Safety warning for motorcyclists

Michael McDonnell and Supt Louise Blackelock issued their safety message at the launch of the 2019 campaign. Picture: Jasperimage
Michael McDonnell and Supt Louise Blackelock issued their safety message at the launch of the 2019 campaign. Picture: Jasperimage

Motorcyclists are being urged to heed safety advice as they prepare to take to the roads for the summer season.

Bikers account for around 20% of fatalities and police and the Scottish Government are determined to reduce the casualty figures.

Statistics for 2017 showed that 146 people were killed in road crashes across Scotland, 29 of them motorcyclists.

The Police Scotland Motorcycle Safety Campaign will promote safe and responsible motorcycling and aim to improve rider behaviour.

This year’s initiative, which will run until the end of September, was launched on Tuesday at Grampian Transport Museum in Alford.

Superintendent Louise Blakelock, deputy head of road policing at Police Scotland, said: “Although motorcyclists make up only 1% of the motoring public, they account for around 20% of the people killed in road crashes, often during cornering or overtaking manoeuvres.

“Motorcyclists are more vulnerable than other motorists - the smallest of errors, by rider or driver, can lead to very serious consequences, particularly when higher speeds are involved.

She added: “Road safety is everyone’s responsibility. I urge motorcyclists to follow our safety advice. By doing so they will avoid collisions.”

“Other road users must keep a careful look-out for motorcyclists, particularly when turning into or out of junctions where many collisions occur.”

Michael McDonnell, director of Road Safety Scotland, part of Transport Scotland, echoed the message.

He said: “As the biking season starts, we know that a lot of people will bring out their bikes and enjoy what they do all summer long, but at the same time there’s a responsibility we all have to make sure that we keep ourselves and others safe.

“The most important thing for us is that while we’re doing very well in terms of casualty reduction in Scotland, and the figures are all going in the right direction, bikers are still over-represented in those fatalities.

“It is really important that everyone recognises the fact that there might be bikes on the road, looks out for them and responds accordingly.”

Mr McDonnell added that motorcyclists should ensure that all manoeuvres are done in a safe manner and take extra precautions, particularly on left hand bends.

The campaign will be supported by area safety camera units and will include deploying a specially-equipped motorcycle, the equivalent of a safety camera van.

It links in with the Breathtaking Roads initiative, a series of short films showcasing Scotland’s scenic cycle routes.

This encourages motorcyclists to share best practice riding tips, in a bid to help reduce the death toll on the roads.