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Drivers urged to look out for motorcyclists ahead of summer high-risk period

Motorcycle safety 28.04.2022
  • To date in 2022 there have been 11* motorcyclist deaths
  • Drivers urged to ‘look out for’ motorcyclists at junctions and intersections
  • Motorcyclists reminded to wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • All road users urged to use the roads safely over May Bank Holiday

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána are appealing to motorists to be aware of and to look out for motorcyclists, not just over the coming May Bank Holiday weekend but at all times. The appeal is being made as a worryingly high number of motorcyclists have died so far in 2022. A total of 11* motorcyclists have died up to today’s date, five* alone were killed in March.

Drivers should expect to encounter motorcyclists on the road more often now and throughout the summer period. They also need to understand that motorcyclists have less protection in the event of a crash and so are many times more vulnerable. A factor in collisions involving a motorcyclist and a driver is when a car or van turns or drives through a junction / joins a main road from a minor road, fails to observe, and ends up colliding with the motorcyclist. Therefore, it is critical that drivers look out for motorcyclists especially, at junctions, at intersections, when turning onto a main road and when changing lanes.

Mr. Stefan Auler, Regional Manager, Driver Testing, RSA said: “As someone who tests motorcyclists and is a keen motorcyclist, I have first-hand experience of the challenges that motorcyclists face daily on the road. Visibility is often a factor in motorcycle crashes involving other vehicles. Because of its narrow profile, a motorcycle can be easily hidden in a car’s blind spots such as the door and roof pillars or masked by objects or backgrounds outside a car like bushes, fences, and bridges. Drivers should always assume motorcyclists are closer than they appear. Their speed and distance are difficult to judge, especially at intersections. Look twice before turning right or left, crossing junctions and when changing lanes.”

“Any motorcyclist will tell you of a near miss encounter or collision they’ve had with a car or van where that driver said the immortal words ‘Sorry, I just didn’t see you’. So, drivers, expect to meet motorcyclists on your journey, concentrate on observing the road and don’t get distracted.”

said "As a Garda motorcyclist and a motorcycle enthusiast I know how enjoyable riding a motorcycle can be. I also know how vulnerable we are on the road. Motorcycling is challenging and 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 a socially responsible attitude when using the roads. As motorcyclists we should also ensure we are equipped with the correct PPE and ride with dipped headlights on, to increase visibility. Unfortunately, motorcyclists are overly represented in the road death statistics.  In addition, our detection figures show that half of the top speed detections are motorcyclists, with many travelling in excess of 160km/h. It is also extremely important to show restraint by reducing speed, and never, ever ride a motorcycle under the influence of an intoxicant.”

Garda Corcoran added that “In June 2021 An Garda Síochána and the RSA launched the BikeSafe pilot safety initiative. The pilot programme offered a workshop on topics such as hazard awareness and an on the road assessment ride accompanied by an Advanced Garda Motorcyclist. The workshops are open to all motorcyclists holding a full motorcycle driving licence and are free of charge. The pilot was a huge success providing post-test assessment to over 200 bikers. Following the success of the pilot An Garda Síochána are planning to offer the BikeSafe programme to motorcyclists on a full time basis.”

Motorcycle Safety Campaign

The RSA has teamed up with Carole Nash Insurance to run a new motorcycle safety advertising campaign. The campaign includes two radio adverts that encourage drivers to always be on the lookout for motorcyclists. The RSA is also deploying a series of information videos advising motorcyclists on the four known dangerous manoeuvres for motorcyclists.

Here are the links to the 4 videos.

 

Overtaking in the same direction

 

Overtaking when turning right

 

Negotiating Corners and Bends

 

When a vehicle is joining the main road

Additional advice for road users to make this a safer Bank Holiday Weekend

  • This May Bank Holiday Weekend drivers are being reminded that the RSA and participating Applegreen service stations are providing free cups of coffee to drivers to help combat driver fatigue. The offer is available from 2pm to 8pm on Friday 29 April and on Monday 02 May.
  • Drivers planning to head out socialising over the May Bank Holiday are urged to plan how they are going to get home safely. Book a taxi, or hackney, use public transport or designate a driver. The same also applies if we are planning to walk, particularly in rural areas where there may be no footpaths or street lighting.

Ireland’s Road Safety Strategy

Ireland’s fifth government Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030 aims to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on Irish roads by 50% over the next 10 years. This means  reducing deaths on Ireland’s roads annually from 144 to 72 or lower and reducing serious injuries from 1,259 to 630 or lower by 2030. 

The strategy is the first step in achieving the 2020 Programme for Government commitment of bringing Ireland to ‘Vision Zero’. This is to eliminate all road deaths and serious injuries on Irish roads by the year 2050.

Notes:

According to provisional figures from the RSA, there were 22* motorcyclist deaths on Irish roads in 2021, representing 16%* of total fatalities.  In 2021, motorcyclists represented 13%* of serious injuries. 

To date in 2022, there have been 11* motorcyclist fatalities – one more than the same time last year and accounting for 20%* of total fatalities to date. March 2022 alone saw five* motorcyclist fatalities. 

Long-term analysis conducted by RSA between 2016-2021 shows

  • almost a fifth (19%*) of motorcyclist fatalities occurred in July, while 14%* of motorcyclist serious injuries occurred in this month. 
  • half (50%*) of motorcyclist fatalities occurred on a weekend day (Saturday or Sunday), compared to just over a third (35%*) of serious injuries occurring on these days.

*Note, data is provisional and subject to change.

Table 1 Killed and seriously injured motorcyclists, 2016-2021
Year Fatalities Serious injuries
2016 22 107
2017 19 122
2018* 15 182
2019* 16 225
2020* 17 147
2021* 22 170

*Note, data is provisional and subject to change.

Table 2: May Bank Holiday fatalities and serious injuries, 2017-2021*

Year Fatal Collisions Fatalities Serious Injuries
2017 2 3 10
2018* 1 1 21
2019* 2 2 18
2020* 0 0 5
2021* 0 0 11
Total 0 6 65

*Note, data is provisional and subject to change.