Home F.A.Q.Driving Can children ride pillion on motorbikes?

Can children ride pillion on motorbikes?

by Mark Nolan
4 minutes read

Motorcyclists are amongst some of the most vulnerable road users, and together with cyclists and pedestrians, account for 46% of those killed in traffic incidents, according to the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT). That is why road safety for this type of vehicle is more complex and as a consequence, carrying a child as a pillion passenger entails a lot of responsibility.

As the DGT indicates, the safety of the minor, as an occupant or passenger of a vehicle, is the driver’s responsibility. «Respecting the rules, making sure that they are retained or using protection systems, driving in a calm and relaxed manner, without aggressiveness or suddenness, leaving a safety space, and adjusting the speed to the traffic circumstances, is the best way to protect to the little ones on their journeys”, they explain.

The General Traffic Regulations establish two circumstances related to the age at which children can ride a motorcycle as a passenger.

The minimum age to ride a motorcycle as a passenger

As a general rule: the motorcycle passenger must be over 12 years of age.

The exception: those over 7 years old may be passengers on a motorcycle as long as the driver of that motorcycle or moped is their father, mother, guardian or persons of legal age authorised by them.

The rest of the requirements are the same as those for adult passengers: an approved helmet of the corresponding size must be used. The position should be astride and with the feet resting on the side footrests. In addition, the child must always go behind the driver and never between the driver and the handlebars of the motorcycle.

Fines: Circulating with children under 12 years of age as passengers on motorcycles or mopeds, except over 7 years if the driver is one of their parents or guardian: 200 euro.

Motorcycle child safety decalogue

Aesvi, the Spanish Alliance for Children’s Road Safety, with the collaboration of the International Union for the Defence of Motorcyclists, prepared this decalogue for minors to travel safely on motorcycles. “The objective is to prevent road risks in their movements and raise awareness of the need to avoid accidents as a passenger in all types of transport,” they explain.

Helmet: Every minor who travels on a motorcycle or moped as a passenger must wear a duly approved helmet (Rgto.22), adapted to their size and adjusted by its fastening strap under the chin.

Age: It is recommended that only those over 12 years old travel by motorcycle. Exceptionally, it may be used from the age of seven as long as the drivers are the father, mother, guardian or a person of legal age authorised by them.

Highway: For interurban routes, where the traffic speeds are higher, you should never travel with children under 12 years of age.

Position: Children must always use the corresponding seat behind the driver of the moped or motorcycle. You will have to ride astride, and with your feet resting on the side footrests. Before starting we must make sure that they hold on firmly.

Protection: Children must be protected, together with an approved helmet, with all the equipment, such as a motorcycle jacket with protections, gloves, pants and boots. In the case of not having technical equipment, and in the cases of using a moped or motorcycle in an urban environment, we recommend long pants, high-top shoes, motorcyclist gloves, more economical and easily adapted “bibcock” type protections (back, shoulders and elbows) and knee pads.

Backpack: Children should never carry a backpack while riding a motorcycle, as it can destabilise them, putting their safety at risk. The backpack must be properly tied to the carrier or luggage rack of the motorcycle.

Backrest: If trips with children are frequent, it is recommended to incorporate a back support or “top case” into the motorcycle to improve the safety and attachment of the child to the motorcycle.

Grip: The child must hold on to the driver without affecting driving (a good resource is the sides of the belt). The current grips that motorcycles incorporate on the sides can be dangerous for children, due to their stability.

Driving: The driver must accelerate the motorcycle smoothly and progressively, especially at the beginning of its run, and avoid aggressive and dangerous driving. Do not take unnecessary risks, keeping your attention to traffic at all times.

Get off or get on: In the descent and ascent of the child to the motorcycle, special attention must be paid to the location and state of the exhaust pipe, and it will be done through the safest area of ​​the pavement (usually right side). It is recommended to help the child in their descent or ascent with one of the driver’s forearms.

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