TWO-THIRDS of motorbike and scooter riders say they feel more vulnerable on the roads than 10 years ago, a survey shows – however half of them also admit to being the most dangerous road users.
The president of AXA Prévention insurance, Eric Lemaire, said the bikers were being “realistic” about the dangers - in 2013 they made up just 2.5% of road users but 23% of road accident fatalities, government figures show.
He added they also showed “clear-thinking” in admitting to risky behaviour. “They’re aware their behaviour can bother motorists; for example they sometimes take risks in traffic jams,” he told 20 Minutes.
More than half admitted they sometimes rode at more than 65kph in towns (59% of bikers and 50% of scooter riders) and 46% and 17% admitted to going at 160-170kph on motorways.
“Wanting to save time and escape from congested traffic, they use their greater capacity for acceleration in town,” he said.
What is more, a significant minority admitted to drinking four to five glasses of alcohol before riding (13% bikers, 21% scooter riders) and a similar percentage (7% and 15%) admit to riding after smoking cannabis.
While there are frequent breath tests and new cannabis tests are going to be trialled, it is also necessary to run specific safety campaigns aimed at this group to reinforce the message, said Mr Lemaire.
Despite the findings on risk taking, the study showed that car drivers behave worse in some respects, such as stopping at orange traffic lights.
The survey used a national sample of people aged 18 or more and was by polling body TNS Sofrès for AXA.
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