Nearly 200,000 protest motorcycle bans

Just under 200,000 people have joined an EU protest against motorcycle bans on certain Alpine roads

THE first weekend in July saw motorcyclists join forces across central Europe to protest against riding bans on some Tyrolean and Alpine roads.

The demos took place in a number of German cities and coincided with the launching of an online petition being initiated which has gained 199,663 supporters since the middle of March. According to local police around 8,000 motorcyclists joined in Stuttgart to demonstrate against the riding bans, with protests also taking place in Schwerin, Düsseldorf, Wiesbaden, Friedrichshafen, Dresden, Hamburg, and some other cities.

It’s reported that while many members of the public were behind those in the two-wheeled solidarity ride, with many waving and filming the event, the police in Stuttgart decided enough was enough and broke up the event.

The protests have taken place to oppose unfair and largely unjust bans on motorcycles from certain roads in central and southern Europe. In some of these cases, the bans target motorcycles, siting exhaust noise as the reason for the ban, although unfairly loud cars are left free to roam without penalty.

Some German federal states have announced a plan to ban motorcycles that emit noise levels above a certain amount from the roads, with the federal council, which decides on federal law in Germany, also consider a partial ban on using motorcycles on Sundays and public holidays.

Motorcycle advocates, including the transport policy spokesman of the pro-business FDP party, say that such a ban is not necessary.

“Instead of prosecuting a few black sheep in the motorcycle community, these tighter controls would put us all under suspicion,” Oliver Lukisc said.

Federal officials will consider the proposals in the coming weeks, but federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer has already voiced his opposition to the plan.

Images Motorrad.de | Werner Schneider​

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