Argentina 2022 Motorcycle Schools Project

With the support of UPS we started a new project in Argentina, in order to reduce the number of injuries and deaths in traffic accidents, especially focused on young motorcyclists.

Riding a motorcycle requires technical skills, more than those required for a car, and novice drivers need to be trained. Therefore, a good licensing system should also include a specific training plan before obtaining a driving license. Given the high proportion of motorcyclists, the focus - especially in low- and middle-income countries - should be on this group. It must be said that driver licensing systems are the starting point in the traffic system and can always be strengthened to improve safety outcomes.

During 2019, 2020 and 2021, thanks to the support of the UPS Foundation, from the Fundación Gonzalo Rodríguez (FGR), together with the National Road Safety Agency of Argentina (ANSV) we developed two specialization programs to be carried out throughout the country, with special focus on the northern area of the country, where -in some cities- motorcyclists represent up to 70% of those killed in traffic accidents.

While the program developed in 2019 focused on theoretical contents, the one developed in 2021 focused on practical contents. Both had the objective and ambition of having specialized instructors in the field, with the most advanced knowledge in motorcycle safety and licensing.

After evaluating the results of the previous years, together with the ANSV authorities, a new challenge arose to continue with the process of perfecting the licensing system in Argentina. This new scope has to do with the pre-licensing practice stage that people -especially young applicants- need. With the conviction that experience must be present at the time of obtaining the license, and not the other way around.

In Argentina, the system does not foresee how applicants prepare for the licensing exam. While this reality is common in many countries, the fact that Argentina -especially in the northern provinces- has no rider training programs (public or private) means that beginners in motorcycle riding end up learning their riding skills on the street, which is, in addition to being illegal, very dangerous.

In addition, some of the results of the Risk Perception Study (conducted in 2021 by the FGR) show that riders (especially young riders) lack basic skills when riding a motorcycle. Some of the weak skills mentioned are braking technique, which is unknown by about 30% of the surveyed drivers; or the concept of what a blind spot is (unknown by about 40%). This last point shows that 40% of young drivers are invisible on the road, without even realizing it.

The main objective of this project is to work together with interested municipalities to create a Municipal Motorcycle Driving Academy where people can be trained before the license exam. By having an academy set up and making its use an obligation in the process of obtaining the license, it is expected that driving and therefore safety will improve. This academy will have -not only- the scope of preparing applicants for the test (which will be conducted following the criteria adopted when the municipality conducted the specialization programs carried out by the FGR), but also to prepare them for the real difficulties they may encounter on the road. Techniques such as emergency braking or avoiding the blind spot must be mastered before being able to take the practical test.

The launch, which was carried out through a webinar with more than 150 participants, also involved different authorities, mayors and directors of License Issuing Centers. This demonstrates the commitment of the territorial authorities to the issue.

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