With autumn now here, Road Safety North East Scotland (RSNES) is urging all road users to think about motorcycle road safety, as the traditional riding season draws to a close.
For many motorcyclists September is one of the final months when their machines will see regular use on the road – poorer weather and reduced daylight hours towards the end of the year means many motorcycles see limited use until spring returns.
Statistics show September produced the highest monthly total of north east motorcycle casualties during the ten-year period between 2007 and 2016.
Figures show that in the combined Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray local authority areas over that time, there were 167 motorcycle rider casualties in September – marginally the highest month, followed by May at 162.
By comparison, the months with the lowest number of motorcycle casualties over the same ten-year period included December (34) and January (33).
Sadly, four motorcyclists have already died on local roads this year – two in Moray and two in Aberdeenshire – with motorcycles involved in four (31%) of the north east’s 13 fatal crashes during 2018.
The most recent fatal crash happened in Moray last week (1 September), resulting in the death of a 35-year-old local rider. Several other serious and fatal motorcycle crashes have occurred elsewhere in Scotland in recent weeks.
Ewan Wallace, Head of Transportation at Aberdeenshire Council and RSNES Chair said: “Statistics show we can anticipate September leading to higher numbers of motorcycle collisions and casualties on north east roads. Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable road users and even a relatively minor motorcycle collision can result in significant injuries.
“An important road safety message which motorcyclists themselves should always remember is ‘Look - React - Stay in Control’. But it is important to realise that thinking about motorcycle safety is not the responsibility of motorcyclists alone.
“Other road users also need to be mindful of encountering motorcycles and of the need to specifically look out for them, particularly when planning turning manoeuvres or overtaking.
“Motorcycles are highly manoeuvrable, can accelerate quickly and appear with little warning, so it’s always worth remembering to double check and to always ‘Think Bike’.
“Irrespective of the type of vehicle you’re riding or driving, let’s try to have a Safe September on north-east roads.”