With 11 motorcycle deaths in 2013, and in view of the current spell of good weather, Hampshire County Council is warning car drivers and bikers to look out for each other and drive safely.
Out of the 11 motorcycle deaths last year, seven occurred in a four week period between 2 and 21 July 2013.
Motorcyclists represent only 1% of road traffic but account for 20% of road fatalities.
Motorcycle accidents tend to rise in the summer as more bikers take advantage of the warm, dry weather. Riders are being reminded that they still need to wear protective clothing during the hot weather to protect themselves and ensure they are seen by other road users.
As part of stepping up its biker awareness campaign the County Council will be continuing with bike safety posters on key routes. The posters, featuring the ‘Think Bike’ and ‘Bikers Think!’ messages will be on key routes such as the A272. The signs remind motorists to alert to motorbikes during their journey. Equally, motorcyclists are being reminded to be aware of other drivers’ motoring behaviour while out on the road and to give themselves time to react.
To increase awareness a bus back advertising campaign Think Bike Think Biker! has also been launched over the months of June and July on double decker buses across Hampshire reminding motorists to Take Longer to Look for bikes.
Councillor Seán Woodward, Executive Member for Economy, Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council said; “Sadly last year there were 11 motorcycle deaths on the County’s roads. We want to help prevent further accidents by increasing safety awareness amongst riders and car drivers.
“Many riders are injured at junctions when vehicles pull out, others crash as a result of entering a bend too fast. Our message to drivers is ‘think bike’ and always take longer to look for motorcyclists especially at junctions and when overtaking, give a second glance to really check it’s safe to manoeuvre as they could be hidden in your blind spot.”
“Riders can help too by wearing high visibility clothing, riding defensively; concentrating and anticipating the errors of other road users. I would encourage bikers to go on the BikeSafe course run by Hampshire Constabulary in partnership with Hampshire Fire and Rescue. The course aims to help motorcyclists learn to deal with hazards appropriately, gain more confidence, improve their abilities and get more enjoyment from riding.”
Sergeant Rob Heard the Road Safety Sergeant for Hampshire Constabulary added said “We are still having too many motorcyclists killed and seriously injured on our roads, some of these are due to motorists not seeing approaching motorcycles and others are to do with the actions of the motorcyclist themselves. We are really keen to remind motorists to make sure they look carefully when pulling out from junctions or when they are approaching a junction to look out for a motorcyclist pulling out as well.”
“Motorcyclists need to make sure they are as visible as possible, by wearing suitable clothing, riding with your headlight on or just riding in the best position to be seen. Hampshire Constabulary runs regular BikeSafe workshops for motorcyclists. The main aim is to reduce the number of riders being hurt on the roads.”
“We think that riding should be fun and by improving skills, knowledge and hazard awareness it will hopefully make riding safer and more enjoyable. The BikeSafe workshop explores the main riding hazards that a rider faces. By delivering theory presentations and observed rides, a BikeSafe workshop will help you discover your strengths and weaknesses and also where to go next to develop and get more from your biking.”