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25-02-2009 Inflatable Jackets for Motorcyclists

The notion of making the wearing of inflatable jackets mandatory for motorcyclists is a simplistic knee–jerk response that does no credit to its advocates. 

If there is some safety benefit to the use of such apparatus, it is nonetheless a huge leap of reasoning to go from such recognition to a decision to criminalise any rider who fails to wear the kit.

The advantages of this apparatus remains unproven in road–going applications and to be even talking about compulsion reflects an unhealthy appetite for conformity ahead of reasoned debate.

MAGis committed to cooperating with others to advance the cause of motorcycle safety but not at the expense of reasonable freedoms.

MAGwill not endorse the promotion of any safety device without rigorous examination of it. In this case, besides the issue of rider choice there is also the consideration of risk compensation. The emphasis of road safety initiatives should be on accident prevention in preference to secondary devices, which simply reduce the consequences of accidents. Such devices may have their place but as a body committed to principles of personal choice and moderation, MAGbelieves that this debate would profit from a little calm evaluation.

To be credible all legislation should reflect a proportionate application of justice. The expectation that riders who do not wear this kind of apparatus should be placed outside the law departs dramatically from such a principle.

For further information contact: Ian Mutch (020 8556 6495 theroad@mag-uk.org) or Nich Brown (01788 570066 nich.brown@mag-uk.org)

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