The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána are urging motorcyclists, scooter and moped users to bike safely on the roads this summer following a rise in motorcycle casualties in 2013.
To date, 13 motorcyclists have died on Irish roads compared to eight motorcyclists and two pillion passengers up to the same date last year. Motorcyclists account for almost 14 per cent of road deaths so far this year, despite making up less than two per cent of the total vehicle fleet.
The RSA and An Garda Síochána are asking riders to be aware of their vulnerability on the roads as research shows that motorcyclists are three times more likely to be killed on Irish roads than in any other EU country.
A provisional analysis of motorcycle and pillion passenger deaths by An Garda Síochána shows that almost four out of five fatal motorcycle collisions since 2011 involved another vehicle. Fifty riders and pillion passengers have lost their lives since 1 January 2011 on Irish roads.
“Riding a motorbike can be an incredible experience because of the great sense of freedom it gives, but as a motorcyclist you are more vulnerable. You need to recognise this and understand that with power comes responsibility. Attempting to use the full potential of a powerful machine on today’s busy roads is stupid, selfish, and dangerous. Your attitude towards riding your motorcycle is absolutely critical in determining the likelihood of you having a crash. I would urge anyone who has never received any formal motorcycle training to do so with one of the many Approved Motorcycle Riding Instructors around the country. A list of trainers can be found on www.rsa.ie,” Noel Brett, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority said.
Assistant Garda Commissioner Gerard Philips asked other road-users to be aware of motorcyclists when out on the roads. “Four out of five of all fatal motorcycle crashes over the last two and a half years involved other drivers so we’re urging all drivers to check their mirrors carefully and watch out for bikers, particularly at junctions and when making right turns. During the summer, there are more bikers, scooter and moped users on the roads, so please be extra cautious when using the roads. For riders though, please ensure that you ride your bike with the same caution and restraint as you may drive any other vehicle. For some the thrill of getting that overtake in, or negotiating that bend makes them throw all caution to the wind and puts themselves and others at great risk.”
Commissioner Phillips continued: “We wish to remind all road users that Operation Focus, which took place in all Garda Regions last month, is continuing, with targeted, high visibility enforcement in the Northern Region for the month of July. June 2013 resulted tragically in 14 road deaths. Six of those were motorcyclists, so no one can ever afford to be complacent and say it will NEVER happen to them”