Highways England takes safety message to motorcyclists
Highways England is gearing up to promote motorcycle safety at one of the biggest events in the British motor-racing calendar
Teaming up with partners from the emergency services, Highways England will have a stand at the British Superbike Championships at Silverstone over the Easter bank holiday weekend.
Tens of thousands of motorcyclists and motor-racing fans are expected to flock to the Northamptonshire racetrack over the weekend of April 19-21.
Along with representatives from BikeSafe, the DocBike charity and Biker Down initiative, Highways England will also be there to advise visitors and enrol motorcyclists on potentially life-saving courses.
Highways England is committed to ‘safer vehicles, safer roads and safer people’ in an effort to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured across the network by 40 per cent by 2020.
Motorcyclists account for just one per cent of road users but 25 per cent of serious injuries.
Highways England is targeting young riders with its Distressed campaign. This aims to promote behavioural change with a focus on the need for appropriate personal protective clothing. The campaign features the Distressed clothing range, each item has a ‘price tag’ swapping monetary value for a range of possible injuries a rider could suffer in a collision.
Visitors to the stand will also be given details about the Highways England app which is able to provide a GPS reference for road users who need help, often on remote A roads.
Traffic officers will be on hand to share the benefit of their experience and giving advice on what to do if your vehicle breaks down on the Highways England network while there will also be information about the Stay Safe, Stay Back tailgating campaign.
Highways England Head of Road Safety, Richard Leonard, said: “We are committed to improving safety on our roads and are conscious that motorcyclists are one of the most vulnerable groups of road users.
“Going to Silverstone offers the ideal opportunity for us, working with our partners, to take our safety messages to motorcyclists and promote responsible and safe riding.”
The police-led BikeSafe initiative will be bringing along some of its motorcycles including a Ducati V4 Panigale and one of the Ducati Multistrada 1200s supported by Highways England.
BikeSafe aims to reduce the number of motorcyclists involved in accidents on the road by improving skills, knowledge and hazard awareness. The Ducatis are used to help deliver the BikeSafe workshops and feature at shows, events and bike meets.
Chief Inspector Kevin Mulligan, of Staffordshire Police, said: “Coming along to British Superbikes allows us to spend time with riders of fantastic machines and convince them of how much more enjoyment they could get from their bikes if their riding and attitude to safety had been taken to another level by doing a BikeSafe workshop and further training.
“For us it’s all about making our roads and riders safer without any loss of enjoyment that biking brings – all the BikeSafe team are passionate bikers and know their stuff.”
Biker Down is a fire service initiative which offers a free training course, using the expertise of the emergency services, to prepare motorcyclists should they be involved in an accident or first on the scene of a collision involving a biker. The three-hour course covers such areas as crash scene management and casualty care.
Spokesperson Lyndon Jones said: “In the past five years, thanks to Biker Down, hundreds of motorcyclists across the country have been given the skills to help out at an accident and make that little bit of difference before professional help arrives. We look forward to spreading the word to even more bikers at Silverstone.”
DocBike combines cutting edge research in motorcycle injury prevention with roadside critical care whilst working with partners in all emergency services, supporting both Biker Down and BikeSafe.
Having an air ambulance intensive care consultant on a motorbike helps to engage with ‘at risk’ motorcyclists as well as being able to treat injured bikers when required.
DocBike spokesperson Dr Ian Mew said: “The DocBike charity is really pleased to be working alongside Highways England at the British Superbikes Championship to showcase the work we’re doing and raise bikers’ awareness of what it is that actually leads to a fatal crash and how to avoid being in one yourself.”