Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

VRU = Vulnerable Road User. What would you prefer to be known as?

Discussion in 'Research, Studies, and Data' started by robsalvv, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. Some riders dislike the term VRU becuase it doesn't describe the experience of riding a motorcycle at all. Riding is far from a passive experience and we're proactively managing risks and making many decisions throughout the ride.

    Vulnerable Road User describes a class of road users that don't have passive protection around them to separate them from the road environment. Calling a spade a spade, riders fit into that class, however the term immediately biases any perceptions non riders have about motorcycling.

    So, if you could get a new term/word into the road safety lexicon for the motorcycling demographic, what would it be?
  2. Personally I have no problem with the term. It is technically accurate and technical accuracy is our friend. We cannot fight and win battles based on emotion because the anti bike lobby will always win on that one by wheeling out tearful mothers/partners/kiddies.

    So technical accuracy it is. I long ago got over testosterone fuelled offence at the term.
    • Like Like x 7
  3. Hallelujah we’re taking back control of our issues. The term vulnerable was always inappropriate and thrust upon motorcyclists by non motorcyclists.

    Motorcycles are motorcycles and do need another description.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. How about Unique and Independent Road User group.
  5. How about motorcyclist. Vulnerable road user is a wank and should never be used to describe a lifestyle choice.
    Are surfers called Vulnerable board users or shark bait?
    PTW is another term that irks me.
    We are motorcyclists not anything else, we ride motorcycles and they have been known as such for a century.
    VRU is a term placed on us by those in power in order to make it look like it's too dangerous.
    Enough is enough
    • Like Like x 2
  6. I prefer the term motorcyclist. I think it is self explanatory.
    • Like Like x 5
  7. Sorry I take that back. It sounds too much like that dumb fcuk cognoidea's group.
  8. #8 Fractalz, Feb 14, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
    I vote for the term 'motorcyclist'.

    'Vulnerable' implies we are easy prey as opposed to adults making valid choices.

    addit: I include all inline two wheeled devices under the term 'motorcyclist' ... IMHO scooterists should not get out of taking responsibility ;)
    • Like Like x 1
  9. The term defines motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians. I have only really seen it used in discussion papers that describe higher risk road users. And we are one of those. However higher risk when you take in to terms overall risk is still incredibly low for all three user groups. Vulnerable to me says high risk, not relatively higher risk so it is not really appropriate. Unenclosed/unconfined/exposed road user suit the group better.

    I wouldn't mind getting the term agrofiles into the lexicon to describe motorcyclists. That is love of open spaces.
  10. Unconfined Road User. But it's not exclusive to PTWs and I don't think it needs to be.
  11. I don't actually have a problem with the term... It's accurate & it's rarely used anyway.

    If the TAC picked it up & started pushing it on the general public it might be a different story, although the flipside of that is it might make people more aware of our presence & vulnerability, & actually look for us.

    How would cager attitudes change if they thought of us as vulnerable?
  12. I think the bigger problem is that, while labelling us as "vulnerable", the message from TAC can be summed up as "if you ride over the speed limit, you'll die and it's your own fault".

    Compare that to Perth: there used to be big signs up on Mitchell Fwy saying "look twice for motorbikes when changing lanes". Here in Vic, we've got "slowing down wouldn't kill you", specifically aimed at bikes. Which one of those messages sounds like it's actually trying to protect a vulnerable road user?
  13. I like "riders" as it helps to convey that we're doing our bit to reduce congestion and emissions. We could do these things better with clearer filtering laws and speed-limited access to bike lanes/paths.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. I personally don't think this is the issue to die in the ditch over... especially since the globe puts PTW's in the VRU basket and fighting against that would be like holding back the tide with a teaspoon.

    Depending on the message and audience, it may be advantageous to refer to PTW riders as VRU's. It can help build an argument of appealing to a need - but it is a double edged sword.

    Calling everyone who rides a motorised single track vehicle a motorcyclist, tends to get up the ire of the scooterati and automatically rules out moped riders, though they face most of the same issues.

    Anyway, I'm just gauging some opinion - as I suspected, in 10 posts we've got the spectrum already.
    • Like Like x 1

  15. Does it? As a reformed scooterist I used to consider myself a motorcyclist. Otherwise I wouldn't have been allowed to use the motorcycle only parking.

    I always considered motorcycles as anything with 2 wheels (and I suppose it also includes some 3 wheeled monstrosities as well) and a motor including both scooters and motorbikes. Motorbike and scooters are however exclusive of each other.
  16. I think you might find Rob that if you take posts and nods into account the general consensus is Motorcyclist is just fine.
    After all a Motorcycle can be defined as a two or three wheeled motorized vehicle, including all variants.
  17. Maybe go onto a scooter forum and ask them whether they mind being labelled under the broad umbrella of motorcyclist. I can see few if any would have a problem with it. Also ask them why they never nod to motorbikes while you are there.
  18. Perhaps the term motorised bicycle/tricycle would categorise the vulnerability group more specifically.
  19. sorry but i don't buy into the sooky politically correct "don't call us that" thing.

    fact is, we ARE vulnerable. We get hit by a car we're a lot more vulnerable than if we were in another car... our whole society accepts that we need to keep an eye out and be considerate of more vulnerable members.. like children, old people, people in wheelchairs who can't escape fires etc etc. Encouraging car drivers to remember that we're there and vulnerable to their inattention isn't a bad thing.

    saying we're vulnerable and implying we're irresponsible for choosing to put ourselves in such a dangerous environment is a different kettle of fish. AGAIN its not the TERM, it's the way in which we are portrayed by those with advertising budgets.... that we pay for.

    Getting the sooks on cause someone refers to us as VRU's is a little like the PC Twats who want to sing Baa Baa rainbow sheep and call fairy Penguins "little" penguins.... it's soft cock rubbish... why get upset about it?

    instead of getting distracted by, and stressed about the term, how about we move on, own it, and address the issues assosciated with being vulnerable... after all, it's not just us thats vulnerable, all pedestrians are VRU's and that means theres a MIGHTY big group with common interests... it's a lot harder to characterise and villify everybody who walks.... suddenly innattentive car drivers are the antisocial baddies, running over children on the footpath.

    ps. If i ever have kids. the sheep will be black, the penguins will be fairy's (maybe even faggy penguins) and they WILL have a gollywog. it's their attitude and respectfulness of other people thats important not what colour, race, height or sexual orientation they are.
    • Like Like x 6
  20. Quoted for truth!