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Riders ‘better motorists’ say top UK cops

Bus lane in use in London lane filtering happiest commuters A British survey has found that riding a motorcycle makes you safer on a bicycle and vice versa, while other surveys show riders are the safest motorists. kerb motorists
Riders can use bus lanes in London

Motorcyclists are better motorists than drivers so more people should be encouraged to ride, says the British Association of Chief Police Officers in a report to the UK government.

British Association of Chief Police Officers - riders make better motorists
British Association of Chief Police Officers

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.”

It’s nothing new. The report cites a Belgian report delivered last year to a London road safety conference which says the more bikes on the road, the safer our roads would be.

The UK police and motorcycle industry document calls for motorcycles to be included in mainstream transport policy, education for all road users, compulsory road user awareness lessons at schools and post-test training for all motorists.

Cory Bernardi motorist
Cory Bernardi

Calls for motorists to ride before they drive have been echoed in Australia by Liberal senator Cory Bernardi who is a member of the Friends of Motorcycling parliamentary group.

He wants all learner drivers to be taught how to handle a motorbike as well — even if they don’t intend to ride one – to teach drivers the perils of the road for bikers and their vulnerability to cars and trucks.

MotoDNA director of coaching Mark McVeigh says it’s a great idea for learner drivers to spend time on a motorbike to improve road-safety awareness.

“The ideal training would be a one-day course which we could put together very quickly with our existing program,” he says.

  1. Why not tell people for free in an article instead of making a comment that drives people to your track based school . Yeah you are a good community person.

  2. Given so many people’s fears about being on 2 wheels, and the simple matter that many of them would be dangerous on bikes due to lacking the requisite coordination etc., it would be a great idea as put above, to give all drivers a taste of riding to help them appreciate the art and associated risks, rather than mandating yet another onerous requirement. In the same way “music appreciation” classes help one to understand, and enjoy music, without attempting to turn everyone into a musician.

  3. I couldn’t agree more with this story. I’ve known for a long time, since my old man told me (he rides also) that riders are better drivers and from my experience have found the same to be true. They LOOK over their shoulders (like most motorcycle riders do) so do not endanger other riders, even whilst driving a car and just are more aware of their surroundings because of having experience on a bike.

    UK cops have this down pat. Why can Australia NEVER learn from another country and always has to try and go off on its own (and fail) at trying to be different. Driver education that saves instead of hefty fines that do not work (Germany) , UK promoting motorcycling and how it makes people better drivers vs Australia flogging motorcyclists for everything and now linking us to criminals?

    Australia is so far behind the eightball it is not funny.

  4. Totally agree with this as I had a motorcycle licence before I ever had a car licence, but there is one issue that has concerned me in recent years. The growth of the SUV market seems to be putting people into big vehicles who seem to disregard other road users. It seems that the ones who drive/ride the most vulnerable vehicles drive defensively and consider other road users while those who drive large 4WDs consider themselves invulnerable and drive aggressively, disregarding other road users. If I had my way special licences should be required to drive some of these larger vehicles.

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