MCI welcomes new Government casualty statistics showing the important
contribution made by motorcycle riders to reducing road casualty
Figures released by The Department for Transport [29/06/06] show that
the number of motorcycle user casualties on British roads is continuing
to fall, despite continued growth in motorcycling overall.
The number of road users killed in 2005 fell by 20 to 3,201. Whereas
most road user groups saw no change and car users and pedal cyclists a
slight increase, motorcycle fatalities fell by 16, accounting for 80% of
the total improvement seen in 2005. This follows on from the
substantial improvement seen in 2004 and suggests that recent
initiatives to raise other road-user's awareness of motorcycles and
further improve rider's skills are bearing fruit.
The amount of motorcycle traffic has risen by around one-third over the
last decade, yet the number of riders killed or seriously injured is
less than one percent higher. Where other vulnerable road-user groups
have seen a reduction in their casualties their presence on the road has
not grown and in many cases has reduced.
In recent years, more and more people have been taking to motorcycling
as a way to avoid traffic congestion and new motorcycle sales have more
than doubled since the early 1990's. DfT figures show that more than
half of motorcycle mileage is for work, business and education purposes
whilst the Motor Cycle Industry Association reports that just over half
of all new road bikes sold are under 500cc.
MCI's Craig Carey-Clinch said "The motorcycle industry, along with
riders and government, have been working to create a more
motorcycle-friendly road environment for Britain's' estimated 1.5
million riders. The Government has responded by publishing a
ground-breaking Motorcycle Strategy, the first of its kind in Europe.
"The industry participates in a number of safety initiatives and is
working in partnership with many agencies. In response to long-standing
calls for improvements in road design and maintenance by the motorcycle
community the MCI worked with the Institute of Highways Incorporated
Engineers and DfT to create guidelines for highways authorities to
remove unnecessary dangers for motorcyclists.
"MCI has also produced education products including a DVD and a
Citizenship pack and continue to works closely with DSA and DfT on new
projects focussed on training and other safety issues.
"It seems clear that a multi agency approach, which tackles rider
safety, as well as maximising opportunities for motorcycling by
introducing measures which reduce vulnerability and favour motorcycles
as a mode of transport, appears to be the most effective way of reducing
casualties and getting the important safety messages out to riders.
"2003 saw an upwards 'spike' in casualties which some road safety
campaigners described as a trend towards higher casualties. They also
argued that if there is more motorcycling, then there will be more
motorcycle casualties. However, it is clear from the record of the last
two years that the casualty trend is actually downwards, despite the
increase in motorcycle use and totally confounding motorcycling's
"Continued improvement in the motorcycle safety record will only come if
progress towards 'mainstreaming' motorcycling in transport policies is
stepped up, with this valuable congestion busting mode given parity in
policy terms with other modes of transport."