Over 40 per cent of motorcyclists and moped drivers killed on the road in Cyprus in 2021 were not wearing a helmet, a European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) report showed on Wednesday.
At 43 per cent, Cyprus had the second highest rate among the 12 countries that provided data.
However, in Cyprus road deaths of all categories fell by 17 per cent from 2011 (17 deaths) to 2021 (14 deaths).
Among other recommendations, the report calls for an improvement in the enforcement of helmet-wearing, especially in countries where there are low levels of people doing so, such as Greece and Cyprus.
It also recommended the EU and national governments also promote the safety performance of helmets and other protective equipment such as airbag jackets.
The 44th report PIN Flash Report presents the data in the 27 member states of the European Union as well as in Switzerland, Israel, Norway, Serbia and the United Kingdom, regarding the road deaths of motorcyclists and mopeds.
Over the last decade, the report said the number of road deaths of motorcyclists and mopeds in the EU has decreased by 25 per cent, from 5,216 deaths in 2011 to 3,891 in 2021. The majority of those killed were motorcyclists.
The number of all other road deaths fell by 33 per cent over the same period.
Motorcycle user deaths are dropping at a slower rate than moped and other road deaths. Over the past ten years, according to the report, the number of motorcyclist deaths decreased by an average of six per cent per year in the EU24, from 983 in 2011 to 526 in 2021. In Cyprus, it said, the numbers were too small to be statistically significant (three in 2011 and two in 2021).
The report found that 3,891 people died while riding a motorcycle or moped in the EU in 2021, around 90 per cent of whom were men.
Use of a motorcycle helmet is mandatory in all EU countries and, overall, compliance rates are high.
The report also recommended that national governments develop better enforcement of speed limits applying to motorcyclists.
Manager of ETSC’s Road Safety Performance Index programme Jenny Carson said that in recent years motorcyclists have been less of a focus in road safety, adding that “there are several smart and straightforward measures that can be taken to reduce the unacceptable number of deaths every year.”
“We also need to pay close attention to growing trends such as the number of young people, mostly men, now delivering hot food in our cities on motorcycles, working under time pressure on poorly maintained vehicles, while being distracted by app-based tools,” he concluded.