Cheshire firefighters are urging bikers and drivers to take extra care as the weather improves.
Statistics show that injuries to motorcyclists are out of proportion to their presence on our roads.
Motorcyclists are just 1% of total road traffic, but account for 19% of all road user deaths.
The force is offering advice and courses for riders
Road Safety Manager Colin Heyes said: “As the weather generally starts improving, many bikers are thinking about taking their bikes for the first ride-out of the year.
“However, along with this increase in biker activity unfortunately we know that there will also be an increase in the number of bike related collisions on the roads.
“That’s why we are holding Biker Awareness Week from 21 to 27 March, when our road safety officers will be concentrating on motorcycle safety.”
In Cheshire between 2012 and 2015 there were 1,049 motorcyclist casualties, 37% of which were killed or seriously injured. Over the last three years motorcycle casualties have accounted for 20% of all road fatalities in Cheshire.
Colin added: “We want people to enjoy riding their bikes on our roads but we also want them to be safe. We hope that by educating and informing people about possible dangers we can help them be avoided
“The rider must also be ready for the road. Riders’ skills can fade considerably after a few months off the bike. It’s important to recognise this and adjust the ride accordingly – ease yourself back into the riding season.
“Take part in post-test training at one of the various accredited courses available such as the one run by the Institute of Advanced Motorists. Post-test rider training is proven to reduce the risk of bikers becoming involved in a crash and can often reduce insurance costs too.”
Stay in control with this simple advice
- Ride defensively, like you expect the unexpected
- Take a lifesaver glance, a last look around before you manoeuvre
- Anticipate potential hazards, position yourself in the best place to maximise visibility of potential hazards
- Always think ahead with time to react
- Be aware of other road users and get in the right position on the road to anticipate hazards and take action
Stay in control
- Ride at a speed that will allow you to slow down and stop in good time, whatever the road condition
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service organises Biker Down courses.
Biker Down is a free training course runby bikers for bikers and offers people the chance to learn practical skills to help avoid being involved in a crash, as well as essential first-aid training and advice on what to do should they find themselves first on the scene of a crash where someone is injured.
The next Biker Down courses are taking place on:
- Sunday 20th March 2016 at Cheshire Fire HQ in Winsford, 12pm-4pm
- Saturday 16th April 2016 at Atherton Guide Dog Training School, Atherton, Manchester, 9.30am-2pm
- Sunday 24th April 2016 at Frodsham Fire Station, 12pm-4pm
- Sunday 29th May 2016 at Cheshire Fire HQ in Winsford, 12pm-4pm
- Friday 1st July 2016 at Cheshire Fire HQ in Winsford, 6:30pm-9:30pm
- Friday 5th August 2016 at Cheshire Fire HQ in Winsford, 6:30pm-9:30pm
- Friday 16th September 2016 at Cheshire Fire HQ in Winsford, 6:30pm-9:30pm
- Sunday 6th November 2016 at Cheshire Fire HQ in Winsford, 12pm-4pm
Places are limited, so please book a place on the course by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org