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Gloves compulsory and airbags advisory for motorbikers in new safety proposals
By thinkSPAIN Team Tue, Jul 30, 2019
MOTORCYCLISTS and moped-riders may be required by law to wear gloves, could lose extra points for not wearing a helmet and will be encouraged to fit airbags, as part of the traffic authority's draft plans for cutting down on road injuries and fatalities.
Those seeking to get their moped or motorbike licence will also soon have to take nearly twice as many theory classes – 14 hours instead of the standard eight, with the additional six focusing on risk factors, protection measures and riding techniques.
Not wearing a helmet could, in the near future, involve a loss of four licence points rather than three, but bikers who take additional, approved courses on road safety and awareness – whether or not they have committed an offence – may be able to gain another two points.
The General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) aims to raise awareness among bikers about how to dress for safety – knee and elbow pads, back and shoulder protectors, proper footwear, resilient covering for legs and a jacket that provides sufficient cushioning in the event of impact.
DGT figures show that since a concerted effort was made to clamp down on riders without helmets starting in 2006, a dramatic drop in the number who do fail to use the correct headgear has been reported – but out of the 241 bikers killed on inter-urban roads last year, 10 were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
Motorcyclists make up 21% of all road crash deaths – across the board and on all types of road and terrain, 359 last year, and so far this year 147.
The DGT wants to cut these figures down, and its Road Safety Special Measures Plan for Motorcyclists 2019-2020 includes 17 new strategies.
One of these includes making it mandatory to wear gloves whilst riding – on pain of a possible fine or even loss of licence points – in line with traffic laws in a handful of other European Union countries, including France.
The National Association of Two-Wheeled Industry Traders (ANESDOR) and the Mutual Motorbikers' Association have given their input in drawing up the 17 potential future strategies, and both stressed the importance of gloves and suitable clothing for motorcycling.
ANESDOR and the Mutual Motorbikers' Association both believe the future of safe riding lies in fitting airbags to bikes, an accessory relatively unknown to the general public, which normally associates these with cars.
Both groups say their use in two-wheeled sports is growing, and raising awareness, and that prices are now coming down and are likely to continue to do so as more and more riders buy them.
When they were first launched, airbags for bikes cost over €1,000, but they can now be found for between €300 and €600.
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