Every year thousands of people are killed or seriously injured on our roads. Motorcyclists suffer disproportionately. They represent less than 1% of road traffic, but account for almost 18% of deaths and serious injuries; they are 45 times more likely to be killed than a car driver. In Shropshire, in 2011 there were four fatal and 28 serious motorcycle road accident casualties and 69 slight road accident casualties.
So what is the answer?
Ensure you are in good health and feel up to riding your machine. If you have been drinking alcohol the night before, leave the bike at home and use public transport! Remember - you may well be carrying levels of alcohol in your system from a binge eight to ten hours earlier. Ensure your eyesight is up to standard; can you read a number plate at 20.5 metres? If not, you need to get your eyes checked by a registered optician.
What to wear
Buy the correct gear; good clothing means jackets, trousers and boots. The best will be marked “CE” and can protect you from getting hurt if you fall from your machine. Remember also to wear bright clothing so that others will see you - fluorescent for day, reflective at night. Replace your helmet every two to three years, or immediately if dropped or damaged.
Improve your skills
Think about developing your skills further - it can be a good investment in relation to your own safety. Consider advanced or ‘refresher’ courses. Read on for further information or check your local Yellow Pages.
Institute of Advanced Motorcyclists
Using the Police system of control you will be in the right place on the road, travelling at the correct speed, with the correct gear engaged and able to stop safely within the distance you can see to be clear.
The courses start throughout the year. An observer is allocated to the motorcyclist who rides with them on a one-to-one basis to put the theory into practice.
The course fee is £139 and includes all books, paperwork and the test fee. The observers give their time freely but will ask for a small contribution for each observed ride towards their running costs (usually £5).
The Telford and Wrekin Advanced Motorcyclists Group cover the whole of Shropshire. For more information please contact Paul Collyer on 01952 618442 or visit the Telford and Wrekin IAM website.
Bikesafe is a scheme run by Police forces across the UK to help reduce the number of motorcycle rider casualties. The Police Officers who run the scheme pass on their knowledge, experience and skills so that the rider becomes more competent. Confidence is increased so riding becomes more enjoyable.
Shropshire and Powys Advanced Riders
A good motorcycle rider never stops learning. Because vehicles and riding conditions are constantly changing, you need to review, adapt and improve your riding skills accordingly just to keep pace. The best way to monitor your true riding ability is to put it to the ultimate test — the RoSPA Advanced Riding Test. Nationally recognised and conducted by Police Class 1 Advanced Certificate holders, it is generally regarded as the most comprehensive and challenging test of its kind available to the general public. The test must be retaken every 3 years to ensure that the qualification carries real worth both to you and other road users.
If you’d like to find out more about putting yourself to the ultimate riding test, start by contacting Shropshire and Powys Advanced Riders (SAPAR). SAPAR are a local group of RoSPA advanced riders and drivers. For more details, please see the links on this page.