Motorcycle safety the focus of May Bank Holiday 2015 – Donohoe

29th April, 2015

 Drivers & passengers also targeted in safety appeal

5 killed and 6 seriously injured over 2014 May BH


The Road Safety Authority (RSA), An Garda Síochána and the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, are urging drivers to watch out for motorcyclists using the road over the May Bank Holiday Weekend. The appeal is being made following a rise in motorcycle deaths in 2015. Since January, five motorcyclists have died in crashes compared to three up to the same period last year.


Drivers are being urged to constantly be on the lookout for motorcyclists, in their blind spots, at junctions and especially when turning right. Motorcyclists are asked to be extremely careful when overtaking, when taking bends and to be particularly mindful of their speed.


Motorcyclists accounted for 12% of road deaths in 2014, despite making up less than 2% of the total vehicle fleet. Both 2013 and 2014 show peaks in motorcyclist fatalities during April/May, June and July. The greater number of fatalities over the summer months coincides with a period of good weather in both years.


Preliminarily collision analysis of fatal motorcycle crashes in 2014 shows that:

  • Motorcyclist fatalities are highest among men aged 20-30 and 31-40:
  • Fatal collisions were most likely to occur at junctions, with either the motorcyclist or the other vehicle exiting on or off a main road; this type of manoeuvre led to 8 fatalities in 2014.
  • Overtaking manoeuvres and losing control of the motorcycle also emerged as noteworthy contributory factors.
  • motorcyclist fatalities are most likely to occur in the afternoon and early evening from 16-20 hours
  • Eight out of ten motorcyclist fatalities occurred either on roads with an 80km/h speed limit or a 100km/h speed limit.


Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe, appealed to all road users, ahead of the Bank Holiday, to take extra care when using the roads, ‘The May bank holiday weekend was a very bad weekend for road safety last year. We lost five lives and six people sustained serious injuries over that four day period. I would appeal to everyone to be mindful of how you use the road, whether you are walking, cycling, riding a motorbike or driving. Ask yourself – what can I do to make this journey a safe one, for others, for my passengers and for myself? It could be something as simple as making more of a conscious effort to watch out for motorcyclist in blind spots, putting the mobile out of reach when driving or wearing the high visibility jacket when out walking. If we all make small changes it will make a big difference’.


Ms Moyagh Murdock Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority said, “While there have been eight fewer road deaths to date in 2015 compared to last year, we are seeing a rise in the number of motorcyclists and passengers. The rise in passengers is a real cause for concern as there was a 22% increase in passenger deaths in 2014. This trend appears to be continuing in 2015. No seatbelt was worn in a quarter of these deaths last year, according to crash analysis. The message needs to be repeated again loud and clear. You need to wear your seatbelt on each and every trip, you are naked without one and three out of four people will survive a crash if one is worn.”


Assistant Commissioner John Twomey, Garda National Traffic Bureau said:-“Members of An Garda Síochána will be out in force over the Bank Holiday Weekend to keep the roads safe from careless and dangerous drivers. We know that the vast majority of people are law abiding and we want to thank them for their good road behaviour, its saving lives. But for those who continue to ignore the safety appeals I’m afraid we will have no alternative but to sanction those drivers because they put lives at risk. So this weekend we will be targeting drivers who beak our road safety laws by speeding, drink or drug driving and not wearing a seatbelt. But we will be paying particular attention to the ever growing threat that mobile phone use while driving poses to our safety on the road.”


To support the Garda enforcement message this bank holiday, the RSA has developed a 30 second radio advert to remind drivers that, if detected using a mobile phone, they risk getting three penalty points on their licence. Driver distraction plays a role in 20% to 30% of collisions on our roads. As many as one in twelve drivers are using their phones while driving at any one time in Ireland.


The RSA will also air a series of short 20 second radio messages highlighting important safety facts for motorcyclists and drivers, which have been developed following analysis of collision data.




For further information, please contact:


RSA Communications Office: 096 25008

Brian Farrell, RSA Communications Manager: 086 388 1009

Garda Press Office Tel: 01 6662071



Editors Note:


May Bank Holiday Stats 2010-2014


Year Fatal Collision Fatalities Serious Injury Collisions Serious Injuries Drink Driving Arrests
2014 5 5 4 6 151
2013 2 3 4 8 166
2012 2 2 3 6 194
2011 3 4 5 9 154
2010 1 1 5 10 284
13 15 21 39 949



Garda FCN offences on May BH 2013 and 2014:


Date Mobile Phone SEAT BELT Speed Non Intercept Speed Intercept
03/05/2013 77 43 182 89
04/05/2013 52 27 735 155
05/05/2013 25 40 459 193
06/05/2013 49 39 475 375
203 149 1851 812
02/05/2014 103 49 672 142
03/05/2014 50 36 890 247
04/05/2014 25 14 908 219
05/05/2014 36 30 757 246
214 129 3227 854



Some handy safety tips for motorcyclists, scooter and moped users include:

  • Motorcyclists, moped and scooter-users are among the most vulnerable of our road-users. You don’t have the protection of a car so investing in proper Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is a must.
  • Helmets must be worn at all times and must be securely fastened. Clean your visor gently with warm soapy water. Replace it if it is scratched.
  • Jackets and trousers should offer adequate protection against impact and abrasion.
  • Body armour on exposed areas such as the back, knees, elbows, shoulders, hips and shins should be adjustable so it fits snugly and does not move in a crash.
  • A good reflective jacket should be worn and will make you more visible on the road, increasing your profile.
  • Always wear protective gloves and footwear that at least comes over the ankle. Use ear protection on long journeys.
  • Always service your bike regularly and maintain it in good condition especially tyres, brakes, etc.