Northumberland's motorcycle death toll revealed - simple actions can save lives

More than half of all motorcycle casualties in Northumberland over the last five years were either killed or seriously injured.

By Ben O'Connell
Tuesday, 24th March 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 24th March 2020, 9:17 am
Picture c/o Pixabay
Picture c/o Pixabay

From 2015 to 2019, there were a total of 305 motorcyclists injured on the county’s roads, with nine being fatalities, 159 being serious and 137 being slight.

Northumberland saw the second highest number of motorcyclist casualties during the last five years, behind County Durham.

However, campaign group Road Safety GB North East (RSGB NE), which released the figures, said that given the size and rural nature of the roads in these two counties, it is to be expected.

South Tyneside recorded the highest casualty rate in the region, when comparing casualty figures to the number of miles ridden by motorcyclists.

Northumberland’s rate of 5.3 motorcyclist injuries per million motorcycle miles places it in the middle of the North East pack.

Paul Watson, chairman of RSGB NE, said: “We’re very pleased that the number of overall biker casualties has fallen, but we continue to be concerned that more than half of all bike collisions result in a rider either losing their life or being seriously injured.

“Less than 1% of vehicle miles travelled on the region’s roads are by bikers, but they account for 18% of those that are killed or seriously injured, so there is much more that we can do.”

Across the region, the failure to look properly was recorded as a factor in 47% of collisions, by either the biker or the driver, with a poor manoeuvre accounting for 24%.

Meanwhile, around 60% of collisions leading to the death or serious injury of a rider happen on rural roads and two-thirds of all collisions happen in areas with 20, 30 or 40mph speed limits. Those aged 16 to 24 account for a third of casualties.

Motor Patrols Inspector Dean Hood, from Northumbria Police, said: “Motorcyclists can help avoid being seriously injured by wearing appropriate safety clothing and equipment and making sure their motorcycle is road-worthy and checked regularly.

“Other drivers need to make sure they take extra time to check for motorcyclists before pulling away – that extra look can save a life.”