11 motorcyclists have died on Irish roads so far this year

Bikers are urged to participate in safety programme and watch out for ‘unpredictable’ actions of other drivers

An Garda Síochána is  relaunching its BikeSafe programme, a road safety initiative aimed specifically at motorcyclists.

An Garda Síochána is relaunching its BikeSafe programme, a road safety initiative aimed specifically at motorcyclists.

 

There have been 59 motorcyclists killed on Irish roads since 2018, as well as 579 who suffered serious injuries as a result of a collision, new figures show.

Although motorbikes make up just 1.4 per cent of all vehicles registered in Ireland, motorcyclists represented 11.5 per cent of road traffic fatalities in 2020, according to statistics from the Road Safety Authority.

The period to June 15th 2021 has seen a slight reduction overall in the number of accidents involving motorists compared to the same time last year, but there has been a rise in fatal collisions. Eight motorcyclists died in collisions in the first half of 2020, while 11 have lost their lives so far this year. In April 2021 alone there were seven motorcycle fatalities.

An Garda Síochána is today relaunching its BikeSafe programme, a road safety initiative aimed specifically at motorcyclists. Garda motorcyclist Adrian Corcoran, of the road policing unit, said he appreciates how enjoyable riding a motorbike can be.

“From my experience I also know how vulnerable we are on the road,” he added.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris at the relaunch of the BikeSafe programme, a road safety initiative aimed specifically at motorcyclists.
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris at the relaunch of the BikeSafe programme, a road safety initiative aimed specifically at motorcyclists.

Dr Keith Synnot, consultant orthopaedic and spine surgeon and National Clinical Lead for Trauma, said injuries received in motorcycle accidents can be “devastating and truly life changing”.

“In my role as a spine trauma surgeon it is not unusual to see victims of collisions on motorbikes with significant trauma,” he said.

As a motorcyclist himself, he said many of these crashes can occur because riders “fail to realise how vulnerable we can be”.

“Experienced riders can do all the right things but the actions of others can be unpredictable. Learning how to avoid potential pitfalls and taking advantage of advice from professionals could be lifesaving,” he added.

The BikeSafe programme will encourage bikers to become more confident, competent and to progress to accredited post-test training. It offers a workshop on topics such as hazard awareness and an on the road assessment ride accompanied by an advanced garda motorcyclist.

The free workshops are open to all bikers who hold a full motorcycle driving licence. A pilot scheme will run from June to September at Dublin Castle, with places limited to 100 participants over the period.