By distance travelled, motorcyclists have the highest rate of death or serious injury of all road users.
Gwent Police is launching a campaign emphasising the need for car drivers to take a second look for motorcycles, and for bikers to take personal responsibility for riding safely.
The campaign is reminding drivers that under the crash helmet is a real person with a job, commitments, a valued place in their community, and loved ones who are waiting for them to come home.
Alongside this, a parallel campaign will target motorcyclists, encouraging them to ‘read the road, reduce the risk’.
According to road safety charity Brake, almost four-fifths of motorcycle collisions involve another vehicle – mainly car drivers failing to look properly for bikes.
In serious collisions where a four-wheeled vehicle is not involved, the cause is usually rider error, including poor road positioning, being insufficiently visible on the road, and poor judgement of speed into bends. There is a lot that bikers themselves can do to reduce the risk.
Sergeant Leighton Healan, Gwent Police, said:
“There were 25 serious road traffic collisions involving motorcyclists in the Gwent Police force area in the 12 months to 8 September 2021, resulting in three fatalities and 25 serious injuries*. Motorcyclists are around 45 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured on the road than car drivers.
“Those fatalities and serious injuries leave loved ones suffering. Every collision involving a bike is one too many.
“Car drivers: let’s commit to making a simple change by looking twice for bikes.
“Motorcyclists: please commit to taking responsibility for riding safely and defensively.
“Together, let’s commit to making sure that motorcyclists and other vulnerable road users come home safely to their loved ones and communities."
Some collisions resulted in serious injury to more than one casualty.
Teresa Ciano, Chair of Road Safety Wales said:
“We know that the vast majority of drivers are considerate to other road users, and the vast majority of motorcyclists ride responsibly.
“Unfortunately, a small minority put other road users at risk, so we are asking people not to become complacent - every journey requires 100% of your concentration so make sure you’re fit to be using the road. Avoid alcohol and drugs altogether if you intend to drive or ride, put your phone away so you’re not distracted by it, and always find somewhere safe to stop and rest if you’re tired - don’t just continue your journey.
“Finally, please remember that speed limits are an absolute maximum and should not be ignored if a road is quiet. Quiet roads still have the same bends and a vehicle, cyclist or pedestrian could still appear when you least expect it.”