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Volume 450: debated on Wednesday 11 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate his Department has made of the number of motorcyclists not carrying a front number plate on their motorcycles in England; and what steps his Department is taking to curb this practice. (91592)

The Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001 prohibit the display of a front number plate on all motorcycles registered on or after 1 September 2001. Keepers of motorcycles registered before this date have the option of whether to display a front number plate or not. There are no plans to change the law. The Department has no figures on the number of motorcycles in England that do not display front number plates. Motorcycles displaying a front number plate can present a danger to their riders and to others and the 2001 changes are intended to increase road safety.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking to reduce the number of fatal accidents on roads involving motorcycles. (91593)

Motorcycle fatalities and casualties have fallen in each of the last two years, and in 2005 the fatality and casualty rates per 100,000 vehicle kilometres were at their lowest for many years.

In February 2005, the Department published the Government’s Motorcycle Strategy, which was developed with the full involvement of motorcycling industry and user groups. Copies are available in the Library of the House and also on the Department for Transport’s website, .

The strategy aims to facilitate motorcycling as a safe and sustainable choice of travel and it sets out a range of actions for central or local government, manufacturers, retailers, trainers and user groups, who we are working with to implement the strategy through the National Motorcycle Council.

In January 2006, we launched a new advertising campaign reminding car drivers to “take longer for bikes”, on TV, radio and posters. This followed the previous “Perfect Day” campaign aimed at leisure riders, which is still widely used.