The Italian government wants motorcyclists to wear airbag-equipped motorcycle gear, and they’re willing to put the public’s money behind that idea.
According to Motorrad Online, Italian politicians are hammering out a plan to offer tax breaks on the purchase of vests, jackets and other riding gear with built-in airbags. At this point, most of the details are still unknown. the Italian government plans to offer a substantial rebate, supposedly, but it’s unclear if that means 5 percent or 50 percent. Motorrad says the first draft for the plan talks about a “considerable deduction,” and that’s all we really know.
The move comes as the government is lobbied by architect Graziella Viviano. Viviano lost her daughter in a motorcycle accident, and with the help of motorcyclist organization Legal Rider, she’s pressing the politicians to improve motorcycle safety in Italy. The airbag suits are part of that plan.
The Italians’ move towards more moto safety is perfectly timed, as airbag jackets are finally hitting the mainstream. For years, they were complicated systems that required integration to your motorcycle; as such, airbag suits were really only practical for racers and other high-performance riders with money to spend.
Now, though, the pricing has dropped and the systems are self-contained. A rider can buy an airbag-equipped jacket or vest and use it across multiple motorcycles. Also, multiple companies are selling this equipment now, and it’s gone beyond upper body protection. A French innovator is working on developing a set of airbag pants, which would offer much more protection for a rider’s legs. And, we’ve also got offroad-friendly airbag equipment now, with Alpinestars’ new dirt-ready system seeing serious use at the 2021 Dakar Rally. While this all would have been sci-fi only a generation back, chances are many readers here will own an airbag suit before their riding career ends.