New measures aim at ensuring the safety of motorcyclists

After many years of delay, the government is introducing measures to regulate the use of more than 2 million motorcycles in Greece. Roadworthiness checks will be compulsory for motorcycles of up to 120cc capacity; there will be a new system of issuing licenses; and riders of rented motorcycles will have to wear crash helmets. In an attempt to make roads safer for motorcyclists, local authorities will be asked to remove speed bumps that do not meet certain specifications. Motorcycle Day, newly instituted by the Transport Ministry, was celebrated for the first time on November 8 with numerous events in Athens and Thessaloniki. Transport Minister Christos Verelis announced a package of measures on November 6, aimed both at ensuring safety for motorcyclists by preventing accidents and at dealing with traffic problems caused by motorcycles. Privately operated vehicle inspection centers that only check motorcycles will conduct roadworthiness tests on motorbikes of 50-120cc capacity. Large motorcycles will not be subject to inspection, as the authorities consider them usually well-maintained. In the future, Type A1 driving licenses will allow the holder to drive a motorcycle of up to 400cc capacity (as opposed to 125cc as is currently the case), as long as the driver is 18 or over. As for car drivers who also want to get a motorcycle license, they must take the same examinations as for a license for a car, but with an additional several hours training in riding a motorbike. Motorcycle rental outlets will have to supply their clients with crash helmets of an approved type. And as a safety measure, speed bumps, which are often a hazard for motorcyclists, will have to be removed if they do not meet certain specifications.