Concern over proposal to lower age limit for drivers of ‘big mopeds’

Increasing mobility or putting young lives at risk?

At present, there are two different kinds of mopeds on Danish roads – the so-called ‘small mopeds’ with a maximum speed of 30 km/h and ‘big mopeds’ that can reach speeds of up to 45 km/h.

Anyone over 15 can ride the former but the latter are reserved for those with a driving licence, so over-18s.

Dansk Folkeparti (DF) is behind a new proposal that would lower the age limit for ‘big mopeds’ to 16, arguing that it would be good for increasing the mobility of young people, especially in remote parts of Denmark, reports DR Nyheder.

DF’s transport spokesperson Kim Christiansen also argues that it will lead to a drop in the number of ‘small moped’ owners who illegally tune their bikes so that they can go faster.

READ ALSO: Danish 17-year-olds get the right to drive

An explosive cocktail
However, the Danish organisation for road safety Rådet for Sikker Trafik is not at all happy.

“This involves putting the absolute most vulnerable age-group on one of the most dangerous forms of transport you can imagine – the ‘big moped’ – and this combination is a really lethal cocktail,” said the organisation’s head Mogens Kjærgaard Møller.

“All the research and experience from abroad shows that this is something that leads to accidents and often accidents that prove fatal,” he added.

Møller also rejects the notion that it will lead to fewer mopeds being tuned up. He feels that those who do this will continue to do so and instead, tune their ‘big mopeds’ – if they are allowed to have them.

Not so accident-prone after all
Figures from the Danish road directorate Vejdirektoratet reveal that the number of accidents involving moped riders aged 15-17 has largely remained stable of the the last few years.

No riders in this age group were killed in either 2016 or 2017. However, 15-year-olds did lose their lives in both 2018 and 2019.