Gardai and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) are urging motorcyclists, scooter and moped users to bike safely on the roads this summer following an almost 70 per cent rise in motorcycle rider fatalities.
To date, two motorcyclists have died on Irish roads this year.
Fatalities rose from 16 to 27 in 2013.
Gardai and the RSA say they are extremely concerned that the high casualty rate among motorcyclists could be repeated this summer.
There were almost as many motorcyclists as pedestrians killed in 2013. Pedestrian fatalities have typically been significantly higher than motorcyclist fatalities to date.
A provisional analysis of motorcycle deaths last year by the RSA and gardai shows that there were four main factors behind these deaths:
1. A motorcyclist overtaking a vehicle turning right, resulting in the motorcyclist colliding with the side of the turning vehicle
2. A motorcyclist, while overtaking, colliding head on with an oncoming vehicle
3. A motorcyclist losing control while cornering and crossing into the path of an oncoming vehicle or colliding with a pole, or wall on the other side of the road
4. A driver failing to see a motorcyclist when turning, driving through a junction or joining a main road from a minor road and colliding with the motorcyclist.
A collision with a car ahead turning right was a particular problem resulting in nine fatalities alone last year.
The vast majority of motorcycle fatalities last year took place in the Dublin and greater Dublin area (counties Dublin, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow).
In 16 of 22 fatalities, (where the addresses were recorded) the motorcyclist was familiar with the local area. Also, in the majority of cases the weather was dry, the road surface was also dry, and the conditions were daylight with good visibility.
Transport Minister Leo Varadkar TD said, "Riding a motorbike can be an incredible experience and it gives a great sense of freedom.”
“But motorcyclists are also among the most vulnerable road users. Going full throttle represents a danger to others, and above all to yourself.”
He urged motorcyclists to “be bike safe” this summer, and he urged untrained motorcyclists to take lessons.
While mandatory lessons are now required for anyone learning to ride a bike nowadays, there are many who have never received any training.”
“They’ve learned to ride from the ‘fall off your horse, just get back up on it again’ school of learning.”
Regardless of your experience, or how long you have been biking, I would urge anyone who has never received any formal motorcycle training to do so with one of the many Approved Motorcycle Riding Instructors around the country. A list can be found on rsa.ie.”