Road Safety officers are urging Brighton and Hove’s drivers to ‘take longer to look’ for motorbikes in a campaign focused around the city’s moped and motorcycle commuters.
This autumn, riders of mopeds using central city motorcycle parking bays will notice dual posters from the Department for Transport’s THINK! Road Safety Campaign asking drivers to look more carefully for riders. Riders will also be advised to ‘Look, React and Stay in control’ as well as think about safety gear and visibility over the winter months.
In 2013 the city experienced a welcome drop in motorcycle casualties from 109 in the previous year to 68. There were no fatalities and serious injuries were down.
In the first six months of 2014, there have been no fatalities and serious injuries also remain low, but overall numbers (including slight injuries) are more in line with predictions. Casualties have been higher so far this year amongst riders of smaller motorbikes in the under 50cc, 50-125 cc and 125-500 cc ranges in particular.
Councillor Ian Davey, lead councillor for transport, said: “The fall in casualties during 2013 was due in part to the trial to allow motorcycles into bus lanes and local promotion of courses such as ‘Bikesafe’ and ‘Biker Down’. The introduction of slower speed limits has been influential.
“However, all sorts of factors play a part, including bad weather and when road users look but fail to see, so this sort of campaign to support scooter and motorcycle commuters is well worth the effort.”
The campaign is asking riders to think about their visibility and choose gear which will protect them in a collision. This includes armoured and reflective clothing as well as properly fitted helmets. Advice includes having brakes and tyres checked at the start of winter, and other road users will be reminded to do the same.
Motorcycles were granted the permanent right to use the bus lanes in Brighton and Hove on the A23 and A259 by the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee on October 7th. A further trial extension of this right will run for 18 months on the Lewes Road A270 north of the Vogue gyratory from December 2015. Central city bus lanes will not be included due to narrow widths and high numbers of pedestrians and cyclists.
In the first six months of 2014 there were 45 motorcycle reported casualties in Brighton and Hove including 0 fatalities, 10 serious injuries and 35 slight injuries. This compares with 8 serious and 22 slight injuries for the same period in 2013.
Registrations of scooters and motorbikes under 500cc have not increased significantly in Brighton and Hove since the start of the recession (Q3 2008). Motorcycles including scooters accounted for just 4% of the city’s registered vehicles in the first quarter of 2014.
The Phase 1 area of 20mph showed a drop in motorcycle casualties in the first year of its operation 8 April 2013 to 7 April 2014.
Nationally in 2013, motorcycles accounted for just 1% of traffic but approximately 19% of casualties.
The number of motorcycle users killed increased by 1 per cent from 328 in 2012 to 331 in 2013, the first increase since 2006. Seriously injured motorcycle user casualties decreased by 3 per cent to 4,866.
Total reported motorcycle user casualties decreased by 3 per cent to 18,752 in 2013; motorcycle traffic decreased by 5 per cent over the same period.
Source: Reported casualties in Great Britain– Main results 2013
DFT report – 26 June 2014.