Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police, together with the Safer Roads Partnership, are reminding road users to ‘THINK BIKE’ this summer, and riders are encouraged to register their interest for future Biker Down courses in the region where they can learn essential life-saving skills.
The annual THINK BIKE campaign was launched in March this year with the aim of reducing casualties and fatalities across Warwickshire, Shropshire, Telford, Worcestershire and Herefordshire. Over the past three years (2014-2016) in Warwickshire and West Mercia there have been 528 people either killed or seriously injured following collisions involving motorcycles.
The campaign is targeting both motorcyclists and car drivers with the aim of increasing general awareness and offering additional training. Advertising and social media messages have been used to encourage road users to share the road responsibly along with the yellow THINK BIKE signs that have appeared on popular routes across the region where collisions have occurred over the past three years. These highlight routes where both motorcyclists and drivers need to take care and be more aware.
In recent weeks, four Biker Down courses have taken place across Warwickshire and West Mercia (Worcester, Henley-in-Arden, Peterchurch and Telford) which have been fully subscribed with approximately 90 bikers attending in total.
The Biker Down course is delivered in partnership by a number of organisations who all have a vested interest in reducing motorcycle-related casualties and reducing the severity of injuries sustained, including: the Safer Roads Partnership, Warwickshire Police, West Mercia Police, Hereford & Worcester and Warwickshire fire services, Midlands Air Ambulance and the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM RoadSmart).
Designed for motorcyclists of all ages and abilities, Biker Down is a free three-hour course which offers bikers the chance to benefit from essential first-aid training and advice on what to do should they find themselves first at the scene of a collision where a motorcyclist is injured, as well as learning practical skills to help avoid being involved in a collision. The course is made up of three modules: Collision scene management, Basic first aid and casualty care (including CPR and helmet removal) and ‘The science of being seen’ – advice on visibility and positioning.
Dates and venues are currently being arranged for courses later in the summer. Any bikers interested in attending a future course can register their interest by emailing the Safer Roads Partnership: RoadSafety1@westmercia.pnn.police.uk
Feedback from the course has been extremely positive and some of the comments received include:
- “Fantastic course. Really informative, very well presented. Feel I’ve learnt and can take away a lot. Fingers crossed I never have to use the information, but I feel happier having the knowledge.”
- “Superb course, very thought provoking. It will change my riding behaviour. Especially interesting riding when close to junctions and the visibility section.”
- “Even though as a driver trainer I know a fair bit, it reminded me that there’s always stuff to learn and all three parts were very interesting and useful, especially the biker first aid.”
Alongside the communications activity and education work in place, police enforcement continues to take place and Operational Patrol Units target high harm routes to provide a highly visible deterrent to speeding motorists and motorcyclists as well as cracking down on inappropriate riding and nuisance offences such as noise. Enforcement will continue to be carried out throughout the summer months alongside other operational commitments.
Anna Higgins, Communications Manager for the Safer Roads Partnership said: “Both Warwickshire and West Mercia are popular with bikers and many riders are attracted to the area, particularly at weekends and when the weather is good. We’re aiming to make motorcyclists and other road users more aware of the risks that are present when they are out on the roads and to help us reduce the amount of collisions that take place. We hope bikers never experience a collision, but the Biker Down courses that we run provide essential skills, which could help to save someone else’s life, should they ever need to use them.”
The Safer Roads Partnership offers a ‘Take Control’ motorcycle skills enhancement course for bikers who want to brush up on their skills, gain more confidence on their bike or become a better rider. For more information visit http://www.rmtnet.co.uk/take-control.