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Long Weekend

'Staggering' 12% of motorcyclists have been involved in a collision in the past two years

More than half of motorcyclists have had a near miss in the same period.

THE ROAD SAFETY authority has called on motorcyclists to take care on the roads ahead of the May bank holiday weekend.

Research carried out by the RSA showed speed was a factor in 49% of fatal motorcyclists collisions.

Preliminary results from an RSA survey of 450 motorcyclists also found that 12% of bikers reported having been in a collision in the past two years.

Of those 450 bikers surveyed, more than half or 59% had a near miss in the same period.

Moya Murdoch, chief executive of the RSA said the amount of road deaths involving motorcyclists on Irish roads was “staggering”.

“Motorcyclists account for approximately 12% of road deaths on average each year, but motorcycles represent less than 2% of the vehicle fleet in Ireland – that’s a staggering fact,” she said.

“Of the motorcycle drivers killed over the last five years, from 2014-2018, the vast majority of these were male riders [and] the highest risk groups were those aged between 25 and 44 years.

“My message to these riders is to ease off the throttle and stick within the speed limits.”

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross called on motorcyclists to “act responsibly” when using the roads as we enter the summer months.

July was found to be the most dangerous month for collisions involving motorcyclists, according to RSA research.

“Over the coming months, as the weather turns finer, there will be more motorbikes on our roads. Motorcycle riding is fun and challenging yet it requires very high levels of knowledge, skill, and understanding,” Ross said.

“Any mistake on the road can lead to very serious consequences for all involved.”

Quad bikes

Meanwhile, gardaí have issued caution to motorcyclists ahead of the long weekend, but are also warning of the dangers associated with scramblers and quad bikes, which they say should not be used as a toy.

Keith Synnott, a consultant at the National Spinal Injuries Unit in the Mater hospital said: “Quad bikes and scramblers are not toys, they are heavy dangerous pieces of machinery that can cause life changing injuries or death.

“Riders risk spinal injury following a collision on a quad bike or scrambler. Impacts often happen on areas of uneven ground or as a result of unstable vehicles, especially in the hands of children.”

Three of the four people who died in Ireland as a result of an incident involving a quad bike or scrambler were aged 18 or under in the period 2014 to 2017.

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