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SMC Sweden: ‘More fatal motorcycle accidents due to extreme behaviour’

In Sweden the total number of motorcycle accidents is declining, but the number of fatal accidents due to extreme behaviour is increasing.

Every year SMC, the Swedish Motorcyclists Association, is invited by the Swedish Transport Administration to review the indepth studies of fatal motorcycle accidents. It is these facts that are collected in the report “Extreme behaviour- mainly a question of riding without a license 3.0”. Over the years it’s become clear that in Sweden a high share of the persons killed on motorcycles are not members of the motorcycle community of motorcyclists at all.

In the report SMC highlights the fact that in Sweden almost one third of the persons who are killed on motorcycles are not motorcyclists; they don’t own a motorcycle and they don’t have a motorcycle license.

Click here to read the full report (10 pages, pdf).

Road safety has been a top priority in SMC since the organization was founded in 1963. Several studies have been made among the members of SMC that shows that motorcyclists in general have a better attitude to road safety compared to motorists, for example concering driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Some of the facts that are presented in the report:

  • 28 percent of the fatalities on motorcycles did not have a valid motorcycle license.
  • 70 percent of the persons who are killed without a license were drunk and/or under the influence of drugs.
  • 78 percent of the persons without a license were riding an illegal motorcycle (not in use, not registered, not insured, banned to ride, stolen, competition bike).
  • Less than half, 46 percent, of the persons without a license owned the motorcycle.

The statistics clearly shows that there is a huge need for special measures to reduce the motorcycle accidents. Maria Nordqvist, SMC’s political secretary said: “We can’t continue to create a road safety strategy based on the motorists in Sweden. More barriers with unprotected poles increase the injury risk for riders. To reduce the speed limits, when not even 50 percent of the road users obey the present limits, will not change anything. The installation of more speed cameras will not lead to less fatalities on motorcycles or in cars. We need more police on Swedish roads and harder punishment for riding and driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. For SMC it is obvious that all the road safety work must include valid driving license as a priority to reach Vision Zero”.

For more information:
Maria Nordqvist, political secretary SMC
Telephone +46 70 5383938