More road safety for motorcyclists

18/11/2014 - 14:45

Alba Rodríguez

Barcelona is launching a new road safety plan to reduce the accident rate for motorcyclists in the city. This includes asking the Directorate-General of Traffic to change the regulations for B licences. Up to 31 October, 26 people had died in accidents, 15 of them motorcyclists.

‘Road safety plan for motorcyclists’ video

Although the likelihood of having a motorcycle accident in Barcelona is 70% lower than 15 years ago, the accident rate for motorcyclists has increased in the last year. In fact, 15 of the 26 people who have died in city road accidents were motorcyclists.

Given this situation, Barcelona is launching a specific plan to reduce the accident rate involving motorbikes and scooters. In all there are 17 measures aimed at preventing accidents but also penalising motorcyclists.

Actions planned include motorcycle and road-safety training at companies, specific courses for 16 to 18-year-olds and tighter control of motorcycling offences.

The biggest change in the new plan is the request to amend the Directorate-General of Traffic’s regulation that allows bikes up to 125 cc to be ridden with a B licence once the holder has had it for three years. Figures show that 45% of the motorcyclists killed were riding with this type of licence.

“Are people sufficiently trained? Are they fully in control of the bike?” asked the First Deputy Mayor of Barcelona City Council at the 21st Barcelona Road Safety Forum, insisting it was “necessary to review the regulations” that have been in force for 10 years.

Educate to prevent

Young people are one of the most vulnerable groups. So information sessions to raise their awareness of dangers on the road are being held.One is the educational campaign “Change Gear” organised by the Catalan Traffic Service and the Mutual de Conductors foundation which goes round Catalonia with first-hand witnesses of accidents.

A firefighter, a Guàrdia Urbana police officer, an SEM emergency worker, a victim and a relative of a victim are the ones who, through their own experiences, convey a very powerful message of the need for care and common sense when riding or driving.