Should the laws for motorbikes to be different to cars?
Many riders believe that the rules and regulations they abide by are very outdated. On the other hand many car drivers get sick of the mentality and recklessness that the bikers seem to have these days.
Technology in general has dramatically changed the way we all live. It has also changed the way motorbikes are being made. They now come with more bhp than the average car, weigh hardly anything and accelerate faster than super cars. This is all well and good on a track, but is it really suitable for the road? Many motorbike companies have changed their policy ensuring every new bike they make has ABS. All these technical advances have made bikers ask the question, why dowe still have to abide by a outdated law?
The general arguments i hear from fellow bikers is that most of them only ride in the good weather, on dry and warm roads and therefore only insure the bikes they ride for 6months of the year. When they do ride they like to take advantage of the perfect conditions and the power of their machines, doing so they regularly admit to exceeding the national speed limit by 30%. They argue that if they were allowed to do this speed legally everyone would benefit from it, not just the rider.
Most crashes involving motorbikes happen when the speed is misjudged by another road user. This could be due to the size of the motorbike making it hard to spot or due to the fact the rider is exceeding the speed limit. If the speed limit was increased all road users would have more understanding and wary of the speed that the motorbikes are traveling at. But at the minute the road users that are not motorcyclist may not be aware and this could be the reason for lots of the crashes between cars and motorbikes.
Motorbikes are slimmer than cars, roughly 1/3 the width of a car. This means when overtaking it takes them less time for them to get wider than the vehicle in front and also then to slot back into the correct side of the road when the maneuver is complete. This paired with the acceleration of modern motorbikes have means overtaking is a lot faster than a car. This is another reason why motorcyclist don’t agree on having to abide by the same rules as cars. A overtake that is not safe for a car to make could be made safely by the motorcyclist.
I spoke to Greg (55) who has been riding motorbikes for 39 years.
Do you agree with the current laws you as a motorcyclist have to follow?
“To a extent i do as i understand there are a few nutters about that ride about at a million mph that give bikers a bad name. But in general we are very sensible and know our limits at the end of the day. 70mph is the fastest you can go legally in England, understandable if your in a car as its over a ton of metal that can be very destructive! Motorbikes are different though, the speed i can reach on my motorbike in 10seconds is higher than my cars top speed. Using the acceleration on my bike i can easily overtake cars that i wouldn’t even dream about overtaking in the same situation if i was in my car. So why do we have to abide by the same rules, i think the government needs a re-think and to take a step into reality changing a few laws such as the national speed limit for motorcyclists and the double white line.”
Obviously the main difference between cars and motorbikes is that motorbikes only have 2 wheels, meaning less contact with the road equalling in less traction on the road. Only 2% of the road users are motorcyclists but they still manage to occur 20% of the fatalities on England’s roads.
I also spoke to Suzanne (45) who has never ridden a motorbike but has been driving a car for 25 years.
I asked her the same question as Greg, she replied with:
“Yes, even as its stands they all ride like lunatics. When they come up behind me it scares me as i know they are going to try some unsafe overtake that will not only put them at risk, put me at risk too!”
Overall the opinions are very split and one sided depending on if you have ridden before or not but myself being a biker i feel that the riders do have a valid point, but other laws such as bikers having to wear high visibility clothing may have to come in if the laws are changed for bikers.