September 26 2008.

New Government statistics show falling motorcycle casualty rates on UK roads, and prove that efforts to improve motorcycle safety are having a positive effect, according to the RMI Motorcycle Rider Training Association (MRTA).

Statistics released today (Friday 26 September 2008) by the Department for Transport (DfT) in its annual Road Casualties Great Britain Annual Report bulletin, show that the overall motorcycle casualty rate reduced by six per cent in 2007 compared to 2006. *

The casualty rate per 100 million vehicle kilometres has been falling year-on-year from 621 (1994-1998 average) to 420 in 2007, and represents a 32 per cent decrease. Looking at 'slight' casualties, the rate fell even more, down 34 per cent against the Government's 2010 target for a 10 per cent reduction across all modes. *

Commenting on the statistics, Kevin Bryan, MRTA Chairman, said: 'Any reduction in casualties is welcome particularly given the increasing popularity and usage of motorcycles and scooters. Although there was a very slight increase in total casualties, the continuing fall in the rate is a positive sign.'

Bryan believes the figures show that the training industry's work on safety is going in the right direction: 'While the statistics also demonstrate that there is still much work to be done to further reduce the motorcycle casualty rate, these latest figures are a sign that even with increased motorcycle traffic, up eight per cent over the previous year, motorcycling is gradually becoming safer. Part of this is attributable to the Government's Motorcycle Strategy and the efforts of the training industry which is continuing its drive to deliver safer and better trained riders into the motorcycle community.'

Bryan adds: 'The MRTA is far from complacent, and the hard work will continue to further improve the quality of training and road user education to ensure these safety improvements are continued. Motorcyclists continue to be among the most vulnerable users and it is up to all road users to recognise this, not just motorcyclists themselves.'