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ETSC calls to make ABS brakes mandatory on motorcycles

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The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) is calling for the European Union and European national governments to make Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS) mandatory on all new motorcycles in a new report.

The report, which seeks to change the rules governing the use of motorcycles and mopeds in Europe, found that 45,000 people died in motorcycle or moped accidents on European roads over the last decade, 90% of whom were men.

Besides ABS brakes, ETSC calls for mandatory practice tests and to limit the rider age to 16 or higher in all EU countries. It also recommends periodic technical inspections for all motorcycles and mopeds.

Jenny Carson, Manager of ETSC’s Road Safety Performance Index programme, told Zag Daily that the European Commission is currently reviewing the rules about technical inspections.

“We will be pushing for all motorcycles and mopeds to be regularly tested in future – including checks to see if the vehicles have been tampered with to increase the maximum speed,” said Carson.

“We are working with EU Member States through an EU-funded project called Road Safety Exchange, to help countries learn from each other on the best and most effective measures.”

Other recommendations

National governments should develop better enforcement of speed limits applying to motorcyclists as they cover their face with helmets so cannot be identified in countries that require identification of the driver/rider when issuing penalties; and there should be better enforcement of helmet-wearing, especially in countries with very low levels of helmet-wearing such as Greece and Cyprus.

The ETSC also drew attention to delivery riders, many of whom are delivering hot food in cities on motorcycles, working under pressure on poorly maintained vehicles, while being distracted by app-based tools. Manufacturers of cars, vans and lorries should improve their detection of motorcyclists using safety technologies like Automated Emergency Braking.

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