The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute have submitted a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration petitioning in favor of making anti-lock brakes mandatory for all new on-highway motorcycles.

The letter, addressed to David Strickland, NHTSA administrator, included a recent IIHS study on the effects of ABS on motorcycle fatal crash rates. The report found ABS technology reduces the rate of fatal crashes by 31%, while collision claim rates were 20% lower with ABS-equipped motorcycles.

The petition also acknowledges concerns of ABS in off-road riding situations, and suggests manufacturers introduce switchable ABS for dual-sport models so the system can be disabled when riding on unpaved terrain.

The IIHS and HLDI letter follows new legislation introduced by the European Parliament in 2012 making ABS mandatory for all on-highway motorcycles with engines larger than 125cc by 2016. Manufacturers are already getting a head start on the new European regulation. BMW for instance has already made ABS standard equipment on all 2013 models.

Click here to download the letter.

[Source: IIHS]