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Motorbike Focus Ahead

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With an apparent alarming growth in the number of serious and fatal incidents involving motorbikes, which is greater than the growth in the number of vehicles being sold, the Director General of the DGT, Gregorio Serrano, has announced several measures that will help improve the safety of motorcyclists.

Among them, the implementation of an ‘INVIVE’ plan for motorcycles in collaboration with the different owners of the roads, to identify those sections of the road network with high incident rate, where special measures to reduce incidents could be adopted.

In addition, the plan will involve the installation of new complementary information signs on some roads which will provide more information of dangers along the route for motorcyclists.

Serrano also announced the continuation of the progressive implementation of the emergency call system (‘eCall’) in motorcycles and the connectivity between vehicles and the road, with the imminent start-up of the platform DGT 3.0, which will also benefit motorcyclists.

During the conference where these plans were announced, participants highlighted the importance of making progress in road safety education, driver training and awareness. With this objective, the DGT and ANESDOR will collaborate in a plan for the training of motorcyclists.

ANESDOR has highlighted how the technological advances in motorcycle manufacturing have accelerated over the last two decades, and so the importance of renewing the fleet on the roads is crucial in order to take advantage of these developments not available in older vehicles. On average, the motorcycle fleet on the road is 15 years, and so far older than those motorbikes with the latest technology installed.

In addition, to improve the training of motorcyclists, ANESDOR proposes granting quality certificates to training centres, incentives for conducting driving courses (obtaining driving licence points for example) and has designed the ‘Viva la Moto’ initiative, to reduce the number of incidents where motorcyclists have been involved.

On the other hand, the DGT themselves have been monitoring statistics of motorcycle related incidents since 2012, where 46% of incidents occurred without the intervention of any other vehicle.

The DGT also concurs that the progressive aging of the vehicle fleet in the last decade is a factor for consideration, however, more worrying is the data regarding the consumption of substances among deceased motorcyclists: 26% of all motorcyclists killed in incidents in 2016 would have tested positive for alcohol, and 17% for drugs.

During the conclusions, patron of the Pons Foundation and former director of the DGT, Pere Navarro, said that “the bike is not a problem but a reality that must be managed” and has predicted that “2017 will be the first year in the that the number of vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists) who are victims of traffic accidents will be greater than that of the users of the four wheels”.

 

Motorcycles: 10 Measures for Greater Security

Fundación Pons and ANESDOR have developed a decalogue of proposals to increase the safety of two-wheel drivers and all users of the road.

  1. Resources. In 2016, motorcycles account for 15.2% of the total number of vehicles, but fatalities have grown to 22%. It is recommended that the agencies involved in road safety dedicate a proportion of attention and resources equivalent to the representativeness of this percentage of its victims.
  2. Strategic Road Safety Plan. It is recommended that, 10 years after its approval, the plan be revised and updated to adapt it to the new circumstances. In addition, we would recommend including an Urban Road Safety Plan, which facilitates practical application at the municipal level.
  3. Regulation of the motorcycle. The development of a Vulnerable Users Law is recommended. It is also recommended that, in the agencies responsible for road safety, both on the road and in the city, an official be appointed, who is a motorcycle user, as a reference in the field of motorcycle travel and in permanent contact with associations of motorcyclists.
  4. Extension of “zones 30”. The promotion of traffic calming policies or “zonas 30” is recommended because of its significant impact on the safety of motorcyclists, which means acting on speed and improving coexistence with other modes of travel.
  5. Parking on public roads. It is recommended to organise and increase the availability of parking spaces for motorcycles on public roads in our cities, establishing objective criteria to ensure that a proportion of the available area equivalent to the quota of the vehicle fleet.
  6. Training The majority of incidents are triggered by a human error (88%), either directly from the motorcyclist themselves (35%) or from another vehicle that collides with them (65%), many of which the motorcyclist´s actions may be a contributing factor, over speed for example. It is recommended that there be a comprehensive review of the training in the school year and post-permit, along with the revision of the driving licence system
  7. Awareness, road safety education and coexistence. It is recommended to increase road safety campaigns, informing of the specific risks suffered by moped drivers and motorcycles in the city due to the actions of other users and their vulnerability in the event of an incident.
  8. Safe driving courses. It is recommended the development of a quality certificate through which the Administration accredits the rigor of the schools and the quality of the training courses; accompanied by incentive measures for the user.
  9. Professional drivers. The road safety of the motorcycle must be included in the occupational risk prevention plans. It is recommended to manage before the State Foundation for Employment Training the inclusion in its catalogue of continuous training subsidised by the corresponding offer of training and training for motorcycle delivery workers.
  10. Equipment. It is recommended to open the debate with the associations of motorcyclists on the possible obligation of the use of gloves, and to transfer the message of the importance of the suitable equipment to minimise the injuries in case of an incident.
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