2009/12/07

Dutch projectgroup Motorcycle Mobility for Disabled


Motorcycling with a physical handicap is certainly not an invention of the project group Motorcycle Mobility for the Disabled. This phenomenon probably exists just as long as motorcycling itself. However, until a few years ago, all these initiatives were on a individual base. The fact that nowadays a well structured organisation helps and accompanies handicapped people with procedures and techniques, is new and unique in Europe for sure! This system is a route along different sections of the project group ‘Motor Mobiliteit voor Gehandicapten’.


It all started with a request from a physical handicapped motorcyclist. He asked Rob Janssen to use one of his well-known drag-racing techniques. With that particularly technique he was able to ride a motorcycle again. The idea succeeded and automatically more requests followed. This way the project started and slowly the true problems and needs became clear; a lack of rules and guidelines, a shortage of driving-schools and accompany, and no specific and approved adaptations or expedients. But above all that, no real recognition for the fact that a lot of physical handicapped people truly wished to take part of traffic on a motorcycle, in spite of their handicap! The project group Motorcycle Mobility for the Disabled wants to accompany people with functional limitations through the necessary procedures to eventually obtain their driving-license. Solutions are offered for many technical an procedural problems that can exist along the way. Because of the gained experience and continuously technical developments, the possibilities become more and more extended. Slowly, but surely the limitations for the people concerned change.
During the first prudent presentation at the Automotorsport event in Zuidlaren in January 1995, Rob Janssen and the CBR came into contact with each other.
Short after that, they both concluded that there were no possibilities to follow a training-course at a licensed training-school for adapted motorcycling. That’s why the Traffic Education Centre Koops was asked to get involved in the project, and specially adapted motorcycles were build. Several people with missing or paralysed limbs entered the project, and the needs for special prosthesis and orthosis became clear. This problem was solved by the knowledge and expertise of orthopaedic centre Stel Orthopaedic Vries. Since than, the fundament of the project group ‘Motor Mobiliteit voor Gehandicapten’ was a fact. It became a well organised cooperation between these four individual companies. The design company MMD Vormgeving created an appropriate face for the project. Also new contacts existed with the RDW Centrum voor Voertuigtechniek en Informatie, the handicapped advisers of the Advise- en Demoteam, rehabilitation centres and medical specialists. The appreciation from important authorities such as KNMV, BOVAG, ANWB, 3VO, ROV and MAG is very important for the functioning of the project group. On December the 13th 1995, the project was presented to the press and public at the TT-circuit Press Centre in Assen.
The enthusiastic reaction of the media resulted in a lot of positive publicity. All the publicity resulted in many new entered candidates. The first successful candidate was Edwin Vester. He obtained his driving-license on may the 2nd of 1996. Meanwhile we can say that hundreds of motorcycling enthusiasts are (back) on the road again, because of the project group.
‘The snowball’ is rolling and because of a growing attention for the project, several developments followed each other rapidly. Even today there are limits to what the project can offer. Not everything is manageable, because an old rule is still handled…..only when we can realize it on a save and responsible way…….But the snowball is rolling and it can’t be stopped anymore.

More info: http://www.mmvg.nl/

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