June 28 2010.

New statistics released by the government show that as the number of motorcycle miles travelled has increased, the number of casualties and fatalities has actually fallen, indicating that more miles travelled does not mean more accidents.

This has been the ongoing trend since around 2002, when the link was broken between the year on year number of motorcycles in use compared to the number of casualties per annum.

The figures show that motorcycle traffic rose by two per cent, but the number of motorcycle casualties was four per cent lower than in 2008. The number reported as seriously injured fell by four per cent to 5,350 and there were 472 motorcycle user fatalities in 2009, which was also four per cent lower than during 2008.

Improving motorcycle safety has always been an important part of the industry's agenda and the MCIA works closely with the government and other relevant bodies in the motorcycle community to find ways to improve safety in a number of ways. The police BikeSafe scheme, intelligent enforcement, engineering improvements and the commitment from trainers to improving standards, have all contributed to a safer motorcycling environment

Steve Kenward, CEO of the MCIA, said, "Although there is still a strong concern about the number of motorcycle casualties, the fact remains that year after year motorcycling continues to get safer in terms of the likelihood of having an accident.

"The reported fall in motorcycle fatalities during 2009 is welcome, but we cannot be complacent about this. There are simply far too many people dying in accidents. and we still have much more work to do.

"The MCIA and the rest of the motorcycle community will continue to work hard to improve safety and ensure that we get full government support for a more rounded approach to road-user safety.

"The full integration of motorcycles into mainstream transport policy and local transport plans, which the government is now backing, can only help maintain and improve on this reduction in casualties and needs to be a key priority along with improvements to rider training delivery and participation."