Bikers out in force against new safety rules
HUNDREDS of bikers took to the streets over the weekend to protest at new plans to improve motorbike safety.
Members of MAG (Motorcyclists' Action Group) Ireland held a series of rallies across the country to protest against proposals including making high-visibility clothing compulsory for all motorcyclists and the introduction of an NCT test for motorbikes.
Spokeswoman Linda O'Loideoin said motorcyclists were concerned about the costs of complying with the rules.
"The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is proposing the use of hi-vis, full-sleeve jackets for all riders," she said.
"There's no proof that it makes drivers more aware of bikers. They should be making car drivers more aware of other road users.
"The NCT is just another cost. We do maintain our bikes because we're more vulnerable on the road. Most bikers would like it written into legislation that only bike mechanics can do an NCT, as is the case in Germany and the UK."
So far this year, 13 motorcyclists and one pillion passenger have been killed in road collisions.
The EU is also proposing new anti-tamper legislation where motorcyclists will no longer be allowed to customise their bikes, and laws on type approval where only parts from manufacturers can be fitted.
Rallies were held in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Waterford, Wexford, Westmeath and Donegal, which included some bikers joining in "slow rides" along motorways.
The European Parliament will vote on November 22 on the new proposals.