BIKERS IN BARRIER PROTEST

Some 10,000 motorcyclists blocked the streets in the centre of Madrid last Saturday when they staged their 3rd National Motorbike Demonstration to back their demands for the removal of safety barriers which they claim are fatal for motorcyclists. As if to highlight their claim, a motorcyclist died after he crashed into a safety barrier just outside Madrid only hours before the demonstration started. Before setting out from the Santiago Bernabeu football stadium, the participants observed a minute’s silence for that death and the 500 motorcyclists who died on Spain’s roads in the past 12 months. Their other demands included the use of non-slip paint on the roads, a general resurfacing and the suppression of the new €1,500 motorbike purchase tax. A spokesman for Unidad Motera (Motorcyclist Union) said the latest measures adopted by the Traffic Authority, such as raising the minimum age for driving a motorbike to 16 or a tougher driving test, only made owning a bike more expensive without teaching the driver the necessary skills. Smaller demonstrations were held in other cities across the country.

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