The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) has requested the government to loosen restrictions on motorcycles.
According to chinanews.com, Li Bin, the secretary general for the CAAM’s motorcycle division, complained about restrictions on motorcycles at an industry summit earlier this week. The official quoted European studies which showed that if 10 percent of automobile drivers in any given city rode motorcycles, traffic congestion could decrease by 40 percent. “China is the only country in the world to restrict motorcycles,” Li Bin said, adding that it was municipal authorities, not the central or provincial governments, who have imposed the restrictions.
“We have conducted several tests on Beijing’s roads using three types of transportation. Motorcycles were the fastest, followed by public transportation, automobiles were the slowest,” the official added. Several local governments limit motorcycle usage due to safety concerns, as many believe motorcycles are prone to accidents. In response, Mr. Li stated that the ultimate factor when dealing with transportation safety is not the vehicle type but the operator of the vehicle, stressing the importance of traffic education.
The CAAM is providing the authorities with foreign research on motorcycle usage with the aim of loosening restrictions on the Chinese motorcycle market. “We hope to see the market for motorcycles open up, allowing motorcycles and automobiles to share the road equally,” Li Bin said.