Police worried by inexperienced bikers

Motorbikes. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Summertime sees more motorbikes and scooters hit Estonian roads, while many drivers of two-wheeled vehicles lack daily experience and are more likely to end up involved in an accident.

This year has seen 55 traffic accidents involving motorcycles where one person has been killed and 57 injured. Car drivers and pedestrians need to count on the number of bikers on Estonian roads growing, said Andrus Reima, head of the Tartu Police Station.

"The number of motorcyclists on our roads is growing every year, including young first-time drivers and those who decide to buy a motorbike upon reaching midlife. Motorcyclists run the gamut, from those buying sport bikes to those riding adventure bikes and enduros. But their overall number is growing in the big picture," Reima said.

Bikers often crash because of modest riding experience, the police officer said. "Bikers with little experience in the saddle tend to have trouble keeping the bike under control when accelerating, as well as accurately gauging braking distance. People tend to forget that a motorbike accelerates much faster than a car, which is the reason for the dangerous overtaking maneuvers we see every day, with braking distance the other half of the equation. Without participating in everyday traffic and practical experience, more than a few cases where a biker goes off the road are the result of trying to lean in the corners too much or mistakes in estimating the necessary baking distance."

There are also plenty of scooters out and about in summer drivers of which can apply for a scooter license when they turn 14.

There is less interest in scooter licenses than there are in the A-category license necessary to ride a motorcycle, said Mart Laanemäe, director of driving school ABC.

"The AM license needed to ride a scooter requires half the mandatory driving lessons compared to a B-category license (necessary to drive a car), while it does constitute a major undertaking for a young person who has to do a lot of independent work to learn all the rules and participate in traffic on an equal footing," Laanemäe said.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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