The FEMA summer 2015 agenda: EU lobbying, electric bikes and motorcycle safety
The Federation of European Motorcyclists' Association has had a busy summer, taking motorcycling issues raised by organisations such as ours to European levels of discussion.
Dolf Willigers, general secretary of FEMA, presents a bi-monthly update about the new developments in Brussels and what FEMA is doing:
In summer, everything is quiet in Brussels. A great opportunity therefore to go on with our "transition". Besides the physical relocation of the old - and outdated - office to a much more modern and flexible "shared office" within walking distance of the European institutions, I also worked on a new tactical plan and, along with MAG policy officer Wim Taal, a new communications plan.
The first result can already be seen: from October 3 you can see our new website, designed and managed by Wim Taal. The move, the appearance of the RIDERSCAN report and the new website illustrates the end of an old and the beginning of a new era. From now FEMA no longer bears responsibility for large road safety projects, but we focus 100% on our core business: lobbying in the European institutions and beyond in the interests of the European riders.
A good example of that lobbying is the presentation that gave in Istanbul, Turkey, during the GAIT 2015 conference. GAIT stands for Green Accessible Intelligent Transportation. We were allowed to explain why motorcycling is a sustainable mode of transportation.
After all, motorcycles are smaller and lighter than cars, consume therefore less, take up less space on the road and in parking lots and are also better affordable for a large group of people who would otherwise be unable to work or to visit family. And do not forget: if all traffic with engines running is stopped in traffic the motorcyclist can continue to ride which also results in lower emissions.
Talking about sustainability. FEMA was at the introduction of the Pulsar STORM Eindhoven (Netherlands) in early October. A team of 30 students has managed to develop an electric touring bike with a range of 380 kilometers. The electric engine is powered by a modular battery system, allowing it to reduce weight if the rider doesn’t need all that power. Also, very quickly the empty batteries can be replace by full ones. In 2017 the team takes part in the 80 Days Race with this bike.
A race around the world in 80 days with a vehicle without the internal combustion engine and not running on fossil fuel. The nice thing about this project is not only the impressive technical feat, but the fact the team has also created a system to recharge the motor on the move. They organised a worldwide network (Grid) of institutions, corporations and individuals where the batteries can be charged, therefore the STORM can ride anywhere. FEMA members are so excited about this development, that we like to support them in the coming years.
During the last FEMA Committee Meeting, freely translated: the General Assembly, on October 3 also the final report of the RIDERSCAN project was presented. In several magazines there already has been published about this, but because it was a very important and major project I will again give you some explanation about it. Inducement to the project was the observation that motorcycling comes off badly in the area of road safety investigations. There are only few studies done on motorcycle road safety and the knowledge is very fragmented.
The RIDERSCAN project intended to unite all the knowledge about road safety for motorcyclists and and supplement this with our own research. To achieve this we began studying the literature: all publications that were found on road safety for motorcyclists, but we also read national and European guidelines and summarized, digitized and stored all this in a systematic way in a large database.
Further study was then done by conducting three European surveys, organising three European Motorcyclists’ Forums, interviewing scientists and policymakers, participating in debates and workshops, attending conferences, conventions etc., which were all related to road safety. Many national organizations, including your own, have actively contributed to this in different ways. The information obtained in this way is divided into topics such as ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems), education, infrastructure, behavior regulation. In addition, a number of Internet pages containing information about secure infrastructure were made and a dedicated website where manufacturers of motorcycle-friendly crash barriers can provide information about their product and where road authorities can find it.
Finally, conclusions were drawn from all this information and recommendations were made. The intention is that policy-makers and road authorities at all levels will now use this combined knowledge and recommendations to achieve good regulation, training and infrastructure, thereby increasing the safety for motorcyclists. The printed final report of the RIDERSCAN project is actually a brief overview of all the accumulated knowledge and contains hundreds of references to some of the consulted reports and other documents. Visit www.riderscan.eu for more information or download the RIDERSCAN report here.