Traffic deaths are a huge problem in this country and affect hundreds of New Jersey residents each year. In an effort to combat this issue, a coalition was formed by numerous federal agencies with the goal of eliminating road fatalities in the next 30 years. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, efforts will be focused on installation of rumble strips, increased seat belt use and truck safety, among other things.
However, the initiative made no mention of motorcycles or how they might play role in the plan to reduce traffic fatalities, reports Cycle World. And that has some, including representatives of the American Motorcycle Association, upset.
In particular, the Road to Zero campaign advocates for widespread use of new driver technologies such as autonomous cars. By taking human error out of the equation, the number of fatal accidents will go down drastically, they argue. But that leaves many questions when it comes to motorcycle riders. Does the increase in self-driving cars mean that self-driving motorcycles are also on the horizon? If self-driving cars become the new normal, will motorcycles be banned entirely?
Much of the appeal of riding a bike lies in the rider’s ability to control the experience, so the AMA does not predict that autonomous motorcycles would become commonplace. Representatives also expressed concerns about how self-driving cars would detect the presence of motorcycles on the road and how they would react accordingly. The exclusion of motorcycles from Road to Zero was particularly surprising considering the fact that pedestrians, bicyclists and joggers were all specifically considered.