More motorcyclists died on Scotland’s roads in the past year than any of the previous three, police have said, as they launched a new safety campaign.
Police Scotland’s annual motorcycle safety campaign started on Tuesday, with officers aiming to promote safe riding and raise awareness amongst other road users.
The campaign comes as the force revealed 27 motorcyclists died on Scotland’s roads in 2022/23 – with 22 of them being killed during the months of April to September – the period the drive aims to target.
The total is higher than in any of the previous three years with 25 being killed in 2021/22, 18 in 2020/21 and 26 in 2019/20.
Superintendent Stewart Mackie, deputy head of road policing and a keen biker himself, said: “My message to fellow riders is know how to take care on the road because it will save lives and help prevent life-changing injuries.
“I understand the freedom and enjoyment that biking gives people but I’ve seen the devastation caused by serious collisions and the impact on loved ones.”
Despite motorcyclists making up just 1% of road users in Scotland, they account for 17% of all road deaths.
Police Scotland said about nine out of ten motorcycle casualties are men and that most crashes happen in rural areas at the weekend.
Mr Mackie said that loss of control was the most common factor in motorbike crashes.
“Look out for hazards like loose gravel, (wear) the right clothing and (remember that) helmets matter, and position your bike for the best view around bends,” he said.
“If you’re another road user, take care at junctions and look out for motorcyclists, especially in rural areas.
“We all have a responsibility to take care on Scotland’s roads.”
Between April 2022 and March 2023, most of the fatal motorcycle crashes happened in the west, where there were 11. It was followed by the north, where there were ten; and then the east, with six.
The most common age range was bikers aged between 46 and 55, where there were eight deaths.
Police have warned patrols will take place throughout the spring and summer months using both marked and unmarked vehicles.
Police Scotland’s motorcycle unit, in partnership with road safety groups, will hold training courses for motorcyclists during the campaign months with dates released soon.