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British police chiefs encourage motorcycles

British Police Motorcycle
British Motorcycle Police

While many riders believe police are the enemy, discriminate against them and harass them, it seems British police actually encourage motorcycling.

The UK Council of Police Chiefs website includes a motorcycle framework section that features six sections with positive headings: Road user awareness; Educate to deliver; Motorcycles as a practical solution; Unlocking the benefits of motorcycling; Better motorcycle industry engagement in society; and Partnership with cycling.

In fact, under the fourth heading “Unlocking the benefits of motorcycling”, one of the objectives is to “Increase uptake of motorcycles as lower congesting and polluting vehicles“.

The website mirrors the UK Council of Police Chiefs 2014 report to the UK government.

Rather than deterring riders, as most authorities seem to do, or legislating for learner riders to first hold a car licence for a year (as in Queensland), the joint report with the Motorcycle Industry Association suggests the reverse is true.

“There is a growing body of evidence which shows that if more people started their road careers on a motorcycle, scooter or moped, this would lead to improvements in driver behaviour towards all vulnerable road users,” says an MIA statement released with the report. “‘It is also acknowledged that motorcyclists make better road users when driving cars.”

No doubt there are some British police who are tough on riders, but this video shows one who delivers a warning and lets the rider off for popping as wheelie. Would that happen here?

  1. Certainly the British police run BikeSafe, the first step towards advanced training in a country that requires theory tests and closed course manouver tests in addition to an on road practical test in order to obtain a licence. There appears to be a sensible attitude to speeding, 30 zones are holy, quiet national speed limit back roads are there to be enjoyed, don’t get caught doing anything stupid.

    Having said that I’ve had a traffic cop in an unmarked car pull me over for avoiding a patch of diesel he hadn’t seen and then try to find a defect with my bike to do me for when it became apparent he couldn’t fault my riding, until his colleague pulled him away.

    I’ve had a PCSO out to win hearts and minds of residents and tackle low level anti social behaviour in my neighbourhood fall back on “well we all know how your type would rather sort it out” when I tried to explain that the vandalism was carefully targeted at state owned property and not privately owned vehicles.

    Local police were downright hostile after a right of way violation incident where I wrote my bike off and was hospitalised but fortunately missed the car that pulled out on me, despite plenty of witnesses that made the insurance claim stick.

    On the other hand when i got rear-ended on tour the traffic cops were really nice to me.

    So in all my treatment has been all shiny, but I wouldn’t swap British policing for anyone else’s.

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