Labour MP: Tell loved-ones not to ride motorbikes

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A Labour MP has urged people to tell their male loved-ones not to ride motorcycles.
Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman called motorcyclists “widow makers and orphan makers” who were “disgraceful in a civilised society”.  

He said: “If you have a husband, boyfriend or son who wants to get a motorbike, please try and persuade them to get something with four wheels instead.”

The senior backbencher, who claimed £8,613 expenses from the taxpayer for car use in a year, also made claims about the number of motorcyclists killed.

He said: “Around 650 people on motorbikes die each year, which is an astonishing figure. In two years nearly as many people are killed in motorbike crashes as British soldiers killed in combat in the last 40 years.

“The number of men in their 30s, 40s and 50s who die in motorbike accidents is rising.”

Latest Government figures show there were actually 493 motorcyclist fatalities in 2008.

Sheerman’s comments, printed in a local newspaper, came days after he told the House of Commons: “I checked the figures recently: in two years, deaths among motorcyclists equal the number lost in our armed services on active service in 40 years. The widow-makers and orphan-makers are the people who drive such vehicles and are killed. That is disgraceful in a civilised society.”

In the debate on transport on March 18 he told transport minister Paul Clark we were “perhaps becoming a little complacent about the number of deaths on two-wheeled vehicles”.      

Sheerman was not immediately available for comment. 

Steve Farrell

By Steve Farrell