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Motorcyclists 50 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured on north Wales roads

02 Feb 2024 3 minute read
Police are now planning their annual Bikesafe operation aimed at educating bikers and reducing the number of serious injuries and deaths on North Wales roads. Pictured police educating bikers in Betws y Coed.

Richard Evans, local democracy reporter

Statistics show motorcyclists are 50 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured than other drivers on roads in north Wales.

Despite only representing around 1% of vehicles on the roads they represent 32% of all fatal casualties  and are 18 times more likely than car and taxi occupants to be in an accident.

Occupants of other vehicles accounted for around 41% of fatalities. And whilst other casualty groups have seen reductions, the number of motorcyclist casualties remains the same.


Police say Gwynedd has seen the highest volume of casualties killed or seriously injured, although there has been some decrease seen from the previous year of 2022 in the county and across North Wales.

The statistics were collected between January to late October 2023 and presented at a Police and Crime Commissioner’s meeting at Bodlondeb this week.

North Wales Police say some riders were impaired by alcohol and drugs although the number were small. Police are now planning their annual ‘Bikesafe’ operation aimed at educating bikers and reducing the number of serious injuries and deaths on North Wales roads.

Sgt Jason Diamond is the operational lead for ‘Op Darwen’ on behalf of North Wales Police’s roads crime unit.

“Sadly, statistically, motorcyclists are some of the most vulnerable road users, and they are affected disproportionately by collisions,” said Sgt Diamond.


“North Wales is a magnet for motorcyclists due to the beauty of the area, and as a keen biker myself, I know that I and my fellow motorcyclist colleagues not only understand the risks, but we are passionate about how we can work together to reduce these statistics. Reducing the number of people who are killed or seriously injured on the roads continues to be a priority.

“Every death and serious injury on the roads has a devastating impact, and we will soon be launching our annual road safety campaign, Op Darwen. Using the strapline ‘Will you get home tonight?’, the campaign runs from early spring through until the autumn with high visibility patrols on key routes which have been identified as risk areas.”

He added: “This will also involve working closely with our neighbouring police forces. Engagement is also extremely important, and officers will also visit biker hot-spot areas to speak to riders about how they can play their part in helping to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on the roads. This will involve talking about travelling at an appropriate speed for the road and conditions and wearing suitably rated protective clothing. Please do keep an eye on our website and social media channels for further information.”

The police will run day-long BikeSafe workshops, including classroom-based theory intended to help develop key skills around riding and safety, sharing experience and skills, aiming to reduce collisions.

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20 days ago

If their riding on the A483 is an example of the cause of death or serious injuries I am not surprised. Not only do they put their own lives at risk they also endanger the lives of others. They are obsessed with having to overtake whatever is ahead of them. Often one can see them riding in a convoy of up to 20-30 bikes and there is a very high level of showing off amongst them. I sympathise with anyone who is currently experiencing a loss of a loved one but that is the truth of the matter. I travel… Read more »

Ap Kenneth
Ap Kenneth
20 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Living in the north of Wales my experience is that the worst riding is when you have groups of motor cyclists, egging each other on, inappropriate and unpredictable behaviour. As a side issue they also make too much noise, as bad as the RAF Texan.

Richard E
Richard E
20 days ago
Reply to  Ap Kenneth

There are two main types of bikers who use our local roads –

Enthusiasts who value their bikes and our lives – enjoying and respecting the environment; supporting local cafes and business….an example even for local bikers.

Type two put us and themselves in danger on the roads-treat the area as one large Park and litter bin plus churn up local beauty spots and tracks. Expecting out emergency services to clear up the mess and happy to speed back to the cities before dark.

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