Welsh Government struggling to meet motorcycling casualty target

12.00 | 30 June 2016 | | 2 comments

While the Welsh Government is well on course to achieve two of its three road casualty targets for 2020, the target relating to motorcycle casualties is looking increasingly challenging.

Figures released yesterday (29 June) by the Welsh Government show a total of 5,543 personal injury accidents in 2015, which resulted in 7,682 casualties. Both the accident and injury rates show a 6% year on year reduction.

Within this casualty total there were 105 deaths (two more than in 2014), 1,081 serious injuries (7% fewer than 2014), and 6,496 slight injuries (6% fewer than 2014).

In 2013 the Welsh Government introduced new targets for 2020, based on the average for 2004-08.

The first target is to achieve a 40% reduction in the number of people killed and seriously injured (KSI) on Welsh roads. The number of KSIs in 2015 was 1,186, 16% fewer than the 2004-08 average.

The second target requires a 25% reduction in the number of motorcyclist KSIs on Welsh roads. However, in 2015 there were 273 motorcyclist KSIs, some 6% higher than the 2004-08 average.

The final target is a 40% reduction in the number of young people (aged 16-24 years) KSIs on Welsh roads. The 2015 figure was 284 young people KSIs, 28% lower than the 2004-08 average.

The Scottish Government also published its 2015 provisional casualty statistics on 29 June. The figures show a 3% reduction in all casualties, 20% reduction in fatalities, 6% reduction in serious injuries and 2% fall in slight injuries.



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    The Welsh government are currently trialing or at least supporting 3 new initiatives that hopefully will reduce the motorcycle incident stats. This may take some time before we see any positive resuts. We also know that they encourage a proactive policing status, one where officers go out and about speaking to bikers at cafes and other watering holes, and I presume enforcement also in the hope of deterring wayward motorcyclists from going too fast. That said, most motorcyclists are coming to grief not exceeding the speed limit. The problem Wales has is that, like Scotland, it’s a lovely riding country but unlike Scotland it has a lot more unclasified roads that are very twisty. Add to that numerous hills for ups and downs so that the machine needs different techniques for riding some that in general the ordinary biker doesn’t realise and take into account. With side winds, cold road areas out of the sun, sun blindness, water spills and road degradations etc it a dangerous place to push the limit. It appears that it pushes some motorcyclists over that limit.

    R Craven Blackpool
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    As car occupants become more and more protected, it seems inevitable that over time there will be less KSIs for these people in the event of a collision – the numbers of which may not actually be reducing at the same rate – but for motorcyclists who are the most vulnerable and least cocooned, unless their collision rate also reduces, it seems obvious to me that the related KSIs will not reduce either. Fatalities may reduce, but that could be due to better medical care at the scene and in hospital. Overall, reduced KSIs does not necessarily mean fewer collisions.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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