Edwina Hart, Minister for Economy, Science and Transport
This statement provides an update on action being taken to reduce motorcycle fatalities in Wales.
I have been concerned about the fatalities we've seen so far this year, especially among motorcyclists. In the first nine months of this year, 25 motorcyclists have lost their lives on Welsh roads: 12 on the trunk road network, and 13 on other roads. This avoidable loss of life has tragic consequences for the families and friends of those who died. It also has a deep impact on others involved in the collisions and those in the emergency services who respond to them.
I have discussed this issue with the four Police Chief Constables who have advised that there does not appear to be a particular pattern to these tragic incidents. However, the police are continuing to be vigilant and will work with the all highway authorities across Wales to scrutinise the data for indications of where interventions can be more effectively targeted.
The All Wales Strategic Road Safety Group met on 22 October and considered the most up to date information on motorcyclist casualties, to aid the future planning of targeted interventions.
Joint working by all partners continues to be vital and this is something I promote through the implementation of the Road Safety Framework. The Framework recognises the vulnerability of motorcyclists and sets out the actions that partners and I have agreed to take. I provide funding for a number of programmes that aim to promote rider safety, such as BikeSafe and Dragon Rider, and I have commissioned an evaluation of motorcyclist training, to see if there are ways in which these programmes can be strengthened and made more effective. I am keen to explore whether it is possible to better identify and target riders who are most likely to be involved in collisions.