The Motorcycle Action Group acknowledge the latest Government road casualty figures released today which show minor changes in the rates of motorcycle casualties.
The figures show that the number of riders killed in 2007 was 2% less than the previous year although the number killed and seriously injured had risen by 4% and the total number of casualties had risen by 1%.
These figures have to be put in context against the rise in the popularity of motorcycling which shows the number of new riders taking to Britain?s roads in 2007 is estimated to be around 20% higher than in 2006.There are an estimated 1.5 million motorcyclists in the UK and almost all of them die of old age, or disease, or in accidents unconnected to motorcycling.
Of the 588 riders who died in 2007, most (around three out of four) in were in collision with another vehicle.
The majority of collisions between motorcycles and other vehicles are reported to have been caused by inattention or carelessness by the other driver.
In addition, riders also have to contend with road surfaces damaged by heavier vehicles and roadsides designed to protect vehicle occupants, not motorcyclists or cyclists.
Speaking on behalf of the Motorcycle Action Group, Campaigns Manager David Short said …
“The fact that there was a fall in the number of motorcyclists killed in 2007 and that the increase in the total number injured was very small is encouraging when set against the increasing popularity of motorcycling. As more people choose a motorcycle over a car, so drivers are becoming more aware of the presence of motorcycles and indeed it is more likely that a car driver will also be a motorcyclist.
Also, as the Department for Transport has become more interested in the benefits of motorcycle use, national and local roads are finally beginning to be built and run with motorcyclists in mind. Finally, riders are better trained and more alert than ever. MAG hopes that the improvement in motorcycle training will not be jeopardised by the massive reduction to the number of test centres available to motorcyclists when the Driving Standards Agency introduce the new, but limited in number, test centres in September of this year.
As traffic congestion and motoring costs show no sign of reducing the motorcycle is an increasingly obvious alternative for personal travel and past efforts to ignore or suppress motorcycling have proven foolhardy. With all major parties now agreed that motorcycle use is a legitimate and constructive response to many transport problems now is the time to recognise the contribution motorcycling can make and to start providing for motorcycle users as they deserve.?
Notes to Editors David Short can be contacted on 077389 48080
The Road Casualties 2007 report can be found at the following link,