05/08/2021

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WATCH: Garda Bike Safe programme designed to increase motorcyclist safety

Motorcycles make up 1.4% of all vehicles registered in Ireland, but accounted 22% of road traffic fatalities so far this year.

This weekend sees the relaunch of BikeSafe Programme, a Roads Safety initiative being run by An Garda Síochána that is specifically aimed at motorcyclists. It is an initiative conducted by many European Police Services to promote road safety, enable motorcyclists to become safer, more competent and confident riders and encourage progression to accredited post-test training.

The programme offers a workshop on topics such as hazard awareness and an on the road assessment ride accompanied by an Advanced Garda Motorcyclist. The workshops are open to all motorcyclists holding a full motorcycle driving licence and are free of charge.

BikeSafe will be beneficial to experienced bikers and those returning to motorcycling after a few years’ absence but especially useful for those who have only recently passed their test.

It will be run as a pilot scheme from June to September 2021. There will be limited places available to 100 participants over this time. It is envisaged should the pilot be successful that the initiative will be rolled out nationwide in 2022.

Garda Adrian Corcoran , DMR Roads Policing Unit said: "As a Garda Motorcyclist and a Motorcycle enthusiast I know how enjoyable riding a Motorcycle can be. From my experience I also know how vulnerable we are on the road.

"Through our BikeSafe workshops we aim to raise hazard awareness and create a desire for you to progress to accredited post-test training. We will provide detailed feedback on the strengths and areas for development of your riding. BikeSafe is a relaxed workshop with the aim of making your motorcycling safer and more enjoyable.”

Mr Michael Rowland RSA, Director, Road Safety, Research and Driver Education said: "Our road safety partners An Garda Síochána have launched a new motorcycle safety initiative ‘Bike Safe’ which the RSA is happy to support. Any initiative which engages motorcyclists, to build on knowledge, understanding and the application of safe road use skills is to be commended. There are millions of trained motorcyclists around the world who prove every day that biking can be a fun, safe and a satisfying activity. This new initiative will add to the options out there for motorcyclists to learn good habits that can help to keep the rider safe.”

Mr Keith Synnott, Consultant Orthopaedic and Spine Surgeon, National Spinal Injuries Unit, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, added: "In my role as a spine trauma surgeon it is not unusual to see victims of collisions on motorbikes with significant trauma. These can be devastating and truly life changing. As a biker I know that often these crashes can be because people fail to realise how vulnerable we can be. Experienced riders can do all the right things but the actions of others can be unpredictable. Learning how to avoid potential pitfalls and taking advantage of advice from professionals could be lifesaving."

Applications can be submitted by email to bikesafe@garda.ie. If you do not have access to the application form online, it is available at any Garda Station and may be posted in to: BikeSafe, Roads Policing Division, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2, D02 HE67.

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