The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána are appealing to motorcycle riders to ‘Bike Safe’ as the risk to riders’ safety is set to increase over the summer months.
An examination of forensic collision investigation files published in 2016 by the RSA found that almost a third of motorcyclists involved in fatal collisions between 2008 and 2012 had consumed alcohol and that bikers speeding was a factor is almost half of all motorcyclist deaths.
While the majority of motorcycle riders are absolutely aware of their vulnerability when biking, some may not be so safety conscious. Younger riders on powerful machines need to appreciate the risk they face and take all necessary precautions to ensure their safety. The RSA study also found that half of the 80 motorcyclists deemed culpable for the collision were aged between 25 and 34 years old.
The message from the RSA and gardaí to these bikers is to never drink drive. You simply cannot control a motorbike if you are impaired from drinking alcohol. They are also being urged to ease off the throttle and keep within the speed limits.
Minister for Transport Shane Ross said, “Motorcycle riding is fun and challenging yet it requires very high levels of knowledge, skill, and understanding. A good motorcycle rider needs to have a healthy respect for the motorcycle they are riding and always demonstrate a socially responsible attitude. This way they can ensure their safety on the road. It’s also important for drivers to be on the lookout for motorcyclists especially in their blind spots when turning, overtaking and at junctions.”
Liz O’Donnell, chairperson, RSA, said there is a group of motorcyclists “who are riding motorbikes with no regard for their personal safety or the safety of others”.
“Bikers who think it is ok to drink and or speed on the public road need to realise that you are giving all bikers a bad name. If you are not going to change your reckless behaviour then I would appeal for you to do it for the sake of your family and loved ones.”
Garda Commissioner Donál Ó Cualáin said, “Motorcyclists are among our most vulnerable of road users because they have very little protection in the event of a crash. You can help reduce this vulnerability by taking some very simple steps. Wear the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and high visibility clothing to make yourself visible to other road-users plus ride with your dipped headlight on.
Road users are also being urged to take extra care over the June Bank Holiday Weekend as figures show that six people died over the June Bank Holiday in 2017.
Drivers are reminded that the RSA and Applegreen have teamed up again to help drivers to tackle tiredness behind the wheel over the weekend by providing free cups of coffee to drivers between 2pm and 8pm on Friday, June 1 and Monday June 4. Simply say ‘RSA’ to the till operator to avail of a free coffee.