The warning comes after new figures show motorbikes are the most dangerous means of road transport.
Motorcyclists in Spain are being reminded that they can be hit with 500 euro fines for tailgating and weaving in and out of traffic.
The warning comes after new figures show motorbikes are the most dangerous means of road transport with a 17-times greater risk of death on a motorbike than in a car, per kilometre travelled.
In the city alone, it is 32 times riskier than travelling in a car, four times more dangerous than travelling by bike, three times riskier than travelling on foot and 450 times riskier than travelling by bus, according to data from a recent OECD study.
Training is one of the main issues among motorcyclists, according to experts. Asociación Mutua Motera (AMN) president Juan Manuel Reyes said there is a lack of expertise. “Generally this expertise is acquired through experience, but even this is not enough. Most motorcyclists do not ride enough kilometres or do not have the right advice or counselling,” he said.
“This is not to say that motorcyclists are responsible for the accidents in which they are involved, but that, with proper training, 90% of accidents could be avoided.”
Advice for beginners
General manager of Peugeot Motocycles for Spain Francisco Domínguez provided some tips that beginner motorcyclists should bear in mind before taking to the road.
“It is advisable to have full motorbike equipment to protect you from burns, bruises, etc,” he said. Avoid them by equipping yourself with gloves, an approved helmet, suitable closed footwear and a jacket with reinforced shoulders and knees. “These elements are a worthwhile investment because of the protection they provide and their durability over time,” Domínguez added.
Get to know your new vehicle, whether you are a regular motorcyclist, or not. As the expert pointed out, “a period of gradual adaptation to your new bike or scooter is essential”.
Learn how to handle the motorbike first, get used to it, get used to its weight, check your balance. Bear in mind that “it is not advisable to drive the first few kilometres on wet or damp roads”, reminded Domínguez.
Emergency braking is also very common in the city, so it is essential to “be alert” to what is going on around you. In urban driving, Domínguez advised respecting a safe distance and keeping the index and middle fingers of each hand resting lightly on the brakes to reduce braking time as much as possible in case you need to act quickly.
Domínguez concluded: “Anxiety can alter your behaviour on the road, your ability to react, as can worries, which can distract you from thinking about other things. At the handlebars, it is essential to be present, for your safety and that of others”.