Riots and an extension of the VAO bus were among proposals to reduce motorcycle deaths

“It is a casualty rate that does not decrease over the years. We are always more than 40 dead.” This is the lament of Ramon Lamel, director of the Catalan Traffic Service (SCT). Since the beginning of the year, 52 motorcyclists were killed On the roads, motorways and highways of Catalonia. They are 8 more than they were in the whole of last year.

In an attempt to reduce the number of casualties, inspections conducted by the Mossos d’Esquadra were doubled. Officers stop passengers, check they have a valid driving licence, insurance and MOT and check the motorcycle. They also check their driving behavior and check their equipment if necessary.

Paco Requina He has been riding a motorcycle for years. He has already been involved in five accidents. When he goes out on the road, he does so with all the necessary equipment.

“Dress like you’re going to fall, that’s my motto.”

He says he’s never been in a serious accident, mostly because he’s very careful. It is believed that “in almost 90% of accidents” the car driver is at fault for “excessive speed.”

Victim profile

In fact, driving faster than the posted speed limit is a major risk factor for a fatal accident. Traffic authorities are concerned about the resulting distractions. And also Frontal and side collisionsAs a result of improper maneuvers, as Lammell explained in statements to TV3.

Almost all deaths Role. This year, 47 of the 52 motorists who lost their lives were on the intercity network. Most likely, in middle age, Between the ages of 45 and 60.

The number of motorcycle accidents resulting in deaths or serious injuries has also increased this year. If in 2022 there were 295, then in 2023, without ending the year, their number has already increased to 330.

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According to the Catalan Traffic Service, the possibility of death in a motorcycle accident It increases on Saturday and Sunday morningsAlthough most deaths were recorded on weekdays.

What is clear to the Standing Committee is that there is Two distinct profiles for motorists Those who use the car to get to and from work and those who use it for leisure on weekends. For this reason, they consider it necessary to develop specific plans to reduce the accident rateOne of the most vulnerable groups on the road.

Safer riots

The director of the Catalan Traffic Service considers it “clear” that it is necessary to “invest in infrastructure” to improve the safety of motorists. In this sense it is suggested Mark the traces on the asphalt on the roads with the highest number of accidentsWith the idea that motorists “know exactly how to turn and how to drive correctly.”

A motorcycle passes near the site of the accident on the C-59 (ACN/Albert Segura)

“These are experiences that already exist in other countries,” explains Lammell, explaining that this investment “has already been approved, but has not yet been extended.” He hopes that the upcoming road safety plan will take this matter into consideration and apply it to the roads that witness the highest percentage of accidents.

More training and information

Accurate reporting on black spots in the road network is now a Transit priority. They believe that it is necessary to give information to motorists about the roads that witness more accidents, so that they are aware of them and drive with caution.

But what they consider key is training. SCT offers Practical courses in road drivingWith the aim of helping motorists improve technology and safety.

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The observer who accompanies the participants It has a 360 degree cameraWhich allows you to see each driver’s driving and then correct the mistakes that have been made.

“We want to intensify this training, because we are now reaching a limited number of motorcyclists,” Lemiel admits. Some have participated so far 4,000 people, but with alarming death data, Transit believes that is not enough.

One of the courses held by the Mosos Foundation to teach motorists how to protect themselves and drive (ACN/Ariadna Escoda)

The idea of ​​these courses is Correct the most common errorsWhich is often the cause of accidents. Many motorcyclists learned to ride many years ago and training courses serve as retraining.

Entrance to Barcelona via VAO bus lanes?

The high number of motorcyclists killed this year, and the difficulty of declining the number decisively, requires action in various areas, Lammell admits.

Therefore, Transit suggests this Motorcycles can use the Bus-VAO lanes To be able to enter Barcelona. In other words, expand these dedicated high-occupancy vehicle lanes to more central parts of the city.

Currently, motorcycles can ride there These corridors end at Barcelona arrival points And not inside the city, where motorcycles are prohibited from sharing the space designated for buses and taxis.

What the Catalan Transport Service proposes is to extend the bus-VAO route from the C-31 to Glòries, to Fabra i Puig in the case of the C-58 and to the Francesc Macià B-23, which is just under construction. In addition, they are carrying out studies to establish new bus-VAO corridors on the C-31 Sud and C-33.

“We realize that this can reduce speeding, and we can reassure them when entering the city, thus reducing the number of accidents on a daily basis.”

Lammell believes this will avoid the twists and turns that motorcycles make to overtake cars, and thus there will be less risky behaviour.

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Until now, Barcelona City Council has been against allowing buses and motorcycles to travel together within the urban network.

Controls have been tightened for motorists, according to Traffic (ACN/Albert Hernández)

“Very easy access to bike”

One factor that also explains the high accident rate among motorists, according to SCT, is what they perceive as the ease of access to this vehicle. Moreover, it is a vehicle that is increasingly present on the streets and roads of Catalonia.

There has been an increase in the motorcycle fleet“, confirms Lamiel, who did not quantify this increase. Among the reasons, he says, are public transportation that does not always provide a reliable solution and restrictions on private vehicle access to the city.

The result of all this is that “there are people who join motorcycles without sufficient experience or time to ride.”

In his opinion, The fact that you have a B permit doesn’t help either (which allows driving cars) With the age of 3 years, you can also drive motorcycles With a cylinder capacity of 125 cc. “We are radically against that,” Lammell says.

“We know that the General Directorate of Drivers wants to strengthen training in these cases, and this sounds good to us,” he says, because he believes that a lack of experience can make a motorcyclist a danger to himself and other drivers.

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