Help fight for biker rights

Motorcycle News (UK) - - NEWS - By Justin Hayzelden

You’ll see MAG at al­most mo­tor­cy­cle rally or event in the UK, but do you know what they do and what it means for you?

The Mo­tor­cy­cle Ac­tion Group (MAG) was founded in 1973 to cam­paign against the newly-in­tro­duced hel­met law, the com­pul­sory as­pect of which was seen by many as an in­fringe­ment of civil lib­er­ties. This es­tab­lished MAG as a voice for mo­tor­cy­clists and since then the or­gan­i­sa­tion has cam­paigned hard ‘to pro­tect and pro­mote mo­tor­cy­cling and the in­ter­ests and rights of all rid­ers, from learn­ers to ad­vanced rid­ers’. Over the years this has in­cluded fight­ing against such pro­pos­als as the plan to fit all new mo­tor­cy­cles with leg pro­tec­tors (which in all like­li­hood would have done more harm than good), a 100bhp limit and more re­cently an EU anti-tam­per­ing law whereby it would be il­le­gal to make any me­chan­i­cal mod­i­fi­ca­tions to new ma­chines.

“Con­sul­ta­tions ar­rive on our doorstep by the bus­load,” says Vice Chair Andy Car­rott. “We then work through each one to see what may have an im­pact on mo­tor­cy­clists and whether there needs to be a re­sponse. Cur­rent is­sues in­clude charges for older mo­tor­cy­cles in low emis­sion zones, tolls on the Thames cross­ing, cy­cle lane light seg­re­ga­tion de­vices (es­sen­tially a mini kerb in­stalled in the road) and anti-so­cial be­hav­iour in­junc­tions that could cause any two rid­ers out to­gether to be in breach.”

As a vol­un­teer-led rights group MAG is not aligned with any po­lit­i­cal party and this al­lows them to be taken se­ri­ously by of­fi­cials at all lev­els, from lo­cal coun­cil­lors to mem­bers of par­lia­ment.

Their two full-time cam­paign­ers Dr Leon Man­nings (Trans­port Pol­icy Ad­vi­sor) and Lem­bit Opik (Di­rec­tor of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Pub­lic Af­fairs) reg­u­larly en­gage with politi­cians and min­is­ters to en­sure that mo­tor­cy­clists’ best in­ter­ests are taken into ac­count.

Fund­ing is cru­cial to MAG’S sur­vival and they rely solely on mem­ber­ship sub­scrip­tions, dona­tions and pro­ceeds from events. With ral­lies and so­cial gath­er­ings held on na­tional, re­gional and lo­cal lev­els through­out the year there are plenty of ways to get in­volved, so if you want your voice to con­tinue to be heard, show your sup­port!

‘Con­sul­ta­tions ar­rive by the bus­load’

Join up and do your bit to de­fend rid­ers rights

Selina Laven­der and Dr Leon Man­nings Fight­ing for your rights: Lem­bit Opik, It all started with the bat­tle against com­pul­sory hel­met laws

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