Holiday warning for bikers and bathers
WEEKEND bikers who dust down moth-balled Harleys and Hondas for the warm summer months were warned by gardai yesterday to slow down when travelling in groups.
The warning came on the same day water-safety chiefs issued a bank holiday alert following the growing number of people drowning because they were not wearing lifejackets.
As thousands of bikers prepared to descend on Killarney this bank holiday weekend for a huge Harley Davidson and Honda festival, Assistant Garda Commissioner Kevin Ludlow said the danger point was when riders travelled up to three abreast on back roads.
Six motorcyclists and one pillion passenger have been killed so far this year.
The fatal crashes mainly happened on secondary roads.
The commissioner warned yesterday that, at this time of the year, many motorcyclists got back on their bikes for pleasure. They tended to ride in groups, even though they lacked the competence to do this, he said.
"I appeal to motorcyclists to keep within their level of competence," said Mr Ludlow, who is in charge of the Garda Traffic Corps.
While the events in Killarney were being properly marshalled and would have garda assistance, Mr Ludlow urged any groups organising so-called 'ride-out' events for charity around the country involving as many as 10 or 15 riders to have marshalls.
Meanwhile, the Irish Water Safety (IWS) agency, said it was very concerned about the noticeable increase in the number of people taking to the sea and lakes without wearing lifejackets.
The agency warned of the high risk of drowning over the warm bank holiday weekend.
It urged bathers to only swim at beaches and other locations patrolled by lifeguards.