Yes, and it has been decided for a long time that wearing a helmet greatly reduces serious head injuries even in the most basic of spills. I think it is correct that bikers are on the back foot. We are an inconvenience that the government could do without. But they cant just come out and ban motorbikes. No they will just make it harder and more expensive to own one until the number of bikes on the road diminishes to non-existence. Now you are just being pedantic. Nobody is saying that we should go to that extent because doing so would be unreasonable as well as massively impractical. However, wearing protective clothing is not unreasonable. So much so that I would argue a majority of bikers do it anyway, so why not just make that good practice compulsary? Yet more pedantry. Why do you have this idea that because I want to improve safety that somehow extrapolates into me not wanting to let people out of their homes? But to pick up on some of your points, modern cars do indeed do a lot of driving themselves. Features such as ABS, traction control, adaptive suspension, adaptive cruise control, electronic brake distribution, parking aids, lane change aids, lane departure warnings, automatic hazards on hard braking, ability to read speed marker posts, adaptive headlights, auto dimming main beams and so on and so forth. They have to have considerable crumple zones for pedestrian safety as part of the Euro NCAP testing criteria. Indeed the whole design is for the car to deform and distribute the energy of impact through the chaissis, so it does often mean cars are written off after impact because they are designed that way. Yes I want to protect bikers. I think making safety clothing compulsary is a reasonable measure. The kind of things you suggest above are not. Reaffirming good practice with rules is something we have done in this country for centuries. There was a time when cars didnt have seatbelts, for example. Now they are compulsary. The same goes for motorcycle helmets. All examples of poor driving practices. All of which can and do cause accidents. (Or Road Traffic Incidents to give them their correct name). Smoking and eating at the wheel are two more. The police can and will give you penalty points for a lot of these things but their numbers are so thin on the ground that a lot of day to day poor driving practices get left unchecked, with the exception of mobile phone use. Loud music - that falls under antisocial behaviour (but the police can enforce driving without due care as well). Eating, drinking, smoking at the wheel - driving without due care. Talking passengers is why there are campaigns to put new drivers under curfew, and limit the passangers they can carry. Studies have shown that the two elements of driving at night and distraction from passengers are significant contributing factors to serious incidents and fatalities amongst young drivers. However, they also show that older drivers are more immune to in car distractions. The study hints that it is due to maturity and better risk awareness. Actually as mentioned above, other than the footwear, you could have penalty points on your license for driving without due care and attention. However if you were in an accident and the police noticed you were wearing flip flops they would make note of it and if it turned out the accident was your fault, it is highly likely they would throw it back in your face as a causative factor. Right, so you dont feel that the head protection in the event of an accident is worth mentioning then? Just that it is a good barrier against flies and such? Most commuting bikers will carry a backpack with a change of clothes in. I know I do when I commute on mine. I get to work and get changed. Simples. Other people I know have bought protective gear that is a couple of sizes too big in order to wear over the top of their daily clothes. But to be fair, it is only really the trousers, as a biking jacket will easily fit over most clothes. Wait what? Who mentined a massive suit of bike armour? I wear armoured textiles and have no issues walking around a supermarket whatsoever. Do you even ride a motorbike? Some of the things you say make it sound like you have no idea what protective clothing for bikes is like. I also own a two piece set of leathers, and they are also easy enough to walk around in. But I accept the point that biking is not practical for all commuters. When I rode a GS I used to pack spare clothes and footwear into my panniers so I could get changed. then my helmet, boots and biking gear got packed away into the panniers leaving me to wander about in 'normal' clothes. I had no issues with this, and I know many bikers do the same. A lot of safety gear is not cheap, this is true, but it is worth its weight in gold if you should have need of it. That said, you can still buy a useful set of textiles for a couple of hundred quid. It may not be top of the range but it would be a lot better than a tracksuit. However it is a valid point that manufacturers and outlets may try to profiteer but that could be nipped in the bud by the government. Additionally, the support from government could come in the form of subsidised biking gear. But my main point is that most bikers have biking gear anyway. So it is not going to be a massive shock to them for it to become compulsary. However, where it is a little more difficult is for new riders (usually young lads) who may not be able to afford the kit they need. This is where my focus would be with regards to assistance with funding. I would not for one moment suggest that we try and fund protective clothing for all bikers because of the point above - most bikers already own it. Agreed, if you ban something you send it under ground. However, surely you accept that the ban on easy procurement of all fire arms is a good thing for society? I cannot really compare the US to here because of the massive size difference. But maybe lets look at any gun loving US state of a comparible size to the UK and look at gun crime/fatalities compared to this country. Look at the problem we have with knives. Imagine if guns were readily available and all those knife crime statistics became gun crime statistics (which they probably would). As it stands, only the hardcore minority actually get their hands on guns, which can only be a good thing. Do you want a discussion or are you going to continue with this purile waffle? As I suspected. You are anti establishment. Well of course, if there is a thread on OCUK it must be true. My point was that motorbikes are such a minority these days that to have to accomodate them into road traffic policing, safety designs, infrastructure designs etc etc is an inconvenience for the government. Sad really, because more people on motorbikes would aid congestion, but I guess judging by the mentality of a lot of car drivers they would not be suitable candidates to ride a motorbike in the first place! This is why we need an overhaul of the learning system for drivers and riders, along with more traffic police. I agree with the punishment element. But it is hard to balance. Would it be reasonable to issue a driving ban to anyone using their mobile phone? Would it make drivers more blase because it is an all or nothing situation? For example, drink driving is a driving ban if you get caught, but loads of people still do it. The same as driving +30 over the posted speed limit. People still do it. The other issue, of course, is if you start banning people left right and centre you are going to increase the number of unlicensed and uninsured drivers on the road. That is not good for anyone. ......wait what? Number of who riding without helmets? Bikers? Cannot say I have seen any bikers in the last 10 years riding without a helmet, other than the odd lad having a go on his mates scooter around an estate. I am not sure what your point is? This sentence does not really make sense. I can only speak for myself, but I know for a fact protective clothing, boots and helmet saved my father life. He was still smashed up real bad, but he survived because of the protection they gave him. If he had of just been wearing a helmet, he would have been killed. So as I said, I am biased because of what he went through as well as meeting several young lads in the physio ward months later who had terrible injuries. Granted, some of them were wearing protective clothing during their accidents but there were a few that were not. It was scary to see their crippling injuries, and in the case I mentioned in another post - one lad just popped to the shop for milk. Didnt make it home and is now permanently deformed and disabled. No society does not equal the individual, but that does not exclude the minority from being part of society, and therefore deserving of consideration and respect. You make it sound very black and white. Many bikers commute on bikes because they cant afford cars. What would you have them do? Not go to work and claim dole? Public transport can be prohibitively expensive as well as unreliable, and many live in rural or semi rural areas where the public transport system is woeful. What about the young lad who is working his first job but cant afford the car and insurance to drive it? I accept than people riding bikes for pleasure purposes are a little different but to many a motorbike is their primary form of transport and essential to their daily lives. It is not opinion though is it? The evidence overwhelmingly shows that protective gear reduces injury and saves lives. This is the exact same reason why the motorcycle helmet became compulsary. Of course you could. But that is not what I am suggesting, nor would I. Protective clothing is a reasonable safety measure for bikers to take. If you ride, do you wear protective clothing? If you do, do you feel it is an unreasonable side-effect of your mode of transport? Regarding 20MPH, it is interesting that some London boroughs are actually introducing that speed limit across large sections. I personally feel that is overkill, in the same way as wearing an expensive airbag suit would be for a biker. But run of the mill protective clothing that can and will reduce injuries is not unreasonable in my opinion. The feeling I have been getting from recent posters is that their issue over compulsary protective clothing is more to do with loss of civil liberties than any concerns over safety. So I thought I would throw in a question about guns to see if their anti establishment pro-choice outlook stood for all things Again where have I said I am in favour of extreme measures? I am not keen on extrapolating, but keen on taking reasonable steps to improve safety. It is frustrating that posters on here seem intent on driving forward with pedantry. This is probably the best comment made thus far against the idea. It is true that enforcement could be troublesome. So how was it so easily achieved with helmets? Granted it is an immediate visual confirmation to any police officer, but to be fair so is protective clothing (in the main). I personally think that due to most bikers wearing protective clothing anyway, it would not be such an issue to introduce. I think the evidence strongly points to riding with protective gear having clear benefits vs riding without in the event of an accident. I dont think any reasonable biker will ride like a fool just because they have a pair of leathers on. Indeed, I think it is simply fools riding motorbikes who happen to wear leathers that give bikers a bad name! Here is a hypothetical question: If it was decided that everyone should ride motorbikes, and the car was banned - do you think the government would introduce compulsary safety clothing then? I think they would. So the only reason they do not do so now is because bikers are a minority - but that does not change the benefits and good practice of using safety clothing. True, I also accept we need a fundamental shift in our approach to road safety. As I mentioned earlier this needs to come in the form of a grass roots change in our education and training process. we need far higher standards, and we need to be drumming road safety issues into kids long before they get behind the wheel of a car (in the same way I believe we should be teaching kids money management and sensible banking etc). However, to disregard a reasonably effective safety measure on that basis is counter productive. It is for the same reason we have seatbelts in cars. Airbags. Crumple zones and side impact protection. ABS, EBD, TCS etc. All of these additional safety measures have been introduced as standard even though the accident rates in this country have been pretty consistent for the last decade. So it is completely true we need to rethink our mindset regarding road traffic safety but that is no reason why we cannot, or should not introduce safety measures that benefit people in the interim. However, I do accept that if we make people feel safer they are more likely to be blase about risks. But I cannot really see that being applied to bikers as riding a bike on todays roads is a risk in and of itself. Most bikers feel vulnerable anyway, even with safety gear on. Cars are a different matter. I have said for a long time now that a lot of the electronic systems on cars make us worse drivers. It makes us lazy and it makes us less spatially aware, and it makes us less competent as drivers as a whole. But having said that it cannot be denied that those systems have helped reduce serious injuries and fatalities. You only need to look at the benefits of seatbelts and airbags to see that. I was talking more in the sense of it being overly prescriptive. Any BSI rated gear is better than a tracksuit or a t-shirt. Indeed it could be a drive to increase competition and drive up standards whilst reducing cost. Safety gear does demosntrably make a difference. It is why all people you see on roadworks are wearing full body high vis. Why people using powertools wear safety goggles, why people on building sites wear safety boots and hard hats. It is not simply for show, they have a purpose. The same goes for protective clothing for bikers. It can mean the difference between a minor incident remaining minor, or causing life changing injuries (like the lad I mentioned who went out for milk and didnt make it home). Of course in any major incident, the bikers chances are greatly reduced anyway, even with safety gear. But that safety gear can be the thin line between living and dying, as it was in my fathers case. I dont know all of the figures I'm afraid, but I do know the cycle scheme cost £140m in London alone. But the scheme has also been badly abused. I personally know of people who have had high end bikes through it and they have never been used for going to work. I am not saying more people cycling to work is a bad idea, but why should it be government subsidised? I used loans as an example, not as a definite explanation of how it would work logistically. The goverment gives tax breaks to various individuals, groups and entities all of the time, for example, and that is how the cycle to work scheme is part funded. There is no reason they couldnt do this for those bikers who need gear but dont have any. They could make it part of the testing process, for example. IE - nobody is let loose on the roads without protective gear. The government heavily subsidise all kinds of things, so there is no reason they could not offer help to those who would need it. It is not like I am suggesting we buy new protective gear for all UK bikers. Most of us have our own kit and some are lucky enough that a bike is a weekend play thing, not an essential mode of transport. In essence it is the ones in need I would want to help financially. Your young kids just getting into work, trying to make their way in life. The ones who need a bike for work but are on NMW, so on and so forth. Enforcing the wearing of such gear would probably mostly be academic, insomuch as most bikers wear safety clothing already. It would just mean that those who stand out like a sore thumb can be dealt with officially. It would also make those people who just pop to the shop in their shorts and t-shirt think twice. I cant tell you how many times I have heard from injured bikers saying they wished they never chanced it. Of course these changes take time. If it were implemented, along with a strong push on the education side of things, in another 10 years it would be regarded as normal and not some insane idea that couln't possibly work. Well lets look at what is happening. The test is becoming harder, although in many instances it is blind car drivers that injure bikers. Police are out in force on any sunny day in any area with good biking roads. Road traffic safety features are still orientated towards cars, wth most major organisations admitting they have done no research on their suitability and safety for motorcyclists. Still no ban on cable barriers. Still no action taken against farmers and suchlike who foul rural roads and do not clean them up as per their duty under law. Still widely using road surfaces at pedestrian crossings that are known to be a hinderance to bikes braking. Still no introduction of compulsary safety clothing even though all evidence shows it is a benefit and even specialist groups like ROSPA advocate and recommend their use. Blanket VED rate for the majority of engine sizes. Fair comment about it possibly being seen as an anti-biker sentiment, but that is why the government should step in and help. As I said above, these changes take time and people do not like change. For a long time now, the biking community has seen helmets as normal. Back in the 70's there was uproar and complaints about erosion of civil liberties and even Enoch Powell decided to put the boot in! Can you really say compulsary safety gear would be a massive erosion of civil liberty compared to, say, communication data use by GCHQ? Is it really that big a deal? Or do people just like to be up in arms for being up in arms sake? Yes. So we should discard some laws because we dont have enough police? Or we should not implement new laws because we dont have enough police? In this situation it is not the law that is the problem but the lack of police. That is a backwards approach. How about we get more police and less politicians, for example? If we had not have wasted millions on the Dome for example, or on speed cameras all over the country, or on any number of dumb ideas we could have more police. But yes, feel free to deride me for wanting to introduce a reasonable compulsary safety measure for bikers!