'Radical measures' under investigation to cut TT road crashes

The increase in accidents on the Isle of Man during the TT fortnight will see ‘radical measures’ being investigated to cut them next year warns the Isle of Man Transport Minister.

Figures just released by the Isle of Man police show road traffic collisions (RTCs) increased in number during TT 2009 but were less severe overall than in previous years.

Head of the Roads Policing Unit Inspector Richard Power revealed: “The headline facts are that recorded road traffic collisions have increased by 19% over last year from a total of 83 in 2008 to 99 this year.

“Despite that, the number of fatal collisions reduced from four to one. In previous years I have always grouped the serious and fatal collisions statistics together and this year it amounts to 28 against 20 last year.

“Having examined each incident I can say that this year the number of ‘life changing’ collisions has reduced considerably.

“Although the overall numbers have increased, most crashes were minor by comparison.”

The data shows that 75% of collisions during the period, between Friday May 29 and Sunday June 14, involved motorcycles and half of all crashes occurred on the TT course.

Inspector Power added: “Naturally I am disappointed overall by the collision data for the TT period but relieved to say that the type of collisions were not as serious as in previous years.

“The Isle of Man Constabulary and the Department of Transport will continue to seek out methods of improving road safety not just during TT but all year round for the benefit of the Manx public and our welcome visitors.”

Transport Minister David Anderson MHK commented: “Whilst the Road Safety message “Stay Alert Stay Alive” was direct and well received by visiting motorcyclists, the rise in motorcycle accidents this year is not acceptable.

“Detailed analysis will take place and radical measures will be examined to ensure we do everything possible to make the TT Festival safer for all concerned in future years.’

Home Affairs Minister Adrian Earnshaw MHK said: “The good weather we enjoyed over TT and the large influx of motorcyclists will obviously have an impact on the RTC statistics, and I would like to commend the police for the job they have done this year in partnership with the Department of Transport.

“They are unstinting in their efforts to enhance road safety and they have run a highly visible campaign this year.”


Recorded RTC statistics* for TT2009 show an increase in all categories except fatal accidents compared with 2008 (figure in brackets).  There were 27 serious** (16), 25 slight (22), 45 damage (41) and one involving an animal (0). A total of 52 of these were recorded on the TT course, 35 of which were on the Mountain section. The number of RTCs that involved motorcycles was 74 on all roads, 39 on the TT course, 29 of which were on the Mountain.

Additional statistics show a total of 21 collisions occurred on Mad Sunday (June 7), nine on the TT course, seven of which were on the Mountain. Sixteen crashes on Mad Sunday involved motorcycles, including all nine incidents on the TT course.

The total number of recorded RTCs over the TT fortnight – 99 – compares with a total of 83 in both 2008 and 2006. In 2007 (centenary year) the total was 117.

The enforcement effort remained high from the Roads Policing Unit. A total of 161 hours was spent performing laser speed enforcement during the period, a significant increase over last year.

Although not all summons applications resulted from this type of enforcement, more than 280 people were reported for road traffic offences by the Roads Policing Unit during the fortnight. The Road Safety Campaign was prominent and well received.

All accidents which resulted in an entry on the police Accident Register have been included in the figures.

Other incidents were not included – these amounted to a further 21 unclassified incidents which were reported to the Emergency Services Joint Control Room (ESJCR) but where a police response was not required.

Statistics provided by the DHA Communications Division, which operates the TETRA radio system and the ESJCR, show that the level of activity during TT2009 was higher than during TT2008 (figure in brackets) and was on a par with the TT2007 Centenary.

During TT2009 the ESJCR handled 1,785 (1,696) emergency events, 911 (837) emergency 999 calls and 25,969 (24,148) non-999 calls whilst the TETRA system handled 150,118 (128,684) radio calls.

*Please note all accident data is provisional and may be adjusted subject to late reporting of accidents and a review of the injury status of victims.

** A serious injury is classified as one which requires hospital treatment lasting over 24 hours, broken bones however minor, and other serious or life changing injuries including disfiguring lacerations or burns.

Andy Downes

By Andy Downes

Former MCN Senior Reporter