Protecting Your Rights
In Our Nation's Capital!
Proposal to United Nations for Future Work in Improving
UNITED NATIONS E
Economic and Social Council
15 July 2003
ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR EUROPE
INLAND TRANSPORT COMMITTEE
Working Party on Road Traffic Safety
(Forty-third session, 22-25 September 2003,
agenda item 6)
Improving motorcycle safety
Transmitted by the United States of America
In the United States, motorcycling is
experiencing astounding growth. New unit sales of on-highway
motorcycles have increased approximately 91 percent since
1997. About 471,000 new on-highway motorcycles were sold
in the US in 2000 compared to 379,000 in 1999. This increasing
trend is expected to continue over the next 5 to 7 years.
Along with the increased motorcycle population,
motorcycle crash-related fatalities have also been increasing
since 1997. Since 1996, more than 100,000 motorcyclists
have died in traffic crashes. In terms of vehicle miles
of travel, in 2001, motorcyclists were about 26 times
as likely to die in a crash than someone riding in a passenger
vehicle. This is a steep increase from 1997, when motorcyclists
were 14 times as likely to die in a crash than someone
riding in a passenger vehicle.
Crash statistics also indicate that head
injury is a leading cause of death and serious injury
in motorcycle crashes in the United States. Compared to
a helmeted rider, an un-helmeted rider is 40 per cent
more likely to incur a fatal head injury. Finally, a recent
analysis of age shows that over the past 10 years, fatalities
in the 20 to 29 year old age group, the group with consistently
the highest annual number of motorcycle fatalities, decreased,
while fatalities in the 40 and over age groups increased.
Similar increases in death rates in this age group have
been reported in other countries.
The U.S. is actively working to promote
safer motorcycling and to find effective solutions to
this major public health problem. The NHTSA initiated
a motorcycle safety programme which is based on a comprehensive
approach that works to: (1) prevent motorcycle crashes;
(2) mitigate rider injury when crashes do occur; and (3)
provide rapid and appropriate emergency medical services
response and better treatment for crash victims. Some
of the key areas of focus include: rider impairment, rider
education and training, motorcycle operator licensing,
motorcycle technologies and roadway design and helmet
Recommendations for WP.1 Action
To start a discussion and exchange of
information among WP.1 member nations and key non-governmental
organizations on motorcycle safety programmes.
1. Establish a working group to study
the extent of the problem among member States
2. Identify countries with low fatality and injury rates;
3. Identify those countries' successful programmes, outreach
campaigns and practices;
4. Based on the successful examples, develop strategies
that could be adopted by other member States and non-member
As part of the Action Plan, one task would
be to distribute a questionnaire to other member States
September 2003 - Form a working group
do other countries detect, apprehend and prosecute
countries or region require advanced skills training
before cyclists are granted licenses?
the driving permit display the skill level? Who pays
for the training?
does the motorcycle fatality data show for older (over
40 years of age) cyclists?
the cyclist prosecuted if they have a crash without
having had proper training?
of registered motorcycles and cyclists;
and injury rates;
and injury rates due to motorcyclists not wearing
a helmet at the time of the crash;
governing helmet use;
of the penalty for not wearing a helmet;
there any types of incentives, e.g., reduced insurance
premiums, that are offered to increase the use of
there any programmes or publicity campaigns designed
to increase the use of helmets;
there any repercussions, other than fines, if riders
do not wear a helmet;
April 2004 - Develop and distribute questionnaire
April 2005 - Present preliminary results and recommendations
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