Innovation in Reducing Motorcyclist Casualties in Wales
The ‘Innovation in Reducing Motorcyclist Casualties in Wales’ project is a new national competition launched by the Welsh Government to drive forward Wales’ innovation agenda.
This competition is funded by the Welsh Government and Innovate UK, and jointly run with RoSPA Wales. The competition will identify innovative projects that can help the Welsh Government to reduce the number of motorcyclists killed or seriously injured on Welsh roads in particular accidents occurring at junctions.
Organisations are invited to compete for a share of a total of £510,000 in funding for the prototype development and demonstration of innovative technologies.The project provides an exciting opportunity to play a part in helping the Welsh Government to reduce the number of motorcyclists killed or seriously injured on Welsh roads.
In 2013 motorcyclists made up only 0.2% of the road traffic in Wales (by distance travelled), but accounted for 31% of those killed or seriously injured. 17 motorcyclists died on Welsh roads in 2013 and 229 were seriously injured. Many of those injuries will be life changing. Allowing for year on year fluctuations, this figure has changed little in the last 10 years.
Wales is not alone in trying to tackle this issue but the attractiveness of the Welsh countryside to motorcyclists does mean that in addition to our own motorcyclists, we also attract a large number of visiting motorcyclists. We want to continue to welcome them to Wales, whilst ensuring they go home safely.
The reasons why motorcyclists are involved in collisions vary, but whilst motorcyclists are not necessarily at fault, they are physically more vulnerable than car users. That means if they are involved in a collision they are more likely to be killed or seriously injured than other road users. We know that motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable at junctions. Between 2009 to 2013, 49 per cent of motorcyclist KSI’s occurred at junctions, with 48 per cent of these being at T-Junctions.
The challenge will be to develop an effective intervention or technological feature that provides demonstrable improvements in the safety of motorcyclists, either by reducing the likelihood of a collision occurring, or by lessening the impact of a collision.