Motorcyclists urged to take care on roads after rise in fatalities

Tuesday 29 April 2014 22.28
More than 1,100 people were detected holding mobile phones while driving over Easter
More than 1,100 people were detected holding mobile phones while driving over Easter

Motorcyclists, scooter and moped users are being urged to take care on the roads this bank holiday weekend and throughout the summer.

The appeal from gardaí and the Road Safety Authority comes after a 70% increase in such fatalities in 2013.

A total of 27 motorcyclists were killed last year, up from 16 in 2012.

Assistant Garda Commissioner John Twomey said the campaign was aimed at raising the awareness, especially of other road users, of the vulnerability of motorcyclists and moped users.

"This is for motorists, other road users other than motorcyclists, making them aware that a motorcyclist is about one-third of the size of a car. It can be difficult to see, " he told RTÉ's News at One.

"Take that extra split second just to look out for the motorcyclist and to watch for them going through a junction.

"Or if you're joining a main road, be aware of the dangers and risks associated with motorcyclists."

Gardaí have also revealed that 1,191 people were detected holding mobile phones while driving over two days at Easter.

Assistant Commissioner Twomey described the figure as "disappointing".

He said: "That is a real concern that they ignored all of the messages that were given, ignored the fact that we would be out there enforcing the Road Traffic Act, and decided to put themselves and other road users at risk."

The assistant commissioner said the message that no phone call or text was worth the risk had to be repeated for motorists.