As safe as possible or as safe as necessary?

Rune Elvik took a lot of criticism in 2007 for questioning whether there was any place in a modern transport system for the motorcycle. Quoted in a European Transport Safety Council report, he said “In Norway, I believe all the most cost effective measures have been implemented – mandatory helmet use, strict licensing, engine tuning ban, daytime running lights for motorbikes. The question that needs to be raised now is whether there should be any place for these motorised toys in the transport system at all.”

Speaking in Marseilles last month he explained what he was actually trying to achieve with such a provocative statement:-

“My aim was NOT to suggest that motorcycles or mopeds be banned, but to draw attention to some of the darker implications of Vision Zero. Vision Zero is a totalitarian ideology and it is a duty to warn against its nasty implications.”

“Motorcycles and mopeds do not have a higher overall risk of accident than other motor vehicles –in fact there is a tendency for it to be lower. The high risk of injury to motorcyclists and moped riders is entirely attributable to their vulnerability when an accident occurs. It is the outcome of an accident that differs, not the risk of becoming involved in it. There is no evidence that motorcyclists or moped riders behave less rationally than other groups of road users.”

So – motorcyclists not risk-crazed nutters shocker…

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