International Dealer News IDN 133 October/November 2016 - Page 18

news ROOM “The safe ride to the future” Europe’s Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM) staged its 12th annual conference in Brussels in September. Delayed from earlier in the year because of the security issues in the Belgian capital, the focus this year was safety as ACEM presented its “Safe ride to the future” report on the motorcycle industry’s commitment to road safety … ome 150 motorcycle industry professionals and media gathered in Brussels in September for a 12th annual ACEM conference that focussed on setting safety priorities for the motorcycle industry. As the European Commission moves ahead with the brief it was given by the Council of Ministers some years ago (to explore ways to reduce unacceptably high road traffic accident fatalities) there has always been a risk that motorcycles could be interpreted as being part of the problem. The poorly researched and misunderstood role of motorcyclists in a disproportionately high number of fatal road traffic accidents could have been misinterpreted with stark implications for the industry and its customers. In recent years, however, motorcycle manufacturers, industry and rider’s rights organisations have worked hard to create a pro-active relationship with the EU and sought to embrace the safety improvements that could be made. The Conference audience included policy and regulatory planning representatives from the European Parliament, various of the European Commission departments with transport policy competence, and institutions and motorcycling organisations from around Europe and further afield. ACEM has produced further data from the OECD’s IRTAD that shows that on a more recent basis (2010 - 2014) the number of fatal PTW accidents in Europe decreased from 5,276 in 2010 to 4,262 in 2014, a reduction of 19.2%. n analysis by segments shows that fatal motorcycle accidents went down by 17.3%, whilst the number of moped fatal accidents went down by almost 36.2%. All this takes place parallel to the steady growth of the powered two-wheeler fleet across Europe (+5.9% between 2010 and 2014). The conference heard that the motorcycle industry has played a key role in this. Continuous improvements in safety features, including advanced motorcycle design, new intelligent features and new braking, lighting and Robin Bradley Publisher S suspension systems have been instrumental to increase motorcycling safety. Various road safety and training campaigns, often led by the motorcycle industry, have also made significant safety contributions. ACEM says that its members are currently working to further improve road safety by deploying Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) on powered two-wheelers in Europe. As part of this process, in March 2014 ACEM members adopted a Memorandum of Understanding on ITS. By signing this Memorandum, the motorcycle industry agreed to initiate the deployment of safety relevant cooperative ITS on powered twowheelers in Europe and committed to have at least one of their models available for sale with a cooperative ITS, either as standard equipment or as optional equipment, by 2020. ACEM members are currently conducting research on an embedded eCall system for motorcycles. The A 18 INTERNATIONAL DEALER NEWS - OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2016 ‘research on an embedded eCall system’ minimum technical requirements needed for such a system have already been defined and research activities are ongoing in order to address the unsolved technical challenges. urthermore, building on the Memorandum of Understanding on ITS as well as on the work of the Car2Car Communication Consortium, three ACEM manufacturers launched in October 2015 the Connected Motorcycle Consortium, a platform open to members in the motorcycle and automotive industry to carry out joint R&D activities in the field of C-ITS. The motorcycle industry is also taking the lead in the promotion of motorcycle training. In order to help powered two-wheeler users make informed decisions about their training, ACEM and the German Road Safety Council have joined forces to start promoting high quality postlicense training schemes across the EU F through a European Training Quality Label. Other similar quality labels are currently being developed in the EU. Along with the European Training Quality Label, these schemes will help to increase the visibility of the best training programmes available and pave the way towards more uniform quality standards for training in Europe. Strengthening co-operation between key stakeholders will also make a positive difference for motorcyclists across the EU. For this reason, ACEM organised, in close cooperation with industry associations and other key stakeholders, five motorcycling safety events in Warsaw (May), Athens (June), Milan (September), Madrid (November) and Paris (December). These exchanges are paving the way for new actions that complement European policies and long-term