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Engineers should do what they’re paid to do - look after the roads

I would like to reply to comments ( Irish Examiner, August 25) relating to motorcycle deaths made by Donal Buckley on behalf of road transport engineers

He made the following statement: “A sustained national road safety campaign specifically targeting motorcyclists is absolutely necessary to alert those involved regarding the dangers of speed and the nature of unlit rural secondary roads.

“Motorcycles should always be driven with dipped headlights on at all times. They should also be subjected to have a logbook with an up-to-date service history and an NCT type of inspection of their machine.”

He also suggested offenders should be required to attend a safe driving counselling course dealing specifically with the consequences of excessive speed for both the driver and other road users, with the cost of the course covered by the offending motorists.

I would like to see a road safety campaign specifically targeting road engineers. As a daily commuting motorcyclist most of the hazards I face are the conditions of the road: tar banding, half inch high white road markings, raised manhole covers, poorly finished road repairs and the dreaded “loose chippings”. These repairs are overseen by engineers and when finished, are signed off by them. Maybe these engineers should be sent back to college to learn the consequences of their actions to road users, especially motorcyclists? Or if a road user is killed because of these defective repairs, maybe a charge of involuntary manslaughter should be brought against them, that would concentrate the minds. Budgets are not an excuse for putting somebody’s life in danger.

On headlights and bike testing, almost all riders now ride with dipped headlights as its a matter of survival. Every biker knows his bike and most are capable of fault finding their own machines which have regular maintenance checks, possibly every 300-400 miles. Nowadays nobody is stupid enough to ride a defective machine, especially with the condition of the roads.

The RSA should also be pressing government to reduce the 23% VAT rate on safety gear for bikers, much of which is mandatory anyway. This may also reduce deaths, as bikers could afford to pay for better gear, such as helmets.

It’s easy to “target” motorcyclists, we are a small group of road users, but maybe have a look at other issues closer to home. You look after the roads and we’ll look after our lives.

Neil O’Sullivan

St Mary’s Tce

Passage West

Cork


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