Motorcyclists are vulnerable road users. In 2008, 29 motorcyclists were killed and a further 494 injured on Ireland's roads, accounting for 10% of all fatalities and 5% of all casualties resulting from road collisions in the country Yet motorcycles accounted for less than 2% of all licensed vehicles in the Republic that year.
But Ireland is not unusual in this. In Europe the risk of dying in a road accident is 18 times higher for motorcyclists (source: European Road Safety Observatory – ERSO) than for other road users. While the annual count of road deaths in Europe declined over the past decade, rider deaths increased in 13 of 27 countries.
The National Motorcycle Safety Action Plan 2009-2012(PDF) published by the RSA in 2009 examines the issue in depth and concludes that motorcycle can be reduced significantly if a number of areas are tackled simultaneously. These are:
- Engineering, traffic management & planning
- Equipment & technology
- Education, encouragement & promotion
- Monitoring, evaluation & review
Specific targets to be achieved by 2012 include:
- 57% reduction in motorcycle fatalities to 20 per annum
- 25% reduction in injuries to 419 per annum
- 30% reduction in casualties occurring in built-up areas to 260 per annum
- Improve the rate of high-visibility clothing worn to 75% overall