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Belgian motorcyclists address the Flemish parliament on the use of bus lanes

More attention should be paid to motorcyclists in mobility policies, that is what minister-motorcyclist Kris Peeters and Flemish member of parliament An Christiaens ask for, following a recent hearing in the parliamentary Mobility Committee.

CD&V (the Christian-Democratic party) wrote a series of proposals in a draft note to pay more attention to motorcyclists in traffic. During a hearing in the Flemish Parliament on 29 June 2017, the Motorcycle Action Group Belgium, the Flemish House for Traffic Safety and mobility organization Touring highlighted their views on this.

The draft memorandum includes the proposal to allow motorcyclists to use bus lanes on Flemish roads. Minister (and motorcyclist) Kris Peeters is in favour of the measure. He hopes to be able to discuss the issue with colleagues from different governments.

Flemish member of parliament An Christiaens with minister (and motorcyclist) Kris Peeters.

Kris Peeters: “According to the letter of the law, Royal Resolution 2011, the use of the bus lane could be allowed by motorcyclists, but I have not encountered any signs on the roads yet. To not turn the rule into practice, is a missed opportunity. It seems desirable to me to evolve into a system where motorcyclists have the opportunity to use a bus lane except where this is too dangerous. This allows motorcyclists and other road users to move as safely as possible. The proposal of the Flemish CD&V must therefore be seriously considered.”

Member of the Flemish parliament An Christiaens: “When we take motorcycles away from the cars, we increase road comfort for both the motorcycle driver and the motorist. In places with a free bus route it could easily be done. Due to their maneuverability, they do not hinder bus traffic. Distributing traffic flow increases road safety for all road users. Mobility organizations follow that reasoning. We therefore want to make our proposals concrete, in Flanders, but also across the regional boundaries.”

In addition to opening up the bus lanes, An Christiaens’ party asks for sufficient training opportunities for motorcyclists, including attention to risk perception and more practice on the road. In driving training for other road users, sufficient attention is paid to the motorcycle rider. Awareness campaigns should pay attention to motorcyclists as fellow road users.

Before the hearing in the Flemish parliament, a survey was conducted on the website of MAG Belgium, asking if motorcylists should be allowed to use bus lanes. A total of 1,134 replies were received.
– 98.91% is in favor
– 00.09% is against (reason not known)
– 01.00% has no opinion

MAG Belgium’s Theo Beeldens (second from left) spoke at the hearing and gave MAG’s views on the draft memorandum. MAG Belgium is not yet convinced that the proposal will be approved. Whether the bus lane will eventually be opened for motorcyclists remains to be seen. The proposals in the draft memo to pay more attention to the motorcycle rider will be discussed again after the parliaments’ summer reces.