Rise in motorcycle deliveries “cannot come at the expense of safety”

TfL has stepped up efforts to highlight the vulnerability of powered two-wheeler riders, following a ‘surge’ in demand during the Covid-19 pandemic.

While just 1% of journeys in the Capital are made by powered two-wheeler (PTW) vehicles, data shows that riders represented 26% of deaths and serious injuries in 2019.

Meanwhile, the number of PTW vehicles on London’s streets is increasing ‘dramatically’, as a result of an increase in demand for delivery, courier and servicing industries during the pandemic.

Figures from the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) show registrations of low powered scooters (with an engine size up to 125cc) in London increased by almost a third (31%) between 2019 and 2020.

Worryingly, 65% of the people killed or seriously injured in motorcycle collisions in the Capital between 2017 and 2019 were riding these types of PTWs – and the ‘great majority’ were men.

It’s against this backdrop that TfL has launched a new campaign, calling for both PTW riders and drivers to watch out for each other, especially when turning.

A series of motorcycle safety videos and a radio advertisement have been produced as part of the campaign, featuring road safety advocate Ogmios, who is known for his dash-cam voiceovers on YouTube.

Lilli Matson, TfL’s chief safety health and environment officer, said: “Young men are tragically losing their lives in avoidable motorcycle collisions, which all too often also injure or kill people walking.

“We’ve seen a significant rise in motorcycle deliveries over the last year and this cannot come at the expense of safety.

“I hope our motorcycle safety work will help raise awareness amongst all road users that we all need to watch out for each other when travelling around the city.”

TfL says it is working closely with PTW vehicle rider representative groups, road safety organisations, delivery and courier companies to ensure all avenues and innovations for improving rider safety are explored.

Motorcycle safety awareness will also now feature in the course content for Safe Drive Stay Alive, a young driver safety programme targeted at 16-19 year old school pupils.

Heidi Alexander, deputy mayor for transport, said: “Every death or injury on our roads is one too many, and as motorcycle journeys increase, it’s vital riders are accessing the proper training to keep themselves and other road users safe.

“The huge rise in motorcycle deliveries in the past year means that courier, servicing and delivery companies have an important role to play in helping drive down these tragic incidents, and we continue to work closely with them to help ensure riders watch out for each other and everyone else on the Capital’s streets.”

26 May 2021

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