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Vulnerable road users

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by Rented, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. Where does the MRA(Vic) definition of a VRU come from? The other references I have found refer to Pedestrians, cyclists and possibly those demented 50cc scooter riders, in general those without an engine that don't keep up with the flow of traffic. So how can they lump a CBR1000RR or Rocket III Roadster rider in with that bunch?

  2. =D>=D>

    As a motorcyclist I have never felt vulnerable. If you do feel vulnerable when riding a motorcycle then may I suggest you sell your bike, hand in your licence and buy that biege Volvo you've always wanted.
  3. Vulnerable road users is the internationally accepted term for mopeds, motorcycles, cyclists and pedestrians.

    Whether we believe it's accurate or not, it is the offical term.
  4. Be that as it may, are you happy to be called a 'vulnerable road user'? More specifically are you happy to be called a vulnerable road user by an organisation that purports to represent you? I know I'm not, but then again the MRA(VIC) doesn't represent me.
  5. B12Mick,

    Very true, and I don't feel vulnerable at all. But who defines it? I found mention of it with regards to pedestrians and cyclists etc, but not motorbikes. I guess it was a 5 minute at work search....

    Personally I think it is the worst possible way to be represented. They'll legislate us to the balls to 'protect' us if this keeps up.

    Now I don't know how this will be taken given some people don't seem to think much of him, but Boris' most recent column in AMCN was about this - he was saying he is responsible 100% of the time for his riding and is nto vulnerable.

    Be as it may, I would like to think that. However, if you take that to a politician I can see the rebuttal: "You are NOT 100% responsible, just look at this statistic here (SVAs for example) where we have to send an ambulance and so on hoons speeding drugs hookers"....wait.....anyway....

    There is a lot of contention that the stats are skewed in that another vehicle may cause evasive action that is the actual cause of the accident but not be directly involved - in what way can you fight this if you are MRA(Vic)? Dumping the VRU would be a start...but what is the replacement?
  6. I know they are using the term, as a generalization, and as such I can live wit the non-flattering term, since compared to someone sitting in a car, or truck, for instance, I AM in fact, more vulnerable. A bump from a car and yo're down the road.... As compared to a bit of paint swapped. Caught between two cars colliding in a rear ender and you may well be dead. One can't deny the truth, as unflattering as the description may be.

    What will piss me right off, is IF that word, is used to somehow label me, as a VICTIM! (because I'm vulnerable)

    THEN!, I'll get the gun out!! ( metaphorically speaking, just in case some idiot takes me literally)
  7. I read the piece by Boris as well, and I agree with him.

    As for what is the replacement for VRU, why do we need any label other than Motorcyclist? How about the MRA(VIC) et el talk to the government(s) in such a way to have them simply recognise motorcyclists as valid road users that are not cars and if managed correctly will, among other things, ease congestion.

    I think that perpetuating the VRU label we are simply helping the government legislate us off the roads.

    Isn't that already what they are doing????? At least that is how the MRA(VIC) appears to be behaving.
  8. Tony has hit the nail on the head. It is the official term, which has been used for well over 20 years internationally to describe those road users who face the greatest risk of physical injury in case of a collision. Whether you like the term 'vulnerable' or not, I think you have to accept (as John has said) that we are at greater risk of injury than a car passenger or truck driver.

    The problem as I see it is that these days the word 'vulnerable' conjures images of small children with their bottom lips quivering and clutching a teddy-bear. I don't know many people who ride bikes and would like to think of themselves in this way.

    What we have is a disconnect between the official, technical term used by road engineers and road safety professionals, and the way the adjective 'vulnerable' is used by people in a day-to-day sense. I don't see any point in getting offended at the use of the term. People who get their knickers in a twist about being labeled 'vulnerable' might want to look up the common usage of other terms, like 'precious' and 'over-sensitive'.

    On the other hand, it does lump us in with pedestrians and cyclists. Our protective gear, and the capacity of our bikes to get us out of trouble as well as into it, put us one step ahead of these road users. In fact, one of the earliest studies into 'vulnerable road users' that I found (which is over 20 years old now) actually excluded motorcyclists from the study for that reason - even though the authors stated that technically we do fall into the category.

    Personally, I don't find the term offensive. I see how over-represented we are in the road toll and I have to say that is reflects a higher degree of vulnerability to injury and death. I don't think any rider honestly thinks that riding a bike is as safe as driving a car, so at some level we all accept that there is a greater degree of risk in our chosen mode of transport. People like Boris accept that risk, take it on board, and ride accordingly. Fair enough. But even people with an excellent track record and superb skills can come undone. And no amount of huffing and puffing is going to make them suddenly invulnerable.

    All that being said, I agree that the MRA and other motorcycle advocacy groups should steer clear of using the term in their own policies and publications. There are other pastimes, like downhill skiing and horseback riding, which are more likely to result in injury, but they don't get labeled 'vulnerable recreational snow users' or 'vulnerable equestrians'. People do tend to focus on the risk associated with motorcycling without putting the actual injury and fatality rate in context. For instance, cardiovascular disease claimed the lives of almost 48,500 Australians (34% of all deaths) in 2008 - deaths that are largely preventable.
  9. I'll just pick one part or your post Zenali.

    Just like no one got precious and over-senstive about being called a hoon. Oh, that's right the MRA(VIC) and a lot of people on this site did didn't they.
  10. Same reasoning applies. I think that focusing on the 'hoon' tag wasn't wise. Particularly when it comes from somebody like Neil Mitchell.

    In some ways, it is actually the reverse phenomenon though. 'Hoon' had a colloquial meaning long before it became an official term for anybody doing anything on the road that wasn't toddling along at 5 kph below the speed limit. Now it seems to be applied to people who don't indicate when they change lanes on the freeway or somebody whose pipes may be a tad loud - regardless of whether they are speeding.

    Either way, it is a perfectly fair point that the ride shouldn't have focused on the label. "The mis-use of statistics by people who should know better to support their draconian enforcement regime" doesn't roll off the tongue as well though.
  11. Well I object to the bastardization of the word "hoon". And that is being thrown around in a completely different set of circumstances to the use of the word "vulnerable".
    Because the word "vulnerable" has not yet become some bent political catchers-mit, to describe anything other than it was originally intended.
  12. Really?
    Please post where else it is used to describe motorcycles.
    I DETEST the vulnerable road user as a description as it legitimises any "safety" initiatives the pollies dream up which just legislate against us.
  13. Dude, every motorcyclist was tarred with that term simply because they road a bike. The annoyance and anger was justified.
  14. :? Google Vulnerable Road user* motorcycle* --> 109,000 results.

    Vulnerable = no mechanical means of protecting you from another's error + the inherent risk that a small error can lead to a large injury.

    It's not a great term - that's for sure, but the answer isn't to tax bikes off the roads - it's to encourage their prolific use and up the training on all road users so that the level of ability generally increases. I wouldn't be unhappy with a regular licence competency test.
  15. Then it’s time to change the term.

    Motorcyclists are

    Advanced Road Users
    (Grade A)

    High tech tip top condition machinery second to none on the road.
    Biggest consumers of safety gear.
    Safest and best looking road user group.
    People that appreciate, respect and admire the roads.
    There is no point A and point B for people that ride motorcycles.
  16. I don't either, but I know quite a few who should :p.

    Yes, it's an official term and has been in use, as noted, for a couple of decades. As Raven said, it's accurate too, so why should I bellyache about it. There are more important fish to fry.
  17. I guess if you write a column for a motorcycle magazine sooner or later you have a chance to bellyache about pretty much everything. Some of it is worthwhile. Some less so. C'est la vie.
  18. Not to mention, it doesn't really matter wheather you believe it or not. I mean, if I get hit by a truck tomorrow I'd much rather be in a car than on a bike. Its a FACT that we are more vulnerable to sustaining physical damage. Just like its a FACT that children and the elderly are most vulnerable in flu season.

    Do I care? Yes. Do I care about the political implications? Not really. Do I still go out there every day and do what I please on my motorcycle? You betchya. As PatB put it, there really are more important fish to fry - for once the powers that be have recognised us as something we actually are.

    - boingk
  19. The MCC of NSW uses and prefers the term: "Unique and Independent Road User Group".