Road Safety News
 

'Spot the difference' in Yorkshire

Thursday 1st July 2010

A new resource aimed at young scooter riders has been developed and launched in west Yorkshire.

‘Spot the Difference’ features a local young rider and special effects make up. The artwork is being used in poster and leaflet form and distributed to young riders across west, east and south Yorkshire through CBT centres, schools and colleges. It aims to remind young riders that proper riding kit can really save their skin.

Dave Glanville, west Yorkshire’s PTW road safety officer, said: “We know young riders on small capacity machines are particularly vulnerable.

“What could be a relatively minor incident can result in serious injury because so often these riders are wearing inappropriate kit. We hope that they’ll take on board the information we’re giving them and make a more informed decision about what they chose to wear.”

For more information contact Dave Glanville on 01132475804.

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Totally agree Bob! Do people remember falling in the play ground at school on tarmac how badly a scuffed knee felt and bled, ripped your jeans and that was only from running about, Times that by 1000, work it out for yourself!!! Everybody should be more aware of how protective clothing helps your life. Buy the best that you can afford - if you can afford the bike you can afford the gear
Jay, Yorkshire

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Protective Motorcycle Clothing like all markets has its cheaper end where parents or young adults can purchase durable clothing to protect against injury. I however am not an advocate of having to wear certain protective clothing whilst riding. In this warm weather we have enjoyed of late across the North of England & Borders I have opted for Kevlar lined jeans with knee/hip CE armour over my leather/cordura trousers. Why? Because of practicality, my journeys end might be a bike meeting, a shopping centre or a friends house. I do not wish to wear heavy clothing in good weather conditions. I always wear gloves good boots (even an old pair of army boots can be part of my ensemble). My friends & I as teenagers were taught to wear clothing by bikers we knew, when serving our motorcycling 'apprenticeship'. A concept few youngsters riding scooters/motorcycles are aware of. In this 'apprenticeship' a new rider has a guardian biker (someone's parent, older sibling, or friend) in their social circle who shows you how to look after yourself and your bike. We are a relatively free democracy and within that any rider can wear whatever they wish to, our aim collectively as motorcyclists to use common sense and this initiative reminds young and not-so-young riders of our vulnerability. Well done Dave Glanville and his team.
Raj Sood, West Cumbria. (Whitehaven MAG)

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Both Dave and Roy make very sound and valid points. The resource 'Spot The difference' is creative, well thought out, has high visual impact and imparts the necessary information without overload.

I believe that resources like this and other information delivering iniatives are appropriate for all riders of powered two wheelers and other vulnerable road user groups. Young riders and drivers generally don't have well developed risk assessment and management skills (sadly the same could be said for a significant number of more experienced road users). Therefore resources like this that inform and educate, and provide information to help road users make reasoned choices has got to be for the 'greater good' of all concerned.

Roy makes very valid points. You will note that I have used the phrase 'greater good' above. One individuals definition or perception of 'greater good' may be very different to anothers. Informed road safety professionals will usually have an opinion based on sound reasoning and evidence. Leglislators and those in positions of influence may have relatively little knowledge of PTW related issues - some are completely naive! I can understand Roy's concerns. Professionals with the appropriate knowledge, evidence and experience need to be continually vigilant to ensure that those in influential positions have the right information.
Mark - Wiltshire

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Dave, In your first sentence you hit the nail on the head, "letting them decide." However, I have been at roadside checks where I have heard motorcyclists receive verbal warnings from the police for not wearing "appropriate clothing." VWs are for minor infringements of the law not for the enforcement of advice. You make a very valid point regarding seatbelts etc. but there is little negative element connected to these safety features other than the claim from a small minority regarding the discomfort of wearing seatbelts. Please understand my fear of over-legislating in road safety. My new motorcycle is hard-wired. I have not been allowed to decide. Hard-wiring is the result an unproven initiative that goes back to the mid-eighties. Do you see my point? If my teenage son were to slide along the road having fallen of his machine, yes, I hope he had listened to your advice. But I am nervous that one day, some pale faced civil servent in a grey suit in Whitehall who hates motorcycles will decide what I must wear when I ride my bike. Can you see why I am cautious about these things? Your initiative is excellent but it may come back to bite me in the leg.
Roy Buchanan Sutton

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Roy, it's about giving young riders the information and letting them decide. With this artwork we are trying to say to young riders that it is their choice what they wear but they also have to think about the possible (and in my experience probable) consequences of that decision. If we didn't do things for fear of legislation we'd never have got seatbelts or airbags or ABS which have saved thousands of lives. Every rider injured is another step closer to prescriptive legislation. Wearing decent kit has the potential to dramatically reduce the number of young riders seriously injured on our roads and we need to get that message out there.
Dave, Leeds

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Dave Glanville's initiative is above reproach - almost! There is an undeniable logic in wearing clothing distinctly designed to protect the motorcyclist, should he fall off. Having just read Bob's graphic description of the potential outcome in the event of a fall, many would be encouraged to immediately buy over £2000's worth of the finest leathers on the market. The feature in the News Letter uses the words 'proper' and 'inappropriate' but does not make it clear who decides what is proper or inappropriate? My fear is that initiatives like this will sow the seed of compulsion and that is what many would fined unacceptable. At the weekend, I saw a father cyling with his small daughter. The child was wearing just about every protective item one could buy, helmet with chinguard (motocross style), pads on the shoulders, elbows, knees and shins and what appeared to be padded gloves. The risk of this child falling off is very high so the level of protection was equally high. In contrast the father had no protection at all, not even a helmet. The risk of him falling off is very low so he dressed - dare I say this - appropriately. I am concerned that, as a consequence of the initiatives like the one in Yorkshire, legislation could be imposed on all of us because of the stupidity of some teenage scooter riders. These initiatives are so well intended I feel uncomfortable criticising them but I would feel even more uncomfortable should they find their way into legislation.
Roy Buchanan Sutton

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It's hard for some young riders to believe that sliding on tarmac can do so much damage. Within 5ft the skin is lost down to the bone on the fingers, hands, wrists, elbows knees and within 30 ft fat and muscle tissue is ripped away from and including connective tissue from most places importantly the thighs, down to the bone, pelvic region lower legs etc.

Should be made available nationwide.
bob craven Lancs

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