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Dft launches new motorcycle safety campaign

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Drivers are being urged to take longer to look for motorcyclists in the latest THINK! motorcycle safety campaign, launched by road safety minister Stephen Hammond.

The £1.3m campaign, timed to coincide with the anticipated spring increase in motorcyclists' return to the roads, encourages drivers to take longer to look for motorcyclists and think about the biker, not just the bike.

Hammond said: "Motorcyclists account for just 1% of traffic but 19% of deaths on Britain's roads and 30 bikers are killed or injured in accidents at junctions every day. I am determined to reduce this terrible toll.

"That is why we are funding this THINK! campaign to remind drivers to look out for motorcyclists - particularly at junctions - and to see the person behind the helmet not just a motorbike."

The campaign was informed by accident statistics, which show that motorists pulling out in front of motorcyclists is a major cause of deaths and injuries; and wider research showing that drivers are more likely to notice motorcyclists on the roads if they know a biker themselves.

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  • Malcolm - 11/03/2013 15:14

    Hi, I know many Bikers; but, I maintain that the onus should be on the Biker and not just the motorist. I frequently travel on a very straight road (several miles long) and its usally the Biker that greatly exceeds the speed limits and suddenly pulls out to overtake. You cannot always see them in the rear view mirror especially when they suddenly pass you doing ?? MPH - it is 60 MPH speed limit and when you are doing 60 MPH they normally pass you as though you were sitting still. The view ahead is one of flashing headlights and a string of brake lights. However, not all Bikers are like this; Bikers like Honda Goldwing riders and the like are normally Law abiding citizens and ride their machines sensibly. If the Biker rode their bikes sensibly instead of weaving in and out of traffic (which is okay to do when its safe to do so) then a greater respect would be had for the Biker. We all have somewhere to go and all use the same road; so, let's all get there safely. The slogan should read 'Biker Think' and not 'Think Bike'.

    • Ian - 11/03/2013 17:36

      @Malcolm - Malcolm, I understand your frustration and point, most Motorcyclists are also frustrated by speed freaks ruining their good reputation, but lets not lose the point, it is every car drivers legal and moral obligation to ensure they look (and see) what's coming before they pull out, I regularly ride and almost everyday as I approach a junction, within the speed limit and with my headlights, on a car will pull out forcing me to take evasive action, they are often on the phone/texting or listening to music. Remember you can think of as many excuses as you like, but killing an innocent Father, Brother or Child because you couldn't wait and look before pulling out will ruin your life as well as those left behind by your actions.

    • John - 11/03/2013 23:11

      @Malcolm - What car drivers forget is that small objects approaching them are hard to see, and the brain often registers those objects as being further away than the actually are. Watch this excellent Think Ad - on Optical Illusions to see what I'm talking about http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xW-VAvQvSk . Its not that motorcycle riders are doing the wrong thing - its rather the fact that your brain is looking for larger objects like cars and trucks - not small objects like pedestrians, bicycle riders or motorcycles. I have been riding for years and thesedays I rarely break the speed limit - yet many car drivers still fail to see me. Why? Because they fail to Take a Longer Look. Its as simple as the - Take a Longer Look. Its difficult to see the real world outside your cage - and its built in distractions and blind spots.....

  • Steve Witney - 11/03/2013 23:31


  • Rob - 12/03/2013 04:29

    19% sounds ridiculously high - but what is it in absolute terms? Have rider fatalities reduced at a lesser rate compared to the total? That would drive up the percentage. The percentage figure is very deceptiove. Over here in Australia, Victoria, the local plod and the local car automobile club shouted from the roof tops that rider fatalities were on the increase, all because the percentage had increased as a proportion of the whole... well... weren't they caught with their proverbial pants around their ankles. The actual numbers showed a decrease in both absolute and real terms. Statistical context - it's VERY IMPORTANT. Oh and Malcolm, I see many many drivers doing many dumb and stupid and even illegal things but I don't tar every driver with that brush. Try doing the same for riders, thanks.

  • Dan McLean - 12/03/2013 06:01

    So if you ride a Goldwing you are a safe driver, so sports bikers are not safe? There are people from all walks of life ride bikes, Im a 50 year old and ride a Yamaha 600cc sports tourer, Im not an idiot, infact i am actually a professional driver to trade. I know of some idiots on the road on bikes, but percentage wise there is more idiot car drivers on the road. There is good and bad among then all, but the main idea is to get car drivers to look twice and make sure they do it properly. In Australia there is a campaign called SMIDSY, (sorry mate i didnt see you) which is what nearly every car driver says when they cause an accident with a bike, now that in itself says something. Bike riders concentrate 100% while riding, they have to as you have to predict car drivers actions, where as car drivers are lucky to use 50% concentration, just follow a car and see how many text or phone while driving, or the amount of head turning as the driver chats to the passenger,,, Yup bikers are 100% at concentrating and have to be,,, if only all car drivers would do the same there wouldnt be many accidents..

  • Robert Craven - 13/03/2013 09:21

    Nice picture of a motorcyclist riding in the country. However the problem is an urban one ,where most of the SMIDSY's happen at road junctions and roundabouts inside a town area. Yes,in country roads many more motorcyclist are killed but they rarely involve another vehicle emerging from a side road. Its usually created by poor cornering skills and lack of anticipation whilst innapropriately overtaking. Thats the problem created by the biker, nothing else. There should not only be a THINK BIKE sticker for cars but also a BIKER THINK!!!!!! sticker for the motorcyclist as well.

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