Hundreds of motorcyclists injured or killed on Suffolk's roads in five years
- Credit: Archant
More than 300 motorcyclists have been killed or seriously injured on Suffolk's roads over the past five years, figures have revealed.
The statistics, obtained following a Freedom of Information request by this newspaper, showed that 17 motorcyclists have died since 2017, while 285 have been seriously injured following crashes.
The five-year figures peaked in 2019 when five motorcyclists were killed and 71 were seriously injured on the county's roads.
Fatality numbers have decreased since the pandemic, with only three motorcyclist deaths in the county between 2020 and March 31 this year compared with 14 between 2017 and 2019.
The fact that traffic levels fell in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic and a shift to homeworking may account for the decrease.
Suffolk police backed a recent national campaign to highlight motorcycle and bicycle safety on the roads.
The aim of the "2 Wheels" campaign was to raise awareness among motorists - as well as riders - about how to improve driver/rider behaviour to enhance road safety.
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Statistics provided as part of the campaign revealed that motorcyclists make up just 1% of the motoring population yet are 16-times more likely to be injured in a serious or fatal collision as opposed to car drivers.
Speaking last week, Inspector Gary Miller, of the roads and armed policing team at Suffolk police, said: “It is incumbent on all road users to consider their own safety as well as the safety of others. Motorcyclists and cyclists should ensure they are wearing all the necessary safety equipment to protect themselves and to ride considerately and responsibly.
“I would urge drivers of other vehicles to take extra care when travelling near to cyclists or motorcyclists and recognise that they are more vulnerable. Don’t drive too closely to them and allow plenty of room if overtaking.”
Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner, said: “It is a very sad fact that those on motorcycles are sixteen times more likely to be injured on the road than a driver – which is a sobering thought and something all road users need to be aware of.
“Road safety is the responsibility of every one of us whether we are on four wheels, two wheels or on foot – we really do need to look out for each other.”
Motorcyclists are also being encouraged to take up the opportunity to improve their riding skills by attending a Safe Rider course, which run monthly until October.