21 May 2022

Speed is a significant factor in why motorcyclists are six times more likely to be killed on the road

Naas gardai arrest motorcyclist for speeding at up to 197kmph

While so many motorcyclists are some of the best drivers on our roads, there’s another significant cohort which are not. They are, by a vast majority, male. And younger road users – from 17-34 years of age.

983 fatal collisions occurred on Irish roads between 2008 and 2012, claiming the lives of 1,077 people. The RSA analysed An Garda Síochána Forensic Collision Investigation reports for 867 collisions in order to determine what caused or contributed to the collisions. Of these 867 collisions, 93 collisions involved a motorcyclist and claimed the lives of 96 people. A further 7 people were seriously injured.

Speed was a contributory factor in 49% of the 93 fatal collisions involving a motorcyclist.

In this new campaign we want motorcyclists to recognise their vulnerability. That they have a responsibility to themselves and their families to ride safely. That speeding is lethal because if something goes wrong, there is no margin of error and the consequences can be catastrophic.

We’re painting a picture of a very specific kind of motorcyclist. One who loves speed, and doesn’t really think the rules apply to him. They have been told a million times to slow down or never ever drink and drive. Told by us, but also told by partners, friends and family. But these men just don’t listen.

It addresses exactly this kind of motorcyclist. It opens on a sign that says: “No-one likes being told what to do”. No one more so that this kind of motorcyclist. One raised on the motorcycle imagery of freedom and the open road. And who hasn’t yet been taught the lessons of experience.

We then see a series of signs – signs that tell us, to a greater or lesser extent, what to do. Annoying signs, that we kind of want to rebel against.

Then we see our most important one – an 80kmph sign, that a motorcyclist speeds past. There’s a crash, and the signs in the spot change drastically. No longer are they about trivial things like keeping off the grass – now they are signs intended for the Gardaí, paramedics, nurses, doctors… pathologists.
And finally, we see the human cost of not paying heed to this sign. A mother left holding a young child, after her partner has died.

It ends reminding this audience of a simple fact. That when you think that bikers speeding is a factor in half of motorcyclist deaths, sometimes you have to listen.

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