Official figures for motorcyclist road accidents for 2014 have been released and it is another blow for Wales as the number of motorcyclists killed or injured on their roads has risen for the fourth year in a row and has now reached a dangerous seven-year high.
The figures which have been provide and recorded by the Welsh government show that there were 28 motorcyclist fatalities on the roads in 2014, which was an increase from 17 in 2013, although 2013 was considerably lower than the years previous to that. The total number of those killed and injured in 2014 was 2014 which is the highest figure seen in seven years and unsurprisingly, road safety campaigners have expressed their disappointment at this figure.
Different charities and campaigners have expressed different views, with a representative of Brake highlighting their wish for the government to lower the default speed limit on country roads from 60 to 50mph and lower in risky areas and this is just one form of action which has been suggested.
The government themselves has asserted that they are committed to improving safety on the roads and has been providing the capital needed to make the necessary changes to support motorcyclists and other road users including £180,000 specifically to work on the skills of motorcyclists.
In addition to this three Welsh fire service have launched the All Wales Fire and Rescue Services Road Safety Strategy to support the government in their aim to cut road deaths and reduce casualties in general. A representative for the group highlighted that although motorcyclists make up just 1% of all Welsh traffic they account for 37% of those killed or serious injured on our roads and this is something which needs to change. Of course there are incidents where motorcyclists are at fault but there are also many occasions where they are not but because of their vulnerability they are much more likely to be injured or killed in a traffic collision.
Road Safety Improving, but not for Motorcyclists
A represented of Wales’ road casualty reduction partnership, GoSafe, highlighted that generally there was an overall drop in fatal and serious injuries on the roads but this didn’t translate for motorcyclists and further statistics from the report gave closer insight into the areas where motorcyclists were more likely to be injured and also the type of rider most at risk.
Statistics collected showed that for the last decade around 90% of all motorcyclist casualties have been men and since 1998 the number of motorcyclist casualties aged over 30 has been higher than the number under 30. They also show that Swansea and Powys local authority have the highest number of casualties.
As a motorcyclist you have to treat the road with respect like any other vehicle user but in the same instance you are in a more vulnerable position and therefore legislation should reflect this in a way that means you can use the roads safely and without increased fear of an accident.