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Slight fall in serious RTCs during Manx Grand Prix 3 September 2008

PROVISIONAL figures show a slight fall in the number of fatal and serious road traffic collisions that occurred during this year’s Manx Grand Prix period.

A 43-year-old motorcyclist from Scotland died at Greeba and there were four incidents on open roads that resulted in serious injury. This compares with two fatal and four serious collisions in 2007 and three fatal and six serious in 2006.

The influx of visitors and increase in traffic during the MGP once again presented a series of strategic and operational challenges for the Island’s frontline agencies. The Isle of Man Constabulary deployed high visibility patrols as part of its continued efforts to deter anti-social and dangerous riding. A hard-hitting road safety campaign was also launched ahead of the race period warning motorcyclists about the dangers of travelling at excessive speeds.

Those measures were hailed as having a positive impact, but police officers investigating the more serious incidents said they were disappointed to find evidence of dangerous riding. In addition to dealing with a total of 57 RTCs during the two weeks, police officers reported approximately 120 people for motoring offences - mostly speeding.

The poor weather throughout the MGP proved to be something of a double-edge sword in terms of road safety. Heavy rain led to fewer people heading out on to the Island’s roads, particularly during practice week and after the races, but also made driving conditions more difficult. The wet weather is also thought to have contributed to a slight increase in the number of damage-only incidents recorded in the provisional statistics – 41 compared with 29 in 2007 and 30 in 2006.

Inspector Richard Power, head of the Roads Policing Unit, said:

‘The number of serious and fatal road traffic collisions has slightly reduced from previous years and we will continue to work hard to reduce them further. In investigating some of the more serious incidents the police have recovered video footage which identified clearly dangerous riding by motorcyclists and this is disappointing. The Isle of Man Constabulary provided increased highly visible patrolling on the roads which no doubt will have deterred some road users from committing offences.’

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