June 26 2009. 

Describing these results as, a great achievement by everyone involved in motorcycle safety, the MCIA welcomed the news that almost one hundred fewer motorcyclists were killed on Britain's roads in 2008 than in 2007.

493 motorcyclists were killed in 2008, the lowest number since 1996 (when 440 riders were killed) and just 26 more than the 1994-98 average of 467, the official Government baseline for road safety targets. Over the same period motorcycle use has increased over 44 per cent. These results show that mile-for-mile, motorcycling is becoming safer.

The reduction of 16 per cent in the number of motorcycle fatalities is a greater reduction than for road users as a whole, where fatalities for all road users have fallen just 14 per cent. The number of riders killed or seriously injured is down 10 percent on 2007, and the total number of motorcycle casualties is 8 per cent lower than in 2007.

The MCIA believes that the commitment to safety shared throughout the motorcycle community is demonstrated in these results. Police BikeSafe schemes; intelligent enforcement based on engagement; engineering improvements based on the IHIE Motorcycling Guidelines; and the commitment from trainers to improving standards, have all contributed to a safer motorcycling environment.

The MCIA also credits the Government's Motorcycle Strategy for recognising the need for shared responsibility on safety, and creating a forum where all stakeholders including Government work towards the common goal of reduced casualties and an increased role for motorcycling in transport policy.

However, the MCIA accepts that there is no room for complacency and more can still be done. The MCIA is therefore calling for:-

- National funding for BikeSafe.

- Implementation of the OECD recommendations that motorcycling must be fully included in transport policy and infrastructure management.

- Commitment to training, not just for motorcyclists but also including a component on awareness and acceptance of motorcyclists in training for all road users.

- The new Safe Road User qualification should include a powered two wheel module and completion of such should entitle young people to take an abridged motorcycle theory test.

- Commitment from highways authorities and local government to work with motorcyclists to develop and implement programmes on safety issues that affect motorcycling communities.

Sheila Rainger, Director of Communications and Research at the MCI, said

"To see a fall in motorcycle fatalities of almost one hundred in a single year is a massive achievement, and one of which everyone working towards safer motorcycling can be proud.

"But there is no room for complacency. Continued work to develop more relevant training, aimed at rider attitudes as much as rider skills; national funding for BikeSafe; and proper integration of motorcycles into transport policy will help sustain this improvement in the future."