-14 which proposes the introduction of regulations for the mandatory wearing of high visibility upper body clothing with full sleeves for ride and pillion passenger.

Brian Farrell, Communications Manager at the Road Safety Authority, emailed MAG(UK) in response to a request for clarification, saying:

“I can confirm that the RSA has not dropped the position outlined in the Motorcycle Action plan. We do intend to seek to introduce the measure in 2014, subject to consultation with motorcyclists and industry on the most appropriate type of hi-viz material and possible solutions.”

MAG(UK)’s General Secretary Nich Brown said:

“Too many riders have been unwilling to believe they will be forced to wear day-glo clothing in the near future.  Until now the RSA has soft-pedalled its determination to legislate, but now there is no doubt that the authorities are serious.

Recent research shows drivers who also ride motorcycles watch-out for bikes and are far less likely to collide with them.  Commenting, Nich Brown said:

“There are too many collisions between road users of all kinds, the key is to get everyone to look out for each other and to think about who they share the road with.  Forced day-glo will simply marginalise riders and let unobservant drivers off the hook.  Such a lazy approach to road safety does not deserve to succeed.”

MAG(UK) and MAG(Ireland) have organised a co-ordinated protest against proposals for compulsory hi-viz, restrictions on the ability to modify motorcycles to suit their riders, bans on older bikes in cities, and a raft of other measures that will affect biking throughout Europe.

Riders will be gathering at 1pm on Sunday 25th September, starting from more than 100 locations on trunk roads throughout the British Isles they will be riding in convoys to raise awareness of their presence on the road and to demonstrate their opposition to further restrictions on biking.

Map of start points: http://tinyurl.com/Action-Now-EU-Hands-Off-Biking

FURTHER INFORMATION:

MAG(UK)     tel. +44(0)1926 844064    www.mag-uk.org

MAG(Ireland)    tel. +353(0)16020695  www.magireland.org

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