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Motorcycle Safety Initiatives in the South West

The South West is a very popular area with motorcyclists due to the tourism trade and the stunning country and seaside roads.

Motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable road users – both nationally and in Devon & Cornwall.

Despite making up just 1% of road traffic, motorcyclists account for almost 25% of those killed and seriously injured on our roads.

Vision Zero South West has supported a number of projects aimed at reducing the number of motorcyclists killed and seriously injured in collisions.

This includes Devon & Cornwall Police’s pioneering drone operation Op Cossett, provision of new training schemes such as Streets Ahead and a £50,000 ‘Call For Ideas’ funding scheme for motorcycle safety projects.

We also worked with the Cabinet Office’s Behavioural Science team to develop our ‘Stories From The Other Side Of The Road’ campaign – a series of videos telling the real life stories of bikers from across Devon & Cornwall.

The first video was headed up by TV presenter and legendary biker Henry Cole, followed by members of the public. Below you can see all the videos produced for this series:

Mike reads Sean’s story

Ria reads Matthew’s story

Josh reads Ben’s story

Ben reads Josh’s story:

useful FAQs

An approved helmet that fits securely is a must.  If it is damaged in anyway then it should be replaced.  Choosing a white or brightly coloured helmet will help you be seen. SHARP  is a really good website site that provides advice on how to select a helmet that fits correctly and is comfortable.

Make sure your visor isn’t dirty or scratched and remember not to wear a tinted visor or goggles at night. Use a visor with ‘anti fogging’ or ‘mist retardant’ properties and carry a visor cleaner and cloth with you at all times.

Clothing that is worn by a motorcyclist should be visible to other road users, keep you warm and dry and be protective should you be involved in a collision.

Good quality jacket and trousers are essential to help with protection (the best is CE marked) if involved in a collision.  Wearing layers under the jacket and trousers helps keeps you warm and dry, particularly if the layer below the jacket and trousers is wind-proof.

Good quality gloves are a must and thermal lined gloves are great if cold/windy. A balaclava under your helmet will help with the wind and cold too. Some bikes have heated grips, but if not ‘hot grips’ can be added to help your hands stay warm.

Help other road users to see you not just at night but during the day too. Wear fluorescent clothing during the day and when dark make sure you are wearing hi-viz/reflective clothing.

Check your lights – as they aren’t just needed for you to see the road ahead during the hours of darkness, but also for other road users to see you.  If you don’t have someone with you to help you check your rear lights, then reverse up to a wall to see the reflection.

Washing the lights will help to get rid of any dirt and keep them tip-top. Having a spare set of bulbs with you is always a good idea too!

Check your fuel, oil, and tyre pressures and have a look for any damage for example to the chain (does the chain need any lube?), check the throttle grip, footrests and whether the brake levers and dampers are working.  

Other information can be found at Motorcycle safety checks to make before riding | Haynes Publishing

The CRASH card has details of the rider’s age, medical background and any medication they are taking and has been designed to be kept in the lining of a motorcyclist’s helmet and is the size of a bank card.

On one side it has the mnemonic C-R-A-S-H that guides you through what to do at the scene of a collision. Welcome to Crash Card UK.

There are also apps available that not only keeps medical details but also crash detection for example: RealRider and Triumph SOS.

You may also be interested in attending the Biker Down Course which provides training in essential skills if you are at the scene of a Road Traffic Collision. Biker Down – Would You Know What To Do?

I’ve seen ‘Shiny Side up’ posters on the road – what are they?

Shiny side up means to keep the rubber on the road.  The posters have been put up along roads where there have been high numbers of motorcycle collisions (high harm routes).  They signs are temporary and messages vary dependent on the types of collisions that have previously been recorded. They are designed to raise awareness of the presence of motorcyclists to other motorists and also highlight dangers to riders.

Anticipation is key and a video produced by ‘Think’ several years ago presents in this video Perfect Day. Devon and Cornwall Police provide some useful information relating to riding safely within this link

Yes, Ridefree is a free online training course that moped and motorcycle riders should complete before taking their CBT course.  It has been developed by DVSA, National Highways and other partners to help new riders prepare for a lifetime of safe riding.

The New Rider Hub is also a really useful site offering a huge amount of advice.  It also offers a point of contact if you have any specific questions or advice regarding motorcycling. Home – New Rider Hub

Yes! There are a number of courses available, for example:

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