More bikers break limits

13.03 | 14 December 2010 | | 4 comments

Government figures show that an increasing number of motorcyclists are exceeding speed limits, according to the RAC.

The RAC points to data from the DfT which shows that 50% of motorcycles exceeded speed limits on British motorways, dual carriageways and 30mph-limit roads last year.

Figures also reveal that in 2009, 114,900 new motorcycles were registered – the lowest yearly number since records began in 2001.

While the proportion of licensed machines with an engine size of more than 500cc went up to 75% in 2009 from 45% in 1999, the proportion of machines of 50cc or lower dropped to 11% in 2009 from 14% a decade ago.

The figures also reveal that in total there were 1.3 million licensed motorcycles in Britain by the end of 2009, 87% of which were registered in England.

Motorcycles drove about 3.2 billion miles on Britain’s roads last year – about 400 million miles more than 10 years ago, but well down on the 6.2 billion mile figure when biking was at its peak in 1960.

Click here to read the full RAC report.


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    What must also be taken into account is the number of roads which have had speed limits reduced to below the 85%tile. These are many and widespread. It will not be just motorcyclists that will have been recorded as over the ‘new’ limit, but also others.

    If you have been used to travelling along a particular section of road at a speed on or about a limit with no or little history of incidents, then it is reduced – and despite perhaps objecting to the proposed reduction on steadfast grounds and had the objection over-ruled – then chances are people will continue travelling at the afore used speed. If a speed limit is reduced for no other apparent reason than to appease a politically correct Council or Local Authority, the result may show in non-compliance.

    Derek, St Albans
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    I often think these road safety reports are written by the same people who say that the average British family has 2.5 children, eats pork on Tuesdays and fall asleep watching the Saturday afternoon western on TV. However, I totally agree with both previous commentators, Iain and David. When I am motorcycling it is usually car drivers who tail-gate me in a hurry to overtake and yes, where indeed are the police motorcyclists who used to hunt in pairs in the old days. And also….I thought motorcycling in Great Britain peaked in the 1930s.

    Roy Buchanan, Sutton
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    How about publishing the percentage of car drivers and other road users who broke the speed limit for a bit of balance in the article. I would imagine that it’s around the same figure.

    Iain, Edinburgh
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    Given the virtual disappearance of Roads Policing, is this headline of any surprise to anyone?

    David, Suffolk
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