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Mobility & Transport - Road Safety

Use of PTW's


Use of PTW's

The rate of PTW's per 1000 inhabitants varies between countries and shows the popularity (or lack of it) of the PTW. Southern European countries have in general high rates for motorcycles and even higher for mopeds (Table 1). Greece is at the top with 150 mopeds and 100 motorcycles per 1000 inhabitants. Figures for Portugal lie between those for southern and other countries with a rate of 40 for mopeds and 14 for motorcycles which are low even relative to western and northern European countries. At the other extreme for mopeds is Great Britain with only two mopeds per 1000 inhabitants. For the other countries the rates are about 20 for mopeds (with Austria and the Netherlands higher at 35 and Denmark low at 12) and 30 for motorcycles (with Germany and Austria higher at 46 and 38 resp. and France and Denmark low with 22 and 18). Switzerland has a surprisingly high rate for motorcycles with 80. There is little information for middle European countries of which Czech Republic has a relatively high rate for mopeds: 43.

In Figure 1 the countries are presented in order of increasing rate of PTW's (moped + motorcycle) per 1000 inhabitants.

PTW/1000 inhabitants
  moped motorcycle
Austria 36 38
Belgium   33
Czech Rep. 43 31
Denmark 12 18
Finland 25 27
France 19 22
Germany 22 46
Great Britain 2 19
Greece 150 101
Hungary   11
Ireland (incl. moped)   8
Italy (2004) 90 79
Netherlands 34 33
Norway (2004) 32 21
Poland   20
Portugal 40 14
Slovenia 17 7
Spain 53 42
Sweden 18 26
Switzerland 24 80

Table 1 year 2005; source IRTAD

Figure 1 Rate of PTW's per 1000 inhabitants. Countries ordered by the total PTW use

The rates refer to the year 2005, but there have been remarkable changes in the past. In the southern countries the rate of mopeds per 1000 inhabitants increased slowly during the last 20 years with the exception of Portugal which showed a decrease over the last 10 years. Most western and northern countries had a strong decrease from 1980 till 1995, followed by a relatively stable period. Czech Republic had a decreasing rate since 1990, but is still relatively high in 2005.

The trends for motorcycles are quite different. Almost all countries experienced an increase in motorcycle rates starting between 1990 and 1995, some with a strong increase (e.g. Austria, Germany and Greece), and some more slowly (e.g. France and Portugal). In contrast the available information from middle European countries indicates an ongoing downward trend in motorcycle ownership rates. Information on ownership per age group per country is not generally available, but it is likely that the age distributions of moped and motorcycle owners is quite different between countries. There are indications that the increase in numbers of motorcycles is stronger for older riders (25+) and that the proportion of scooter type mopeds as well as motorcycles is growing. However, exact figures are lacking.