Police target motorcyclist safety

A campaign has been launched to reduce the number of motorbike accidents in Scotland.

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Police are urging bikers to "think of the personal consequences" before taking risks, as the summer motorcycling season gets under way.

The most recent figures show 21 people were killed in motorcycle accidents in Scotland in 2012, with a further 844 injured.

Motorbikes account for only 1% of road traffic but make up 12% of deaths, police said, with 85% of biking incidents regularly taking place between April and September.

Male bikers account for 90% of all motorcycle casualties, with a third aged between 40 and 49.

The campaign, entitled Roll off the throttle, aims to encourage bikers to reduce their speed.

Superintendent Iain Murray, head of road policing, said: "It's a popular time for both experienced riders and those returning to a motorbike to get out and explore the country on two wheels.

"Throughout this campaign, we want to encourage safer, considerate biking behaviour among riders, particularly during the summer months.

"With statistics unfortunately showing most motorcycle casualties occur during the day and in good weather, and with more motorcyclists getting their bikes out at the start of summer, it's important to take it easy in all conditions.

"Most serious and fatal motorcycle collisions happen in rural areas involving higher speed limits, so our message is clear - when you're out on your bike over the summer make sure you make it back to your loved ones."

Transport Minister Keith Brown said there is "no room for complacency" despite the number of road deaths falling in recent years.

"We need to continue to analyse what is going on and address any emerging issues which the data presents," he said.

"Motorcyclist casualties are one such area and we would appeal to the biking community to heed the underlying messages of this campaign.

"When you are out there on Scotland's beautiful open country roads, enjoy your bike, but remember your responsibilities to yourself, your family and other road users to stay safe on Scotland's roads."

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