Motorcycle Safety Takes A European Vacation

Coming on the heels of two U.S. studies around rider safety, the topic is also enjoying the spotlight at an annual motorcycle conference being held in Europe, in a way officially making it a worldwide concern.

The European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM) has named its 12th annual conference, ‘The Safe Ride to the Future’ with the agenda paying attention to the issue of motorcycling safety in the European Union. It even created a new, high standard for motorcycle training.

This focus comes after two reports which included motorcycle fatalities, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released nationwide data and a more detailed study about helmet usage in Michigan was issued by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Source ACEM - John Stapels - Photographer

Although it's hard to find a leather jacket among the sea of well-dressed attendees at the conference, many experts from the different fields of rider safety are at the event with the future of how motorcycle enthusiasts ride in Europe shaped during gatherings such as this. The European conference started with some proactive measures around motorcycle safety, which isn’t surprising considering what the ACEM is. The professional body represents the industry of mopeds, motorcycles, tricycles and quadricycles boasting a membership which includes 17 manufacturing companies as well as 17 national associations based in 14 European countries. A similar association in the United States would be the Motorcycle Industry Council.

“Today’s discussions clearly showed that motorcycling safety is a shared responsibility, and that it is essential that vehicle manufacturers, European and national administrations and users’ organizations work together to achieve lasting safety improvements,” ACEM Secretary General Antonio Perlot said.

This edition of the Brussels annual conference attracted more than 150 attendees from the motorcycle industry, European and national administrations and users’ organizations, as well as a wide range of stakeholders. An idea of who is in attendance can be found in the ACEM’s membership roster which includes BMW Motorrad, Bombardier Recreational Products, Ducati Motor Holding, Harley-Davidson, Honda Motors, Kawasaki Motors, KTM Motorrad, Kymco, MV Agusta, Peugeot Scooters, Piaggio Group, Polaris Industries, Renault, Royal Enfield, Suzuki, Triumph Motorcycles and Yamaha Motors.

The event explored key issues around motorcycle safety such as the benefits of advanced vehicle technology for powered-two wheelers, the group’s all-encompassing term for some of the vehicles it represents, as well as the need to ensure that all road users have adequate behaviors on the road, or the importance of inclusive motorcycle safety plans, particularly at national level.

Source ACEM - John Stapels - Photographer

As part of the conference, ACEM and the German Road Safety Council presented a new European Training Quality Label for high-quality post-license training programs. A motorcycle training course managed by the Royal Dutch Motorcycle Federation (KNMV) was the first to receive the certification.

“ACEM members manufacture some of the most advanced motorcycles and mopeds in the world. But it is also important that motorcyclists have good riding skills and a responsible attitude on the road,” ACEM and BMW Motorrad President Stephan Schaller said. “This is precisely why we are partnering with the German Road Safety Council to promote the best post-license training programs across Europe”.

As well as improving motorcycle safety courses, advancements in technology are also helping to save rider’s lives. To highlight this, ACEM organized an exhibition on motorcycle safety technology that featured some of the latest vehicle models launched by the industry as well as innovative safety devices such as a side view assist system, a wireless airbag jacket and an electronic windscreen.

“Intelligent transport systems (ITS) solutions have also started to make their way into our industry,” Schaller noted, “We expect that in the future vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technologies will help to reduce the risk of accidents by allowing powered two-wheelers to effectively communicate with other vehicles.”

Source ACEM - John Stapels - Photographer

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