Motorbike fans have been urged not to race on their way to the Ulster Grand Prix this week.
Environment Minister Edwin Poots appealed to all road users to do more to cut motorbike casualties — warning that bikes are three times harder to see than cars.
During a visit to the Dundrod circuit he urged bike fans to leave the high speeds to the professionals.
“This weekend hundreds of motorcycle racing enthusiasts will be visiting Dundrod to see the world’s fastest road race,” he said.
“However, year after year on the way to and from the races, we see motorcyclists and drivers engaging in some very risky behaviour, often travelling too fast for the conditions or overtaking where it is obviously not safe to do so.”
Although motorcycles only represent 3% of all licensed vehicles in Northern Ireland, motorcyclists account for 13% of all road deaths. Last year 16 motorcyclists were killed and 398 were injured — 138 of them seriously. Already this year, five riders and one pillion passenger have lost their lives.