Motorcyclists urged to bike safe during 'high risk' bank holiday weekend

Drivers are also being asked to watch out for motorcyclists

Motorcyclists urged to bike safe during 'high risk' bank holiday weekend

Image via @RSAIreland on Twitter

An Garda Síochána and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) are urging motorcyclists to be safe during the upcoming August bank holiday weekend.

They say this is a "high risk time" for riders.

They are also appealing to drivers to watch out for motorcyclists by looking once and looking again - to make sure there are not motorcyclists in their blind spots.

Motorcyclists are also being urged to 'ease off the throttle' and wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Figures show 70% of motorcyclists killed in 2017 have died in the second half of the year.

Five motorbike riders were killed in the last six days of July 2017, while 70% of motorcycle deaths to date in 2018 occurred on a Sunday.

The gardaí and RSA say: "These figures serve as a stark reminder of the added dangers facing motorcyclists throughout the summer months and the need for all motorists, not just motorcyclists, to exercise caution.

"To date in 2018 seven motorcyclists have been killed on the roads. Sunday is the most dangerous day for motorcyclist fatalities with 70% of the deaths occurring on this day of the week.

"While most motorcycle riders are aware of their vulnerability when biking and the majority are safety conscious, there is a worrying minority that takes unnecessary risks."

An examination of forensic fatal collision investigation files published in 2016 by the RSA found that almost one-third of motorcyclists involved in fatal collisions between 2008 and 2012 had consumed alcohol - and that bikers speeding was a factor in almost half of all motorcyclist deaths.

The RSA and gardaí add that motorcyclists, especially those aged between 25 and 34, "need to appreciate the risk they face" and take all necessary precautions to ensure their safety.

Assistant Commissioner David Sheahan, of the National Roads Policing Unit, says: "Motorcyclists are among our most vulnerable of road users because they have very little protection in the event of a collision.

"Bikers can, however, help reduce their vulnerability by taking some very simple steps such as wearing the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and riding with your bike's dipped headlight on.

Assistant Commissioner David Sheahan at the launch of the campaign | Image via @RSAIreland on Twitter

"Always wearing high visibility clothing to make yourself more visible to other road-users is also advisable."

Road users are also being urged to take extra care over the August bank holiday weekend - a traditionally busy time on Irish roads.

The RSA and Applegreen have teamed up again to help drivers tackle tiredness, by providing free cups of coffee to drivers between 2.00pm and 8.00pm on Friday August 3rd and Monday August 6th.

A total of 87 people have died in fatal crashes to date in 2018. This is down six compared to the same period last year.