China has an estimated 200 cities and regions that ban/restrict motorcycle use with the rationale that motorcycles are prone to accidents and motorcycles are used largely for robberies.
Li Bin, secretary general for the The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers - Motorcycle Division, at a recent industry summit quoted European studies which showed that if 10 percent of automobile drivers in any given city rode motorcycles, said city's traffic congestion could decrease by 40 percent.
Begin Quote: "China is the only country in the world to restrict motorcycles," he said, adding that it was municipal authorities, not the central or provincial governments, who have authorized the restrictions. End Quote
Mr. Li discussed the fact that safety is about the operator not the type of vehicle, and he points to Taiwan where almost every person owns a motorcycle save for the very young and the elderly and that that you would be hard pressed to find a rider who does not wear a helmet. He says education is the key.
He also denounces the whole motorcycles are used largely for conducting robberies rationale as ludicrous.
Begin Quote: According to Mr. Li, the CAAM is currently in discussion with several government bodies regarding the topic. The CAAM is providing the authorities with foreign research on motorcycle usage with the aim of loosening restrictions on the Chinese motorcycle market. "We hope to see the market for motorcycles open up [and develop], allowing motorcycles and automobiles to share the road equally." End Quote
I am positive that every motorcycle manufacturer in the world has their eyes trained on this topic because the demand for motorcycles in China could go up in dramatic fashion if these restrictions get lifted.
But I again wonder - what would it take in this country to become PRO ACTIVE and work towards never seeing these types of restrictions come to Canada or the US?
Visit www.beltdrivebetty.com to read more about what's happening in motorcycling across the country and around the world...we sift through the news so you don't have to!
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I am going to leave you with a couple of funnies from my friends on Facebook and from emails I have gotten because I truly think a good giggle makes the day go better!
Have a fabulous Tuesday everyone...
Belt Drive Betty,
Editor & Rider