Fewer Motorcyclists Killed on British Roads

The National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA) reports that, according to the Department for Transport, the number of motorcyclists killed on UK roads is down by 13 percent from 365 to 319.

The fall comes despite an increase in the amount of motorcycle traffic. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) says this; “demonstrates that motorcycle safety messaging is having a positive effect”. The good news is in contrast to the overall picture, which shows an increase in the number of vulnerable road users being killed on Britain’s roads. This shows a need for a renewed push for safety, according to RoSPA. Figures released on the 28t of September show that 1792 people were killed in 2016 – the highest number of deaths since 2011. Many of these involved vulnerable road users, with pedestrian deaths up by 10 percent to 448, compared with 2015, and cyclist deaths up by 2 percent to 102. “Worryingly, the number of children killed is also up by 28 percent on 2015, with 69 under-15s dying in 2016. Of all child road casualties, 38 percent (15,976) were pedestrians, and nearly a quarter (22 percent) were killed or injured during the afternoon school run, between the hours of 3-5pm.

RoSPA, the UK’s leading family safety charity, is calling for a renewed focus on teaching children life-saving road safety skills. Full details of the statistics for 2016 can be found on the Department for Transport website.

Women riders encouraged to learn the secret of fun biking

IAM RoadSmart is offering a unique chance to win a place in pioneer biker Maria Costello’s women only bike track day group coming up soon.

The Hel Performance/Maria Costello MBE women only track day group takes place on 20 September at Donington Park and IAM RoadSmart is holding a prize draw to give away a free place to one lucky rider.

Maria’s track day is a rare opportunity to ride with her and other female bikers, and receive tips and advice to help all attendees improve their riding skills and confidence.

The chance to ride with Maria is not one to be missed. The ‘Queen of Bikes’ has made more than 40 starts at the Isle of Man TT and became world famous as the first women ever to claim a podium on the island – with third place in the Ultra Lightweight category of the 2005 Manx Grand Prix.

Her career spans two decades, with 2016 proving the most successful yet. She scored the female lap record at the Vauxhall International Northwest 200 plus a podium alongside 23 times TT winner John McGuinness in the Isle of Man Senior Classic TT.

For five years Maria held a Guinness World Record at the Isle of Man TT, when she lapped the Snaefell mountain course at an average speed of 114.73 mph in 2004 – thus becoming the fastest women to have done so.

Maria said: “This the perfect opportunity for female riders to get together in good company to boost their confidence, learn how to enjoy their riding more, learn useful skills and techniques that they can take with them to be safer on the road.”

Exhibit For Free at National Bikesafe Show

he National BikeSafe Show is taking place at Rockingham, Northants, on Saturday the 19th of August, and the motorcycle trade is offered the opportunity to exhibit for free.

Northamptonshire Highways is once again supporting the event as part of its ‘Motorcycle Northants’ initiative and the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) is supporting the show as part of its drive to support a modal shift towards motorcycles in Britain. In doing so, the Association is putting many of the actions identified in the MCIA/NPCC/Highways England ‘Motorcycle Safety and Transport Policy Framework’ into practice.

The 2017 show will retain most of its previous attributes, a good sized quality motorcycle show including trade stands, displays, a stunt show and family attractions with the ability for riders to take an hour long assessed ride with a police advanced motorcyclist followed by a 15-minute track experience under the watchful eye of the California Superbike School.

Last year’s show attracted over 4000 visitors.

Interested exhibitors should email; Ian.Marriott@avonandsomerset.pnn.police.uk  

Further information is available at www.bikesafe.co.uk

IAM RoadSmart giving away free advanced motorbike sessions

Leading road safety charity IAM RoadSmart and participating local groups across the country are embarking on a major free giveaway to riders to coincide with the start of spring.

Most of IAM RoadSmart’s local groups are offering a free 90 minute riding skills taster session to any rider with a full bike licence from now to 30 June with a fully qualified assessor.

To find out which of IAM RoadSmart local bike groups around the UK are participating in the free tasters promotion, click here: www.iamroadsmart.com/ridefree

The sessions are open to every full motorbike licence holder regardless of their level of experience. Riders will use their own bikes on local roads, and can discuss any areas of concern with their assessor during their session.

Each participant will receive a concise briefing and an overview of IAM RoadSmart riding principals, followed by an on-road session and ending with a debrief. The tone of the session is a low-pressure introduction on how to make riding enjoyable, stress-free and fun.

What’s more, anyone taking a taster session can then go on to buy the full IAM RoadSmart Advanced Rider Course with a 10% discount on the usual £149 cost.

Sarah Sillars, IAM RoadSmart chief executive officer, said: “Many riders across the country will be getting their bikes out of the garage after a long and wet winter. You know your bike needs a once over before it’s safe to ride all summer long – but have you considered whether your riding might too be showing signs of wear?

“What many people don’t realise is that a review of different riding styles can increase enjoyment massively. Want to get that bend right? Make better progress? Get in touch and see what advanced riding is all about.”

To take advantage of a free session all you have to do is book via the online link above.

New partnership will make roads safer for motorcyclists

Highways England, the company responsible for running over 4000 miles of England’s motorways and major trunk roads, is to become the third partner in a landmark collaboration to improve motorcycle rider safety.

The government owned company will join the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) as an equal partner in facilitating practical changes to roads, as detailed in a jointly written whitepaper: ‘Realising the Motorcycling Opportunity: A Motorcycle Safety and Transport Policy Framework’.

The Framework calls for motorcycles and scooters to be included in mainstream transport policy and for rider safety to be consistently factored into national road design, which has not been the case in the past.

Seven key areas have been identified, which would make roads safer for riders, along with actions as to how this can be achieved practically. These include: safer infrastructure, expanding road user education, increasing awareness and training and working in partnership with cycle groups.

The Framework also advocates unlocking the benefits of motorcycles and demonstrating exactly how they offer a practical solution to congestion, as well as improving personal mobility for people without access to other forms of transport.

Highways England has a goal of bringing the number of people killed or injured on the strategic road network as close as possible to zero by 2040. It will work with police and MCIA across all seven areas identified in the Framework and will lead on ‘safer infrastructure’.

Mike Wilson, Highways England’s Chief Highways Engineer, said:

“Safety is our top priority and we believe no one should be harmed when travelling or working on our road network. We are committed to both reducing the number of motorcycle incidents and casualties on our roads and to improving the experience motorcyclists have on those roads; this influential partnership with the industry and police supports that commitment.”

Deputy Chief Constable for North Yorkshire Police, Tim Madgwick, who is the national motorcycle lead for the National Police Chiefs Council says:

“The Police service is on the front line, dealing with the devastation that is caused to families and the greater community by road traffic collisions.  The opportunity to work with both Highways England and the Motorcycle Industry Association gives us far greater scope to make our roads a safer place, not only for those who use powered two wheelers, but for all road users.  In addition to the safety aspect, encouraging greater use of motorcycles will also contribute greatly to reducing congestion and therefore journey times across the country.”

Karen Cole, Director of Safety and Training, says working in partnership with HE and NPCC could produce the breakthrough that motorcycle safety deserves:

“Highways England brings significant resource to this ambitious project; financially and in terms of influence, expertise and evidence-based decision making; add this to police backing and we have an unprecedented opportunity to make a huge difference to riders.

For too long, motorcyclists have been at the bottom of the pecking order in terms of priority for traffic management and road planners.  Often ‘safety advice’ is a thinly veiled attempt to keep people off motorbikes and scooters, rather than a genuine attempt to reduce their vulnerability.  It is important to recognise the transport choice of riders and address their needs appropriately.  Ignoring motorcyclists increases their vulnerability.”

The Framework advocates using guidelines produced by the Institute of Highway Engineers which identifies simple practical steps to reduce risks for riders.  These include:

  • Using rider friendly barriers and road surfaces
  • Repositioning pillars
  • Removing unnecessary signage
  • Using non-slip man hole covers
  • Prompt clear up of diesel.

Highways England will also work to promote safety messages and create awareness about motorcycles and scooters, since education of all road users is an important element of the Framework.  HE has already set up a working party to encourage learners to take further training for a licence and to encourage riders to wear personal protective clothing.

Safe Systems

The Framework incorporates the ‘safe system approach’, which is now widely accepted as a guiding principle among road safety professionals. This is underpinned by the understanding that humans are fallible and will make mistakes, which can be mitigated through ‘forgiving’ design, i.e. a road system built to absorb mistakes and limit the transfer of forces which can result in serious injury or death.

Background to the Framework

The first edition of the ‘Framework’ was launched by the NPCC and MCIA in 2014, following acknowledgement from police and motorcycle road safety experts that the only way to reduce vulnerability of riders was to properly incorporate their use and needs into mainstream transport planning.

The Framework details a growing body of evidence from other EU countries to show that casualties reduce where motorcycle and scooter use is more common, as other road users become more aware of them.  This is the same argument used by the cycling lobby and both modes of transport saw reductions of those killed and seriously injured in the last set of figures issued by the Department for Transport.

The number of motorcycles and scooters licensed for the roads has nearly doubled in the past twenty years, and government statistics show that there was a further 1.2% increase for quarter 4 (October to December 2015).  With congestion set to rise, it is likely many more people will opt for two wheel transport and Highways England, the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the Motorcycle Industry Association believe this choice needs to be properly supported.

Partnership inside and outside of government is the key to addressing flat-lining road deaths

Action is needed from across government departments to reverse the trend of flat-lining road deaths, according to new research from UK road safety charity IAM RoadSmart. And reducing these deaths would in turn offer a large saving to the public purse.

The new report, Evaluating the costs of incidents from the public sector perspective, is the first attempt to update the formula for death and injury cost figures since the 1990’s. It is also the first time anyone has highlighted the costs to the public sector of crashes involving some of the highest at-risk road user groups: young and mature drivers, people driving for work and motorcyclists.

The purpose of the research was to facilitate a discussion beyond the Department for Transport, with the aim of developing focused policy actions based on the savings government departments could make by prioritising road safety in their day-to-day work.

The use of casualty costs is well known and a new figure is generated every year based on a model developed in the 1990’s. In 2015 the cost of each casualty was estimated at £1.7million with the total of all incidents placed at £35 billion. The biggest element in this figure is the cost to the individuals involved, chiefly loved ones. This human cost factor has always been based on how much those relatives would be willing to pay to avoid the incident. By stripping this out the new report can show exactly which costs fall on the public purse.

The total costs to public services identified by the research were as follows:

Young drivers, £1.3 billion (£1.1 Million per fatality)
Motorcyclists, £1.1 billion (£800,000 per fatality)
People driving for work, £702 million (£700,000 per fatality)
Older drivers, £63 million. (£10,000 per fatality)

Breaking this down to individual government departments shows that reducing young driver crashes completely could result in savings of £227 million to the Department for Work and Pensions – a result of not needing to pay out long term benefits to injured drivers. In turn, the NHS and the police costs would be cut by £241 million. For motorcycling the DWP benefits savings are up to £219 million and NHS and police costs could be reduced by up to £162 million. For older drivers the costs are actually higher for serious injuries at £58,000 but the ever increasing numbers of older people mean that their costs to government departments cannot be ignored.

Sarah Sillars, IAM RoadSmart chief executive officer, said: “These are huge savings and against a background of austerity and public spending cuts this report shows what could be achieved by reducing the numbers of deaths and serious injuries suffered by these at-risk road users.

“When it comes to road safety the Department for Transport tends to be seen as the main provider of solutions, but the costs of these tragic incidents are felt right across government, not least within the NHS, Department of Work and Pensions and the Home Office. More cross-departmental working, pooling of resources and sharing of knowledge is key to ensuring joined up thinking on road safety.

IAM RoadSmart roars back to Motorcycle Live

Leading independent road safety charity IAM RoadSmart has announced today it will be returning to the MCIA’s Motorcycle Live in November for the first time in five years.

The show is the UK’s biggest motorcycle event all year, and is billed as a fun-packed family day out with opportunities not only to see the best the bike world has to offer but a chance to meet the stars, and for kids and adults to experience riding for themselves on a special indoor course.

Until this year the charity was known as the Institute of Advanced Motorists, but in its 60th anniversary year has become IAM RoadSmart as it looks to attract new drivers and riders to the world of enjoyable and safe driving and riding.

IAM RoadSmart introduced the advanced motorcycle test in 1976. Since its establishment in 1956 more than half-a-million people have taken either the advanced driving of riding course.

Sarah Sillars, IAM RoadSmart chief executive officer, said: “We are very much looking forward to being at Motorcycle Live – it is a colourful and vibrant show and represents everything that is fantastic in the world of motorbikes. It’s a good fun day out – take the family.

“We are keen to show that you can ride safely and have fun at the same time. Learning those amazing road skills and showing you have the ability to handle any situation is a very satisfying thing, and we want to empower bikers in this way.”

Motorcycle Live takes place at the Birmingham NEC from 19-27 November. IAM RoadSmart will be in Hall 2 Stand 2C44.

Biker Down Conference Will Seek To Set Standards

The 2016 National Biker Down Conference will be held in Stevenage on the 7th of October and there are still places available for road safety professionals wishing to attend.

Originally developed by Kent Fire & Rescue Service, Biker Down provides bikers with advice about what to do if a fellow rider comes off their bike.

The free-to-attend course covers scene management, first aid and how bikers can make themselves more visible to other road users. Biker Down is currently being delivered by 24 fire & rescue teams across the UK.

In 2012 Biker Down gained a coveted Prince Michael International Road Safety Award and a year later it received a National ‘Alarm’ Award.

The 2016 Conference aims to help set standards for all Biker Down teams and fire & rescue services across the UK.

At present, 20 different fire services will be represented at the event along with a number of road safety partnerships and representatives from IAM RoadSmart.

For more information or to register interest in attending the conference, which is being held at the Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Service Training Centre, contact Jim Sanderson on 01622 692121 or via email.

IAM RoadSmart stages its first ever female-only bike skills day next month

IAM RoadSmart stages its first ever female-only bike skills day next month

IAM RoadSmart is staging its first ever riding skills day for female bikers only, focusing on handling, skills development and getting the most from their riding. The day will focus on individuals’ own development goals and all levels of ability and experience are welcome.

The women only riding day takes place at Thruxton circuit in Hampshire on 19 September and you don’t need to be an IAM RoadSmart member to take part.

Amanda Smith, IAM RoadSmart, head of field service delivery, said: “Our members have been asking for a women-only skills day so they could learn skills at their own pace with like-minded follow bikers. We were more than happy to provide this.

“This day is for all female riders who want to improve their skills whilst also having some fun.”

Subjects covered on the day will include:

• Vanishing points, entry, apex and exit points, how they vary from road to circuit, why and how we use them, where we should position for view, progress and safety together with braking

• Where to brake, when and how much to brake, how it feels in an emergency and finishing on accelerator (throttle) application to set the balance of the bike for controlled smooth cornering

• Gear selection – how to decide which is the most appropriate gear for the circumstances and control

• How to use the accelerator/throttle to add stability to the bike when entering corners, blipping or constant accelerator techniques when changing down gears.

Place on this skills day are £135 each and can be booked by calling 0300 303 1134. Family and friends are also welcome as spectators. Please note this is not a racing day and attendees will be required to bring their own bike to take part.

2015 Collision Data Plotted On Online Map

A free web mapping service which shows details of road collisions and casualties across Britain now includes data for 2015 which was only released a month ago by DfT.

Developed by Buchanan Computing – a specialist supplier of software, training and web mapping for traffic professionals –CollisionMap.uk can be used without the need for registration.

Buchanan Computing says that while collision data is made available to the public by the Government, it is presented in a format that is ‘difficult to visually interpret’. In contrast, it says that CollisionMap.uk ‘provides everyone the ability to have free access to this important dataset in an understandable format’.

Whether it be the whole of Great Britain or an individual street, users can locate their chosen area and view data which goes back to 2011.

The map, which is colour coded, includes filters by date range and severity classification. Details available include type of collision, how many vehicles were involved and the number of casualties.

Published on 30 June, the new DfT figures show that 1,732 people were killed in reported road traffic accidents in Great Britain in 2015 – the second lowest number on record after 2013.

Although the 2015 figure represents a decrease of 43 fatalities (or 2.4%) from 2014, the DfT says this can be attributed to ‘natural variation’.

The DfT says in statistical terms the number of fatalities has remained unchanged since 2011. However, there were 45% fewer fatalities in 2015 than a decade earlier in 2006 and 4% fewer than the 2010-14 average.