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Bob
25th June 2004, 21:23
A senior UK Government official has claimed that : “Improving motorcyclists’ skills merely means they kill themselves in a more skilled way.”

According to an article in The Times newspaper’s website, Rob Gifford, Director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, came out with this statement as a put-down to calls by RoSPA for new rules forcing motorcyclists to build experience before moving onto larger machines.

I contacted industry groups and lobbying groups who are understandably outraged at such an irresponsible statement.

Craig Carey-Clinch, Director of Public Affairs of the Motor Cycle Industry Association said “A more crass and irresponsible comment from an organisation which claims so much moral high ground on road safety I couldn't possibly imagine. What is not needed is another wave of anti motorcycle hysteria of the sort which we have seen of late from local campaigners and individuals from road safety organisations.”

“What is also not needed is for the motorcycle community to close ranks and blame the Government and everyone else for the current situation. Although Government and the police have a huge role to play in motorcycle safety, ultimately, in many cases, it is largely down to the skill and judgement of the individual rider which determines whether or not an accident can happen and MCI is working with others to provide the tools that riders need to help improve their skill levels and improve safety.”

Interestingly, Mr Gifford’s comments were deleted from the print version of the article

Skyryder
25th June 2004, 21:53
The sort of thing that happens when you put you mouth in gear and forget to engage the brain.

Skyryder

Bob
25th June 2004, 22:01
Well hopefully by now Mr Gifford will be regretting his statement!

I passed on details to our two major UK lobbying groups, the European Biking Association, the UK bke industry association (who gave the great quote above), our main biking newspaper, at least one magazine, a training organisation I do some work for and, just to finish off, I contacted the MP that heads up the Parliamentary Biking Group!

By now, his phone must be close to meltdown with all the calls!

And just wait until this goes into print in the magazine I write for some of the time.

Mr Gifford ain't gonna know what hits him...

Ghost Lemur
25th June 2004, 22:21
Keep us up-to-date bob on the linching process.

I've heard some serious bullshit in my time. But NOTHING tops that tosser. I can't even being to imagine the thought processes (or lack thereof) required to come up with a statement like that. The fact that the guy is in a position of power in this field makes it all the more scarey.

:angry2:

Jackrat
26th June 2004, 08:48
He's probably got a point.
I mean what difference does your skill level matter while your being run over by some fuckwit politican with his head stuck up his ass.

Ms Piggy
26th June 2004, 09:21
I guess a gimp like that underestimates the amount of riders there are. :bash:

mangell6
26th June 2004, 09:54
He's probably got a point.
I mean what difference does your skill level matter while your being run over by some fuckwit politican with his head stuck up his ass.

:2thumbsup :2thumbsup

marty
26th June 2004, 10:35
if that attitude appears here, then obviously the HSE Act will cease to exsist, as what would be the point spending all that money on training and licensing, it would just mean that trained, licensed people were killing themselves and others, and that would be such a waste of money. wouldn't it?

FROSTY
26th June 2004, 10:49
I hate to tell you guys. But that is the attitude of the movers and shakers in NZ goverment. They just ain't stupid enough to actually say it.
Being reasonable for a moment-How to reduce traffic congestion in auckland.?--simple encourage use of public transport and single seater vehicle use--ie motor scooters/motorbikes.

Bob
26th June 2004, 19:10
Jeff Stone, the British Motorcycling Federation's Press Officer, had this to say on the subject:

"We know Rob Gifford well but this is a bizarre thing for him to say. When the emphasis is on better training, being flippant about it is totally counter productive and undermines the authority of his Parliamentary Committee. We will be asking him if his theory applies to motorist's skills as well!"

For those of you that don't know, the BMF is the UK's largest motorcycle lobbying group, with over 140,000 members. So they carry enough clout for parliament etc to listen to their words. The BMF have been pretty successful over the years as a pro-biking lobby.

I think Mr Gifford will come to regret his statement.

And I am very, very pleased I was able to bring this to the attention of the various bodies on 'our' side of the fence.

Deano
27th June 2004, 09:17
What a complete no-brainer. Anyone know where he lives ?? :ar15:

What?
28th June 2004, 18:40
if that attitude appears here, then obviously the HSE Act will cease to exsist, as what would be the point spending all that money on training and licensing, it would just mean that trained, licensed people were killing themselves and others, and that would be such a waste of money. wouldn't it?
I didn't think that was too dissimilar to the utter crap we got out of LTSA regarding driver training / licensing standards. Apparently, if you teach people to be better drivers, they will take more risks...

curious george
29th June 2004, 05:52
Just out of curiosity, does anyone know why those comments were taken out of print? Why were they web-based only?

rodgerd
29th June 2004, 06:04
I hate to tell you guys. But that is the attitude of the movers and shakers in NZ goverment. They just ain't stupid enough to actually say it.


That must be why the LTSA was trialing "do more training, get your license quicker" programs for Class 6 licenses late last year.

Oh, sorry. Mustn't interrupt with facts.

Lou Girardin
30th June 2004, 05:38
That must be why the LTSA was trialing "do more training, get your license quicker" programs for Class 6 licenses late last year.

Oh, sorry. Mustn't interrupt with facts.

The LTSA had directed that at people who've been riding for years without a licence. They're already experienced, the training is a dress-up to make the programme saleable to the Govt.
They couldn't just give licences to them after a test alone.

toads
1st July 2004, 13:22
He's probably got a point.
I mean what difference does your skill level matter while your being run over by some fuckwit politican with his head stuck up his ass.


beautifully put! LOL

Bob
1st July 2004, 18:55
Just out of curiosity, does anyone know why those comments were taken out of print? Why were they web-based only?

I think it might just have been a space issue - lose a couple of lines to make an article fit the newspaper version, but keep them in for the web-based version - you don't have to restrict article length then as the page sits effectively on its own.

On another subject - the one of encouraging people to use bikes - in London there is a charge to enter the central zone (a fairly large area). Bikes and scooters (and electric powered vehicles) are exempt from this. Which is a good thing. Problem comes with finding parking spaces - there just aren't enough.

bgd
1st July 2004, 19:26
On another subject - the one of encouraging people to use bikes - in London there is a charge to enter the central zone (a fairly large area). Bikes and scooters (and electric powered vehicles) are exempt from this. Which is a good thing.

If I remember correctly the original reason for allowing bikes to be exempt was that all the cameras take a photo of the front. If we ever see front number plates then things may change - especially if the cycling and pedestrian lobbies get their way :(

Would be hard to justify it as a congestion charge, though.