November 13 2008.

The British Motorcyclists Federation has formally objected to the evidence on motorcycling submitted by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) to the House of Commons Transport Committee.

Writing to the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, Mr Ken Jones, the BMF say that the evidence ACPO provided was 'factually inaccurate' and also accused ACPO of 'scaremongering'.

Revealed in the recently published House of Commons Transport Committee report, 'Ending the Scandal of Complacency: Road Safety beyond 2010,' amongst other points, the ACPO submission referred to the detection of motorcycling offences being 'problematic' because there was 'Vehicle Excise Duty evasion on a massive scale'.

This is a totally erroneous say the BMF and was based on discredited data (since retracted by the DVLA), whereby by an incorrect 38% evasion figure was later corrected to 6%. ACPO of all people should have been aware of this say the BMF.

ACPO also suggested that there was a need for 'radical thinking in respect of motorcycles, including consideration of engine capability and the creation of protection zones where all motorcycles other than those specifically permitted, would be prohibited.' This is wrong say the BMF. Firstly it has been proved that there is no correlation between engine size or power (EU Motorcycle Accidents In Depth Study [MAIDS] July 2004) and accidents and secondly, the creation of protection zones is misleading since this now appears to have referred to illegal 'off-road' riding and has nothing to do with road safety.

ACPO also said that production motorcycles are 'readily available' with 'top speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour.' Again factually untrue say the BMF, there are no such machines capable of these speeds. The ACPO submission also opined that the 'majority of motorcycles'. 'are vehicles of choice rather than necessity' and suggested that UK roads are 'no longer fit for purpose for these motorised toys.' Such comments are inaccurate, derogatory and irrelevant say the BMF, pointing out that while many machines are also used for leisure purposes, they are often used for daily commuting and work purposes too.

Commenting, BMF Government Relations Executive Chris Hodder said: "Whilst we respect the fact that ACPO is entitled to its opinion and that as a whole ACPO may not wish to ban motorcycles, we still remain concerned that this may be the view of a significant minority of its members. As the ACPO submission was largely based on misinformation, we want to know what has or is being done to correct this view and so avoid a repetition of this damaging opinion of motorcycling."

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