Recently the 68th session of the United Nations voted to approve a non-binding resolution entitled “Improving Global Road Safety,” which sounds innocent enough, but when closely examined, has some very disturbing ideas concerning motorcyclists, motorcycles, and helmet laws.
The most disturbing directive is “to encourage Member States (countries participating in the UN) to enact comprehensive legislation on key risk factors for road traffic injuries including the non-use of helmets.” Or in other words, universal mandatory global helmet law. Keep in mind this is a non-binding resolution, but many countries and legislative bodies take the UN’s suggestions very seriously. This is the warning shot across the bow. The United Nations is coming for motorcyclists.
That is why it is so unfortunate that Americas own Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and a member of President Obama’s Cabinet voted in support of the resolution. She even spoke to the General Assembly in strong support of the resolution.
The non-binding resolution has some other very troubling issues with regards to motorcyclists. For instance, one of the directives claims that there are insufficient policies in place to protect motorcyclists. The idea that one type of policy would work for every country in the United Nations is beyond fantasy. Our diverse global motorcycle community cannot exist under a one-size fit all approach.
Another section of the resolution recognizes and commends The UN Economic Commission for Europe and the World Forum for the Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations to modify vehicle regulations to increase safety. This is essential in the UN calling for global harmonization of policy that could include helmet laws and universal vehicle anti-tampering measures. Both of these would devastate the motorcycle community and aftermarket industry in America.
It is a clear picture of the mindset of the UN to support such an over-reaching resolution. By muddying the waters with controversial policies, the UN loses support for some very good ideas concerning distracted driving and Good Samaritan policies.
The MRF is engaged on this and will keep you informed about this issue.