With May being the beginning of the Motorbike season for many motorcyclists the bank holiday weekend saw the launch of a month long campaign focusing on road safety for motorcyclists and road users who encounter motorcyclists across the county.
The campaign targets motorcycle clubs and associations in the county.
Motorcyclists represent less than one in 50 of all licensed vehicles in Ireland, and yet account for one in eight road deaths.
In a collision, motorcycle and moped users have less protection than drivers or passengers in vehicles. In the past five years, 121 motorcyclists were killed on Irish roads.
Launching the campaign at Naas Garda Station on Friday were Kildare’s road safety officer Declan Keogh, Garda John Joe O’ Connell, Garda Traffic Corps and Leading Ambulance Paramedic Tony Kelly from the HSE National Ambulance Service.
“Education and training are an obvious issue in relation to motorcyclists and biking can be fun and safe,” said Mr. Keogh. “However, if you do not have the proper skills and attitude to safety, then the benefit of education and training is lost and becomes a much riskier pursuit.”
“Head, neck and spinal injuries are common ones,” Tony Kelly outlined, “and in many cases where people are not wearing the correct or appropriate protective gear, limbs, hands and feet can also suffer severe injuries”.
Garda John Joe O’ Connell, an experienced motorcyclist and is a member of the Garda Traffic Corps noted that motorcyclists are not exempt in anyway from the same rules or restrictions as four wheeled vehicles.
“We find that some motorcyclists are in breach of many of the same rules as other drivers, and we do stop and breathalyse motorcycle drivers, and they are also stopped or prosecuted for speeding.
“Not many know that the correct tyre thread depth for a motorbike is 1mm, and again not many wear the correct protective gear.
“We would urge any motorcyclist to ensure that firstly, the bike is roadworthy and secondly that they take all aspects of safety into consideration for themselves as a motorcyclist and also for their pillion passengers.”