Wednesday 20 March 2019

Bikers warned over 'killer behaviour' as bank holiday looms

Moyagh Murdock of the RSA
Moyagh Murdock of the RSA

Motorcyclists are being urged to take extra care on the roads over the bank holiday weekend.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has launched an appeal to motorcyclists to exercise caution, with 70pc of biker deaths in 2017 happening in the second half of the year.

RSA chief executive Moyagh Murdock said the majority of bikers on Irish roads are responsible people.

"Every year around this time we do see an increase in people killed and injured on the roads, and in particular motorcyclists are vulnerable," she said.

"Last year, in the last six days of July, we saw five motorbikers killed."

This year, five out of seven bikers were killed on a Sunday.

"There are a small cohort out there who take chances and there are devastating consequences," Ms Murdock said.

Stephen Murphy, an instructor with the RSA, said there are four main "killer behaviours" that take the lives of bikers.

These include overtaking a line of traffic while not realising a car is turning right up front; overtaking into the face of oncoming traffic; and coming in too fast to a bend and ending up on the wrong side of the road.

"The fourth one is related to other motorists because other motorists don't take the appropriate observations, especially at junctions," said Mr Murphy.

There was a particular issue with social or recreational motorcyclists, who might take their bikes out only one day a week.

"Unfortunately, we have a lot of casual riders," said Mr Murphy.

"You have motorcyclists who come out on the weekend, Saturday and especially Sunday.

"They're riding very power- ful machines and they're not getting the practice or the experience in on them."


Assistant Garda Commissioner David Sheahan said: "I have been at the scene of an accident where a motorcyclist lost his life. It was not pretty, it was not nice.

"It is very hard to go back to families afterwards and try to give them the message that their loved one has been killed in a road traffic collision."

Bikers have been urged to ease off the throttle and to wear personal protective equipment.

Car drivers have also been reminded to be aware of motorcyclists and to "look and look again" for them while on the roads.

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