Calls for increased training amid Scotland’s “shameful carnage”
We were recently made aware of a somewhat controversial newspaper article through our Twitter feed: Bill Jamieson’s “Motorbike fatalities are a shameful carnage”.
If you have yet to read it, visit The Scotsman’s website and voice your views on our Facebook page.
Jamieson thinks complacency has developed over motorcycle deaths in Scotland. He says: “We have grown inured to motorcycle deaths on Scotland’s roads” and “For this is Scotland’s appalling yet barely remarked upon carnage”.
The article questions whether advanced motorcycle training should be obligatory and tests more rigorous.
Anna Zee, BMF's Political and Technical Services Director, said:
“The A85 is possibly one of those roads which are very popular with riders – like certain roads in North Yorkshire, the Peak District and North Wales. Typically there will be more accidents at the weekend.
“Part of the problem on these roads is those riding in groups – it's easy to forget, you need to ride your own ride, not someone else's. Jamieson then goes on to accidents on other roads but it is not clear if these were, again, weekend accidents or not.
“In fact, the fatalities figures for Scotland are very slightly better than for the UK as a whole: overall bikes are only 1% of the vehicles on the road but more like 18% of fatalities.
“One of the things the DVSA is working on is how to ensure good standards of training; they are changing the inspection regime to include unannounced visits and working on a scheme to give recognition to the best trainers.
“Motorcyclists are rather more likely than car-drivers to take advanced training anyway – getting a full licence is already harder than for a car. I don't think we really want to see compulsory advanced training, though the BMF will always encourage riders to take additional training voluntarily.
“It's also worth remembering that over a long period the number of motorcycle KSIs (killed and seriously injured) have reduced considerably, along with KSIs in general.
“In the case of cars, the installation of various technologies (airbags, ABS, better crash protection etc.) has contributed greatly; however, most of this doesn't apply to bikes so it is actually quite difficult to attribute the reduction to anything in particular – could one deduce better handling bikes and better training? I don't know.
“As of now practically every bike will have ABS and some high-end bikes have traction control so the technology will start to contribute more obviously.”
Anna also added that one of the contributing factors to reducing motorcycle KSIs was better training for riders.
Image credit: Pixabay