THE number of motorcycle owners registering their number plates with the regional Traffic department shot up by 140 percent in November compared to the same month last year.
The General Traffic directorate (DGT) said yesterday that the major growth in registration has emerged following the introduction of driving license B and A-1 which came into force on 20 October last. It allows private four-wheel vehicle license holders with three or more years of experience, to ride motorcycles powered as high as 125 cc.
The bumper figures for November are added to the 336 motorcycles already registered in October, 84 percent more than the same month in 2003.
Specialist shops trading in the Balearics have confirmed a brisk trade in these motorcycles which has developed as a result of the new law.
On occasions, potential buyers have to wait ten days due to the lack of vehicles on the shop premises.
Francisco Ruiz de Peralta, head of the Balearic Traffic department, holds the view that this new Driver Ruling will ease the flow of traffic in city centres. especially in Palma. He affirmed that the measure would produce very few negative results because many of the people who choose to take up the option of riding motorcycles of up to 125 cc will have at least three years experience of driving a car with a clear vision of how to manage in traffic.
In all, 4'695 vehicles were registered in the Balearics, 14 percent more than in November 2003, the majority of them private cars (3'723, 10 percent more); followed by lorries and vans (614, 12 percent more); industrial tractors (7) and buses (5).
At a national level, the number of motorcyle plates registered reached 14'603 units during the last month of November, which means an increase of 175.52 percent in comparison with the 5'300 listed for the same month in 2003.
Registration of other types of vehicles stood at 186'150 last November, an increase of 20.26 percent in comparison with the same month the previous year.
In the first 11 months of 2004, the number of vehicle registrations rose to 1.96 million, a figure which represented an increase of 13.64 percent in relation to the same period in 2003.
In the private car sector, the largest in volume, 136'872 vehicles were registered, a growth of 13.56 percent on the 120'521 applications in the same month in 2003.
Furthermore, in November this year, 31'963 lorries and vans were registered (20.45% more); 2'088 tractors (+11.65%); 275 buses (+5.36%); and 349 other vehicles (+16.63%).