New Government statistics show falling motorcycle casualty rates on UK roads. According to the RMI Motorcycle Rider Training Association (MRTA) this proves that efforts to improve motorcycle safety are having a positive effect.
Statistics released on Friday 26 September 2008, by the Department for Transport (DfT) in its annual Road Casualties Great Britain Annual Report bulletin, show that the overall motorcycle casualty rate reduced by six per cent in 2007 compared to 2006.*
The figures show a reduction in motorcycle accident figures and add facts in an arguement too often dominated by slogans. Sadly there were more injuries in total even if the figure per motorcycle mile travelled was down.
Commenting on the statistics, Kevin Bryan, MRTA Chairman, said: “Any reduction in casualties is welcome particularly given the increasing popularity and usage of motorcycles and scooters. Although there was a very slight increase in total casualties, the continuing fall in the rate is a positive sign.”
Bryan believes the figures show that the training industry’s work on safety is going in the right direction: “While the statistics also demonstrate that there is still much work to be done to further reduce the motorcycle casualty rate, these latest figures are a sign that even with increased motorcycle traffic, up eight per cent over the previous year, motorcycling is gradually becoming safer. Part of this is attributable to the Government’s Motorcycle Strategy and the efforts of the training industry which is continuing its drive to deliver safer and better trained riders into the motorcycle community.”
Bryan adds: “The MRTA is far from complacent, and the hard work will continue to further improve the quality of training and road user education to ensure these safety improvements are continued. Motorcyclists continue to be among the most vulnerable users and it is up to all road users to recognise this, not just motorcyclists themselves.”
Not everyone is convinced about the value of good motorcycle training. Many feel there’s enough red tape and intervention involved in getting a bike licence already. But seems to be common sense to suppose that the more training people get, in both quality and quantity, the better prepared they are for the dangers of the open road. Funding is often the barrier to improvement but the alternative is the very high price of accidents in cash and personal terms.
*Information taken from Road Casualties Great Britain: 2007 – Annual Report, courtesy of the Department for Transport (DfT)