Road safety – Gilles de Robien convenes the General Assembly of the motorcycle –

Gilles de Robien convenes the Motorcycle Meetings

Road safety - Gilles de Robien convenes the General Assembly of the motorcycle -

Presenting this morning to the Ministry of Transport the 2004 report on road safety, Gilles de Robien indicated that he intended to organize General states of the motorcycle in order to renew the dialogue with bikers

"Contrary to what we can hear in dinners or in some newsrooms, the pressure has not fallen on road safety !", warned Gilles de Robien this morning by presenting the final report on road safety in 2004.

A pressure which risks again focusing in 2005 on "motorcyclists", as they say at the Ministry of Transport, whose"bad results"are always pointed out as the"black spot in this 2004 report", with a "increase"of … 0.1% of the number of deaths last year between 2003 and 2004 (exactly 814 against 813)."For ten years, the proportion of motorcycle victims killed on the road in all victims has continued to increase", regrets the government:"it was 9.2% in 1996 and reached 15.6% in 2004".

"You have to know how to see the obvious", said Gilles de Robien:"in 2004 we had difficult relations with certain bikers, who had the feeling that they were going to be endangered by the experimentation on the switching on of dipped beam headlights during the day by all users"."The future of this experiment will be fixed in the fall depending on the results of the experiment.", continued the minister:"it could be completely abandoned, or extended by one winter, or made compulsory in winter but not in summer, or finally made compulsory all year round. We have no a priori on the subject".

"We need to talk frankly with the bikers, without any ulterior motives, so that the misunderstandings disappear", said Gilles de Robien again, considering that"it is our duty to renew the dialogue". After the "round table"organized last year (read), the biker associations will be invited this year to"States General", an expression "more solemn"according to the minister’s wish.

"In France we have not yet reached a plateau, we can still progress"for his part estimated Remy Heitz, citing in particular the example of"German bikers who run 2.5 times less risk than French bikers".

Let us hope that the campaign to raise awareness of the risks of two-wheelers which will be launched from June 2 is as intelligently designed as the Belgian campaign (read) … which does not seem to have been won given the usual relevance of ministerial arguments on motorcycle risks: "Although traveling on average only a few kilometers per year and constituting only 0.8% of traffic, motorcyclists represent 14.5% of victims". Should we really remember that this proportion is nothing extraordinary from the moment we admit that yes, a fall on a motorcycle without bodywork is generally more serious than a collision in a clad car? airbags ?

As for the MAIDS study, which showed in particular that the motorcyclist is only responsible for his fall in 37% of cases (read), it seems indeed buried permanently…

Finally, let us hope that the "States General"wanted by Gilles de Robien do not end as tragically for their initiator as those organized by Louis XVI in Versailles on May 6, 1789 !

Eric MICHEL – Photos Eric MICHEL

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