Bikers urged to ‘ease off the throttle’ in safety campaign

There have been 171 motorbike riders killed and 629 seriously injured on Irish roads since 2010, it has emerged.

With the risk to motorcyclists’ safety set to increase over the summer, the Road Safety Authority and An Garda Síochána are appealing to riders to take care on the roads.

They are urging motorbike riders to wear hi-vis clothing and “ease off the throttle”.

Motorcyclists account for less than 2% of road vehicles but motorcycle fatalities account for 12%-14% of road fatalities every year.

While most motorcycle riders are aware of their vulnerability when biking, some are not so safety conscious.

 

Both the RSA and gardaí are particularly concerned that young riders on powerful machines do not realise the risk they face and take all the necessary precautions to ensure their safety.

A previous RSA study found that half of the 80 motorcyclists deemed culpable for a fatal collision between 2008 and 2012 were aged between 25 and 34.

Almost a third of all motorcyclists involved in fatal collisions over the five-year study period had consumed alcohol and speeding was a factor in almost half of all motorcyclist deaths.

RSA chairwoman Liz O’Donnell said most bikers behaved responsibly on the road but some had no regard for their personal safety or the safety of others.

“Bikers who think it is OK to drink or speed on the public road need to realise that they are giving all bikers a bad name,” she said.

 

Ms O’Donnell urged reckless motorcyclists to change their behaviour, if not for themselves, then for the sake of their families and loved ones.

Acting Garda commissioner Donáll Ó Cualáin urged bikers to wear high-visibility clothing to make themselves obvious to other road users and to keep their motorbike’s dipped headlight on at all time.

“Show restraint and reduce your speed, and never ever ride impaired,” he advised. 

“You simply cannot control a motorbike if you are impaired from drinking alcohol.”

 

Over the coming months, An Garda Síochána will engage with motorcyclists, using a mixture of educational and enforcement measures, to reduce motorcycling casualties.

Assistant Garda commissioner David Sheahan, who is responsible for road policing, said drivers should always look out for motorcyclists. 

“Drivers need to look and look again for that motorcycle, especially when overtaking or turning right,” he said.

Transport Minister Shane Ross said a good biker respects their motorcycle and is socially responsible.

All road users are urged to take care this weekend as figures show that six people died over the June bank-holiday weekend last year. There were also 152 arrests on suspicion of drink driving.


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