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Safety Group Pushes for Antilock Braking on New Motorcycles

  • Safety Group Pushes for Antilock Braking System in All New Motorcycles

    Monday, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety - Highway Loss Data Institute (IIHS-HLDI) announced they filed a petition with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to open the rulemaking process and require antilock braking systems (ABS) on all new motorcycles (click here to see this petition). In 2013 the IIHS-HLDI also filed a similar petition with NHTSA on this topic.

    According to the current petition, 59% of all new motorcycle models in the U.S. are equipped with ABS. Twenty years ago, in 2003, just 1% of models had ABS. The lack of a mandate in the U.S. is somewhat unique. The European Union, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand and India all require ABS on motorcycles.

    While we do not believe in federal mandates like the one proposed here, we can agree on some points that the IIHS-HLDI petition raises. First and foremost, we appreciate the IIHS-HLDI goal of reducing deaths among motorcyclists. We should all be able to agree that the all-time high of over 6,000 deaths in 2021 is an unacceptable number. We also agree with their statement that “ABS obviously does not prevent every crash or death.”  

    As noted in their petition, ABS can negatively affect motorcycle handling in loose surface conditions. The IIHS-HLDI proposal to allow for an off switch for ABS fits well with a fundamental principle of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, “let those who ride decide.”

    The best person to decide what technologies they are comfortable using while riding is an informed, licensed rider who knows their skills and the capabilities of their motorcycle. While we are not opposed to ABS, we disagree with federal directives that limit consumer choice.

    (click here to see the IIHS Press Release for this petition)

    All Information contained in this release is copyrighted. Reproduction permitted with attribution. Motorcycle Riders Foundation. All rights reserved.


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