Wakefield MAG September 2015 Newsletter

Dear Wakefield MAG Member,

Welcome to the Wakefield MAG e-newsletter. If you can't attend our Wednesday meetings regularly, it's the next best thing to keep you up to date with what we are up to.

CONTENTS

1) How Stean Gorge and Brimham Rocks Rideout Report
2) Yorkshire MAG / MAP AGM
3) Helmets for Trike Riders in NI - Consultation Response
4) Local Knowledge about Cycle Lane Segregation
5) Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle Park Classic Motorbike Show
6) Happy 21st Alex
7) Treasure Hunt - The Thinking Riders Rideout
8) AMS Talk - Wednesday 14th October
9) 3rd Bingo Night
10) Forthcoming Events (for September and beyond)

1) How Stean Gorge and Brimham Rocks Rideout Report

Check out the event report Here

2) Yorkshire MAG / MAP AGM

The annual Magic Action Promotions (MAP - Those lovely people who lay on the ITV, FYP & YPR) debrief and AGM will be held at the White Horse Pub in Hutton Cranswick Nr Driffield on Saturday the 17th of October starting at 1.30PM. Voting at the MAP AGM and to stand for any of the Directors positions is subject to eligibility (Current Yorkshire MAG Member, attended previous MAP meetings and have marshalled at MAP events over a qualifying period).

On Sunday, the Yorkshire MAG AGM will be held at the same place. So, for those who may wish to attend both, there will be a bit of a drinkathon and knees up on the Saturday night to finish off the season with a hangover.

Beer and entertainment will be available on the Saturday evening and the White horse landlord is sorting out a curry selection for the evening meal on Saturday night at a very resonable £6.50 per person. There are also rooms available at £15.00 per person including breakfast for anyone wishing to stay over. The pub has limited camping space for 12 medium tents and also space for 6 campervans or caravans at £8.00 per person including Full English Breakfast. If you wish to book overnight accommodation, contact the pub on 01377 270383 and tell them you're with the MAG night / AGM on Saturday 17th of October.

The Yorkshire Region AGM on the Sunday is open to all, although you will need to be a current Yorkshire MAG member to have voting rights. The AGM is your opportunity to hear about all the regions great achievements, as well as have a say in how the region is run. It's also the opportunity to vote for the forthcoming years regional officers:

All the Region Committee positions are up for re-election (or election for those standing down this time round). If anyone wants to step forward and get involved at the Yorkshire Region level, this is the best time to do it !!!

Tea, coffee and biccies will be provided at the AGM and Snacks will be available at the bar.

The White Horse can be found on Main St, Hutton Cranswick, Driffield, East Riding of Yorkshire YO25 9QN. Website: http://www.whitehorse.me.uk/

75 Branch Points to all Wakefield MAG members who attend either of the AGM's, 150 if you attend both. Points means prizes !!!

3) Helmets for Trike Riders in NI - Consultation Response

As covered in the August newsletter, there was a consulation for public feedback to a proposal for mandatory helmets for Trike riders in Northern Ireland (Consultation document (now closed) is here: http://www.doeni.gov.uk/index/road_users/corporate-road-safety/road-safety-consultations-and-publications/road-safety-consultations.htm).

What follows is MAG's response to the proposal for the mandatory wearing of Helmets on Motor Tricycles in NI. It goes on a bit (OK, a lot) ..... but at least you will be in no doubt as to what MAG's position is ..... and it's not like El Presidente, Mr Mutch, to go 'off on one' about helmets now is it ;-)

Background

MAG is the leading riders’ rights organisation in the United Kingdom. We represent approximately 600 members in Northern Ireland, and the interests of an estimated 48,000 active motorcyclists, scooter riders and trike operators in that geography. Our modus operandi is to help policy makers develop evidence based refinements in all areas of policy which affect riders. As far as possible, we work with legislators and officers in the spirit of cooperation to find data-based and legislatively sustainable, consistent solutions to shared challenges, such as road planning, the environment and safety. We also draw on political and legal channels where necessary. MAG employs highly qualified research resources and possesses a comprehensive understanding of key issues associated with operating powered two and three wheelers.

MAG has conducted an extensive analysis of the technical, statistical and moral implications of existing helmet laws. Our analysis considered the financial implications of enforced use of helmets, as well as the philosophical implications of imposing such regulations. MAG is dedicated to ensuring legal, political and moral consistency in the application of laws as they pertain to motorcyclists. MAG resists discrimination against riders and promotes a ‘level playing field’ for those who choose to use powered two and three wheelers versus other road users.

MAG has conducted a detailed analysis of the consultation proposals to introduce a mandatory helmet law for trike riders. We have absorbed and analysed the data in the consultation document, cross-referencing it to MAG’s own extensive national and international research.

Overview of MAG’s position

Based on MAG’s extensive body of evidence regarding the moral, practical and financial effects of helmet legislation, we propose Option 1 - status quo. MAG also offers positive engagement between the riding community and road safety authorities to identify the most rational and cost effective way to achieve the objectives of the Road Safety and Vehicle Regulation Division. We offer our resources and experience to help deliver our shared safety goals and to monitor results on an on-going basis. We oppose introduction of new constraints which have no evidential basis.

Our continuing aim is to work with the Road Safety and Vehicle Regulation Division to ensure fair and non-discriminatory regulation of trike use, based on scientifically credible data plus consideration of the rights of individuals. We want to help find a sensible outcome and avoid recourse to legal action or high profile political campaigning if at all possible - a path which may even draw in questions about the original motorcycle mandatory helmet law. This is why we are extremely eager to meet with the Division at the earliest opportunity to make progress in a constructive manner. We are more than willing to share our expertise and achieve what all parties wish for.

Response to the six specific questions

Question 1

Do you think that one of the listed options is the way forward?

YES

Additional comments: Given the absence of quantitative data - and the statistically insignificant sample size regarding deaths and injuries amongst trike users - there is only one reasonable option amongst those being proposed.

Question 2

If the answer to question 1 above was yes, which option do you feel provides the appropriate way forward?

OPTION 1

Additional comments: Option 1 - namely, the status quo, is the only equitable legal arrangement for the use of helmets on powered three wheelers. MAG understands from the consultation document that two factors are driving the proposal to shift from this status quo: cost to the health service of treating trike riders involved in accidents; and damage to health. The consultation document does not provide a persuasive argument regarding either criterion, unless the Assembly is also willing to legislate on a series of other circumstances in which harm can occur to oneself or others, and which have nothing to do with trikes. Let us start with the statistical basis for the proposal as contained in the consultation document. No evidence of any statistical signi´Čücance has been produced so far to support the changes being proposed. The data provided so far regarding deaths and serious injuries is drawn from a tiny sample, far too small to form a meaningful basis for a major change in legislation. The consultation document offers no clarity on the cause of injury or death, or the likely impact of wearing or not wearing helmets in each of these incidents - or whether the riders were even wearing helmets. MAG has conducted a comprehensive analysis of the effect of mandatory helmet regulations. If the small - and evidently regrettable - number of accidents involving trikes is to be used as a precedent for imposing mandatory restrictions on this category of rider, it sets a cast iron precedent for the extension of such legislation to other - far more clearly defined - circumstances potentially involving harm to oneself and others and cost to the health service.

Let’s look at the facts. In the period 2008-2014 the consultation records two deaths and three serious injuries, plus five minor injuries amongst trike users. By comparison, the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency - NISRA - recorded 1884 alcohol related deaths for the comparable sample period 2007-2013; over nine HUNDRED times more deaths than for trike riders over a similar period. In addition, data supplied by the Northern Ireland Assembly Research and Library Service for an Assembly debate led by Danny Kinahan MLA, indicated that alcohol was a contributory factor to 369 injury-related road accidents, 23 deaths, 120 serious injuries and 439 slight injuries - in 2009-2010 alone. Based on the two criteria driving the mandatory helmet proposal - cost to the health service and harm to health - introducing a law to force trike riders to wear helmets instead of focussing on tough new restrictions on access to alcohol would evidently be inconsistent and discriminatory.

As a second example, poor diet has been attributed as a cause of death. In Northern Ireland, 24% of over those over 16 years old are obese and a further 37% are overweight, according to House of Commons Library research for the period 2013-2014. NHS research in 2013 suggests that the combined experience of all obesity grades is an increased likelihood of mortality in the region of 18%. Again, a mandatory law for trike riders but no law preventing, say, excessive eating is inconsistent and disproportionate, especially given the numbers affected by obesity versus riding a powered three wheeler.

There are many other examples which indicate the unarguable discriminatory nature of mandating helmet usage for trike riders, when far higher savings in health and cost to the health service would be achieved by addressing these other issues. Note also that not wearing a helmet has no third party implications to health, unlike alcohol related road injury accidents.

There is another key consideration. In the spirit of consistency, if mandatory helmet wearing is to be introduced for trike users, then it MUST also be introduced for drivers and passengers of motor cars. These are responsible for thousands more head injuries than trikes are - or ever could be. Explicitly, if helmets are regarded as an appropriate defence against head injury, a far higher reduction in those experiencing head injuries - with a consummate saving in cost and damage to health - will be achieved by introducing mandatory helmets for car drivers and passengers. Failing to do so would make it patently discriminatory against trike riders given the miniscule casualty numbers for this category of vehicle user versus those in powered four wheelers.

MAG returns to the Division’s own data. Note again that with trikes, across the seven year period, there were two deaths, three serious injuries and five slight injuries. Using the charity Headway’s statistics, there are around 170,000 minor, moderate and serious head injuries in the UK every year. The charity claims almost half are directly related to road traffic accidents. Pro-rata, this would indicate the Northern Ireland health services deal with over 4,000 road accident-related head injuries per annum, of which - by the Road Safety and Vehicle Regulation Division’s own statistics - no more than NINE (9) could possibly have been generated by trike accidents - across the whole of the seven years from 2008-2014. The rest must necessarily have been the result of car accidents, pedestrian-related collisions and accidents involving those already wearing helmets: these riders again form a small minority of the total tally since they constitute less than 3% of road traffic. As such, there is a far stronger case to impose the mandatory wearing of helmets on car drivers and passengers than to impose it on trike riders. To impose the regulation upon trike riders instead is therefore plainly discriminatory in regard to the liberties and rights of users of powered three wheelers versus those of car drivers - a position MAG is confident would be upheld in a court of law.

Note also that the data contained in the consultation report does not even identify whether the trike related injuries were head related, and whether these made any difference to the ultimate condition or fate of the riders - crucially, a point acknowledged by the consultation document itself. Thus the entire proposal is based on an unsubstantiated conjecture that helmets would have altered the outcome in these accidents - despite the fact the consultation itself concedes there is nothing to suggest that this is the case - and with a disregard to the fact that thousands more head injuries occur every year in cars. Yet the logic of the proposal implies that, considering the dual criteria of harm to oneself and cost to the health service, car travellers should be mandated to wear helmets IF the tenets of the consultation are valid and applied consistently.

The cost in liberty of mandating helmet usage for trike users is hard to quantify in pecuniary terms. However, its imposition in this discriminatory and non-databased fashion is again inconsistent - in this case regarding personal liberty, especially given that there is no third party victim if a rider is harmed as a result of not wearing a helmet. By contrast, alcohol is instrumental in first and third party harm, which until now, de facto, is accepted as a ‘tolerable harm’ in terms of the level of legislation in force to prevent it. As such, seeking to enforce a mandatory helmet law may lead to a legal challenge (which could additionally have the unintended consequence of necessitating a review of the existing helmet law as it pertains to riders of powered two wheelers) on the basis of demonstrable discrimination against the riding community, for example in the context of Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Question 3

If your answer to question one was no, can you suggest a possible alternative course of action? Please give details.

Additional comments: N/A

Question 4

Do you think the sales market for trikes will be affected by the introduction of this policy?

YES - the introduction of mandatory helmets WOULD negatively impact the sector

Additional comments: By definition, the status quo will not alter the current sales market. However, there is no doubt that the introduction of mandatory helmets as outlined in options 2 and 3 will substantially reduce the sales of trikes, given that the freedom to ride without a helmet is a key attraction of this mode of transport. The loss of sales will significantly exceed any uplift in sales of helmets. Note that a substantial proportion of trike riders already possess helmets, and as such it is not tenable to suggest an increase in helmet sales will counterbalance the loss of sales of trikes. This will therefore negatively impact the economy. While the economic arguments are to some extent a moot point, there is no economic case as far as the powered two and three wheeled sector is concerned to introduce this change. Rather, the economics of the sector points to the status quo - Option 1.

Question 5

Do you agree that this policy should also be introduced for disabled drivers/riders?

NO - the status quo should be in place to all users of powered three wheelers.

Additional comments: There is no case to introduce helmet legislation for people with disabilities which is at variance to the law for able bodied riders. To create different legislation would constitute discrimination and is thus open to legal challenge.

Question 6

Do you feel there is a more effective way to define trikes in legislation? If yes, please give details.

NO

Additional comments

Any attempt to define the different categories of trike as suggested in the consultation document, as far as the analysis put forward is concerned, appears largely arbitrary. The only way to meaningfully define different types of trike in the context of safety it to have a solid, clear and quantitative body of evidence which relates to the relative risk associated with each type of vehicle. No such analysis has been offered in the consultation document. Thus, it is impossible to define trikes in a more effective way in legislation, given the absence of data to justify doing so.

In addition, given the criteria on which the proposal is being put forward - namely impact on health and cost to the health service - such an analysis requires consideration of the data relating to head injuries in other categories of vehicles; such as cars, buses and so forth. We have already pointed out the far higher incidence of head injury in four wheeled vehicles, with the consequent impact on health and the cost to health services. There is obviously a compelling need for consistency, regardless of the number of wheels a particular vehicle happens to have, otherwise any such proposal is discriminatory.

Conclusion

MAG is eager to work with the authorities to make progress on the safety of powered two and three wheelers. We take an informed and rational approach, with over 40 years’ experience in the field. MAG is committed to working with the Road Safety and Vehicle Standards Division to ensure an equitable approach towards road safety issues. We look forward to positive engagement with the Division to identify the best way forward regarding road safety for riders and the wider road-using community.

Selina Lavender - Chair, Motorcycle Action Group

Ian Mutch - President, Motorcycle Action Group

Ed: Did you really read all that and make it all the way to the end ? ..... Truly Splendid effort !!! .... Well Done ;-)

4) Local Knowledge about Cycle Lane Segregation

MAG wants to tap into any Local Knowledge about Cycle Lane Segregation, to help us to defeat these so called 'safety measures' that are quite frankly lethal to motorcyclists and the proverbial 'accident waiting to happen'. MAG is putting together a table with all known installations / plans to install / trials of hard engineered cycle lane segregation i.e. kerbs or 'light segregation' e.g. 'Armadillos' or 'Orcas' across the UK. Regardless of whether you have sent in details before can you all please email Leon: leon.drm@gmail.com and cc the Chair: chair@mag-uk.org. Use the subject title: Cycle lane segregation - next step. We are looking for ALL known cases, we would rather be informed twice than not at all. We need exact details so area, road name, contact (council and MAG rep/liaison), dates, and actions to date, anything that is relevant. Once we have a table we will then draw up an email/letter action plan based around the Cycle Lane Segregation document (which will be included at that stage).

If you are reading this and do not have access to email, you can pass the details to your MAG Rep or send to:
Central Office
P.O. Box 750
Warwick
CV34 9FU

5) Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle Park Classic Motorbike Show

Huddersfield MAG will be taking the Yorkshire MAG stand to the second Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle Park Classic Motorbike Show on Sunday 13th September 2015 at Ravensknowle Park, Wakefield Road, Huddersfield, HD5 8DJ. The show is open to the public from 11:00 until 16:00, with Exhibits and stalls to arrive from 09.30 onwards. Refreshments are available and all bikes and scooters are welcome. It would be great if you could support this local event and show the good folks of Huddersfield (and beyond) your pride and joy.

For specific enquires about the show, contact the organisers:
Moll Springs Motorcycles - 01484 660295 or 07843709097; Ann Denham - 07803159506; Linda Hellawell - 07786592952

6) Happy 21st Alex

It was new member Alexander Cottrell's 21st Birthday in August, so Wakefield MAG, being the extended family that we all are, got him a birthday cake and card to celebrate, at our meeting on Wednesday 12th August (we knew he'd be down on the Wednesday as he mentioned it at the YPR). However, his girlfriend took him to the Circus instead, so, being the caring, sharing family that we all are ..... ate his cake for him ..... Happy 21st Alex !!!!!!

Happy 21st Alex

P.S. It was delicious ... as were the Birthday cup cakes we also ate on his behalf ;-)

7) Treasure Hunt - The Thinking Riders Rideout

Our September Rideout is our much anticipated Treasure Hunt. These are always great fun, so hope you can make it !! See you there !!

Treasure Hunt - The Thinking Riders Rideout

8) Accident Management Services Talk - Wednesday 14th October

On Wednesday 14th October, we are having a guest speaker at our meeting. The speaker will cover the services offered by Motorcycle McAMS Accident Management Services. If you have been involved in a motorbike accident that wasn't your fault, you can engage McAMS and providing you have a case, their solicitors will do everything on your behalf - tell your own insurance company, liaise with the other parties insurance company and deliver a hire bike to your door, handle any compensation claim, arrange for having your old bike repaired (their repairer or one of your choice) or replaced, you won't even have to pay the excess as they will do it all for you. When you choose McAMS to handle your non-fault claim, you get to keep 100% of the compensation you are entitled to.

And the cost to you for all this ...... Nothing, as the liable parties insurance covers McAMS professional services.

It's a most interesting and entertaining talk, so hope to see you at the Wednesday 14th October meeting (starts at 20:30).

See the McAMS website for more details of their service: www.mc-ams.co.uk

9) 3rd Bingo Night

Eyes Down for another Fun Filled Night of Bingo !!! Cash and Prize Bingo, and lot's of hilarity guaranteed. All profits to the MAG Fighting Fund. This will be our 3rd Bingo Night, and if the previous two are anything to go by, a cracking night is in store. The excitement starts at 20:00 at the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield, on Wednesday 21st October.

3rd Bingo Night

10) Forthcoming Events (for September and beyond)

Friday 4th - Sunday 6th September - NE MAG's 25th Stormin' The Castle

Bike Rally & Custom Show. Witton Castle Country Park, Witton-Le-Wear, Bishop Auckland, County Durham, DL14 0DE. www.storminthecastle.co.uk

Sunday 13th September - Tolson & Ravensknowle Park Classic Motorbike Show

See Above. Ravensknowle Park, Wakefield Road, Huddersfield, HD5 8DJ. The show is open to the public from 11:00 until 16:00, with Exhibits and stalls (incl. Yorkshire MAG Stand) to arrive from 09.30 onwards. Refreshments are available and all bikes and scooters are welcome.

Friday 18th - Sunday 20th September - Spat at the Tsunami

Spat 2015, is down the dale at Duncolme park, Helmsley (The old Farmyard site). Tickets went on sale (and sold out) at the FYP, so if you wanted to go, hopefully you have secured your tickets already. If not, there is always eBay !!

Visit: http://east-yorks.mag-uk.org for more details.

Sunday 27th September - Wakefield MAG Treasure Hunt (The Ultimate Thinking Riders Rideout)

See Above. Multiple Clues, Multiple Answers, Multiple Destinations, Multiple Opportunities to get totally lost. Prizes for 1st , 2nd & 3rd place, plus a booby prize for coming last. Rankings determined by a combination of correct answers, correct destinations, route taken and time elapsed, so the first back to base isn't necessarily the winner ... it's why it's the Ultimate Thinking Riders Rideout !!! £1 p.p. Entry Fee (to cover the cost of the prizes). All profits to the MAG Fighting Fund. "Don't Follow Me .... I'm Lost Too"

Meet 08:30 (to get clues/instructions) at Redbeck Cafe, 339 Doncaster Road, Crofton, Wakefield, WF4 1RT. Leave when you have worked out where you are going !!!

Sunday 4th October - Wakefield MAG Rideout (Destination: Classic Motorbike Show at the Yorkshire Waterways Museum)

Our October rideout is to a Classic Motorbike Show, held at the Yorkshire Waterways Museum, Dutch River Side, Goole, DN14 5TB. As well as the obvious attraction of the bike show, the museum itself is well worth a visit, and, music to a Yorkshireman's ears ... entrance is FREE !!!

Visit: www.waterwaysmuseum.org.uk for more details. Picturesque learner friendly route. Meet 08:30 (leaving at 09:00) at Redbeck Cafe, 339 Doncaster Road, Crofton, Wakefield, WF4 1RT

Wednesday 14th October - Accident Management Services Talk

See Above.

Saturday 17th October - MAP AGM

See Above. White Horse, Main St, Hutton Cranswick, Driffield, East Riding of Yorkshire YO25 9QN. Website: http://www.whitehorse.me.uk/

Sunday 18th October - Yorkshire Region AGM

See Above. White Horse, Main St, Hutton Cranswick, Driffield, East Riding of Yorkshire YO25 9QN. Website: http://www.whitehorse.me.uk/

Wednesday 21st October - Wakefield MAG Bingo Night

See Above. Eyes Down for a Fun Filled Night of Bingo !!! Cash and Prize Bingo, and lot's of hilarity guaranteed. All profits to the MAG Fighting Fund. 20:00 at the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield

See the events page for further details and more !!!

That's all for this month, and I hope to see you all soon.

Ride Safe .. Ride Free
Steve Travis
Chairman
Wakefield MAG
0772 078 4734

Wakefield MAG meet at the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield at 8:30pm every Wednesday. New (and Old) faces are always welcome.