Road stats are mixed bag: Good and bad news for bikers in latest figures

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There was a 16% reduction in road deaths in 2020 but the picture wasn’t quite so rosy for bikers. The reason for the reduction was the lockdown, with millions fewer miles travelled.

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The picture for bikers was the same with a 61% drop in casualties in April at the height of lockdown. However, in months where the lockdown was eased such as July, August and September, the stats jumped back up with -18%, -1% and -2% respectively.

The picture for fatalities is worse with more riders killed from July-September 2020 than the same period in 2019. Evidence suggests the issue comes from riders who have been off the bike for a while sharing the roads with drivers who haven’t been behind the wheel in just as long. The Government will issue its annual road safety report in September.

Is filtering getting risky? Study says cutting through jams means 12% more crashes

First published 12 February 2021 by Jordan Gibbons

An experiment conducted in France to test the safety of filtering has delivered “disappointing” results with the report showing a significant increase in accidents. Filtering isn’t regulated in French law but is tolerated, especially in city centres.

However a five-year experiment across 11 French departments (counties) has shown that in those areas that it was allowed, there was a 12% increase in accidents involving bikes. At the same time, bike accidents on other roads where filtering was not permitted decreased by 10%.

Despite the findings, some elements of the study were considered a success. Where filtering was officially sanctioned awareness increased among drivers (especially among young drivers) while the general acceptance of the practice increased too.

Responding to the accident statistics, Eric Thiollier, board member of the French motorcyclists’ organisation, suggested that more research needs to be done to see how increased awareness could lead to safer filtering.

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