Security Minister Patricia Bullrich unveiled yesterday new restrictions for motorbike users, in what’s being regarded an attempt to reduce crimes committed by motochorros – a form of crime whereby two people on a motorbike rob innocent pedestrians or car drivers and make a swift getaway.

Motochorros are one of the main causes for insecurity in Argentina: they constitute as many as 60% of crimes against property in the province of Tucumán. Their opportunity for a quick escape makes them very difficult to identify.

The decree that modifies the traffic law establishes that both the rider and the passenger have to wear a regulatory helmet clearly displaying the licence number. The passenger must also wear a reflective vest with the same information.

Head of the Buenos Aires City Government, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, explained that the new regulations were part of a wider changes by his administration, in an attempt to crack down on crime in the city.

Larreta explained in a press conference that “one of the biggest security problems we face is motorcycle robberies – and in the vast majority of cases they operate in pairs’. Although Larreta announced the changes, the law will be implemented at a federal level. He was joined in the press conference by Transportation Minister Guillermo Dietrich, Buenos Aires Province Security Minister Cristian Ritondo, as well as by other provincial ministers.

Failure to comply with the new identifying measures will be considered a serious offence and will result in the immediate seizure of the motorbikes. If the seized motorbike isn’t collected by the owner within 60 days it will be available for public use.

Although the changes will be on a federal scale, every province will be able to determine certain details of the law, such as restrictions in certain areas and/or during certain days and hours.

The law will come into effect in 90 days after the decree is published in the official bulletin.