Bogotá mayor bans male passengers on motorcycles to fight crime

After several days of protests, bikers came to an agreement with the mayor of Bogotá which will prohibit drivers from having a male passenger during weekend nights in an effort to combat crime.

Motorcycles Bogotá Colombia

The mayor of Bogotá Claudia López eventually came to an agreement with bikers on the night of April 6.

From April 18, motorbike drivers will not be allowed to have a male passenger on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 7 pm and 4 am. Women, however, will still be allowed to be the pillion.

The agreement comes after several days of protests where thousands of motorcyclists took the streets to show disapproval to measures announced on March 31 meant to better identify drivers and prevent criminals from using two-wheeled motor vehicles. Overall peaceful, demonstrations however jammed roads and created chaos in the capital city of 7 million people for a few days.

Motorcycles have been increasingly used by criminals when they want to rob or kill someone and leave the premises fast.

In 2019, 6% of the crimes involved motorbikes as a transportation method in the city. It accounted for 8.6% of the crimes in 2021, and 9.2% for the first quarter of 2022, according to National Police data.

So far in 2022, 2,708 thefts have been carried out by the driver or passenger of a motorcycle, which accounts for 11% of all thefts recorded. They would steal handbags, cell phones or other products from passers-by or shopkeepers. Hit men as also closely associated with the use of motorbikes to kill a target and quickly leave the scene.

During the 4-hour negotiations, biker associations argued restrictions on passengers would mostly affect and threaten women’s safety which convinced the mayor to restrict the pillion rule to men only.

Lopez said on Twitter that “we are all part of the city and we must all contribute to coexistence and security, especially in this time of criminal and terrorist threat that has already killed two children and injured dozens of families“.

Moreover, bikers agreed to carry the license plate with reflective numbers and letters on their helmet or on their clothes, as long as it’s clearly visible. The regulation has become more flexible as the mayor of Bogotá initially requested that motorbike identification numbers should be visible on both the helmet and clothes.

Performances of the measures will be assessed and reviewed in the coming months to know whether they should be maintained.

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