Cycling and Motorcycling Accidents

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 10:30 am on 18th March 2010.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Chair, Children, Schools and Families Committee 10:30 am, 18th March 2010

What steps his Department is taking to reduce the number of deaths of, and serious accidents involving, motorcyclists and cyclists.

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Photo of Paul Clark Paul Clark Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport

Specific road safety initiatives aimed at motorcyclists and cyclists include a new Think! campaign on motorcycle safety, training for young cyclists via Bikeability, and the enhanced rider scheme for post-test training for motorcyclists. Last year, we published proposals to improve road safety in the consultation document, "A Safer Way". That included proposals for new guidance on encouraging more 20 miles per hour zones.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Chair, Children, Schools and Families Committee

Does my hon. Friend agree that we are perhaps becoming a little complacent about the number of deaths on two-wheeled vehicles? I checked the figures recently: in two years, deaths among motorcyclists equal the number lost in our armed services on active service in 40 years. The widow-makers and orphan-makers are the people who drive such vehicles and are killed. That is disgraceful in a civilised society.

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C

Mr Sheerman...Perhaps instead of branding motorcycles as 'widowmakers' you could look at improving the rates of motorcyclists who are killed by car drivers? Typically the 'sorry I didn't see them' type accident. Seldom do car drivers take further...

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Photo of Paul Clark Paul Clark Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport

My hon. Friend makes an important point about the number of people who die or are seriously injured on our roads, but I am pleased that all those involved in road safety have been able to achieve substantial reductions in the number of deaths and serious injuries among both cyclists and motorcyclists. However, we recognise that there is further work still to do, and we will continue to take that forward in the new road safety strategy.

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Photo of Michael Fabricant Michael Fabricant Opposition Whip (Commons)

Often, it is the drivers of four-wheeled vehicles who cause the harm. But, what steps is the Minister taking to try to stop ordinary pedal cyclists going through red lights, cycling the wrong way and endangering pedestrians- [ Interruption. ]

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Some MPs take every opportunity to attack the most benign mode of mechanised transport. He agrees that 4-wheeled vehicles cause the harm but then goes on to make an...

Submitted by Chris Beazer Continue reading

Photo of Paul Clark Paul Clark Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport

I will not mention the Mayor of London; that would not be right. I will say, however, that the hon. Gentleman raises an important point. Everyone who uses the road, whether they are cyclists, drivers of four-wheeled vehicles, lorry drivers, bus drivers or pedestrians, needs to respect the rules of the road and operate accordingly. I agree entirely.

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