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Spanish motorcyclists do not want a mandatory airbag

According to a survey conducted by the Spanish motorcyclists’ organization Asociación Mutua Motera (AMM), 65.5% of the motorcyclists surveyed do not agree with the mandatory use of airbags.

The Spanish Directorate-General for Traffic, within measures to reduce the accident and severity of its consequences on the motorcyclist collective, is considering the mandatory use of airbag vests or jackets. While it would be a measure that would not take effect immediately – it could take several years before it was mandatory and it would probably only be mandatory for intercity driving – AMM decided to conduct an opinion poll, in order to have a clear idea of the feeling of the Spanish motorcyclists’ community.

2,547 Motorcyclists have participated in the survey, and a clear majority (65.49%) said no, the use of an airbag vest or jacket should not be mandatory in any case. Of the respondents 29.05% said yes, it should be mandatory and 5.46% had no opinion.

Surprisingly, among the respondents that said ‘yes’, a majority (21.08%) supports compulsory use at all times, both in the city and on the road, compared to those defending the use of airbag vests or jackets on the road only (7.66%).

To find out the reasons for this result, AMM – a member of FEMA – reviewed the comments left on different social media channels. Most motorcyclists that agree with the recommendation to wear an airbag vest or jacket do so because of the safety they could provide. However, this majority does not agree that the use should be mandatory. Reasons for this are the high price of airbag vests and jackets and the lack of reduced VAT (Value Added Tax, a consumption tax) for safety garments.

Many riders consider that before imposing more obligations, the Spanish government should fulfill its obligation to have the infrastructure in optimal security condition. Riders also want the government to fulfill old promises such as legalizing intercoms for motorcyclists.

Juan Manuel Reyes, president of AMM (photograph courtesy of

Juan Manuel Reyes, president of Asociación Mutua Motera, said: “The problem we have is that, when a European country legislates something in relation to motorcyclists, others follow. This is what happened with gloves in France. When they became mandatory in our neighboring country, the Spanish government wanted to imitate the measure immediately. That is why I believe that any measure is approved in a European country, must be monitored by all European motorcyclists, because sooner or later, it is possible that it will be extended to others.”

AMM has a meeting scheduled with the Spanish Directorate-General for Traffic later this month, to further discuss the matter. Also on the agenda: the Directorate-General’s wish to make wearing motorcycle gloves mandatory.

Both AMM and FEMA encourage the voluntary use of personal protective equipment and clothing appropriate to the environment in which they are employed, but both organizations oppose the mandatory use of such equipment and clothing. If personal protective equipment is mandatory, like gloves in France, it should be officially tested and certified according to European regulations.

This article is subject to FEMA’s copyright