Road Safety News
 

North Yorkshire turns to YouTube to appeal to bikers

Friday 3rd September 2010

North Yorkshire’s road safety team is turning to social media in a bid to reduce the numbers of motorcyclists killed and seriously injured on the region’s roads.

As the summer biking season reached its peak, the 95 Alive York and North Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership launched a YouTube channel featuring videos aimed directly at bikers using the county’s roads.

The videos set out to explain the consequences of careless motorbike riding and the effects of a serious crash.  They feature real stories from people directly affected by motorcycle crashes.

The road safety partnership is urging anyone who rides a motorcycle or who knows a biker to log on, watch the videos and forward them to friends and family.

The three videos include the story of Luke Delahunty (pictured) who was paralysed from the chest down after crashing into a tractor on his bike, and Sarah McCarthy whose husband Stuart was killed when he lost control of his bike on North Yorkshire’s roads last summer. The final video features a series of top riding tips from North Yorkshire Police’s advanced motorcycle training officers.

14 bikers have died on roads in York and North Yorkshire since the start of 2010, which accounts for more than half of the total number of fatalities in the county.  Last year 15 motorcyclists were killed and 107 seriously injured.

Inspector Dave Brown, North Yorkshire Police, said: “Thousands of bikers visit our county and return home safely, and North Yorkshire Police will openly applaud and support responsible riding.
 
"But if you abuse the laws of the roads, expect to be dealt with appropriately and without leniency. Think about what you are doing and ride within your limits and the law.”

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May I add that this campaign is one aspect of a much wider programme of work that also includes targeted police enforcement operations.
Honor Byford, North Yorkshire

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Honor, I appreciate that you have your own specific problems but so has Derbyshire, South Wales, North Wales and other counties that have good riding roads.

It all boils down to accidents occuring on country roads and involves either losing it on bends or inapropriate overtaking manouvers both of which can be possibly too fast for the conditions or experience of the rider. [not nec. exceeding the statutory limits]

As previously said, training is a good idea but some of those that become statistics do not wish to be trained, for whatever reason. Thus training is only considered and accessed by those who may I say have a social conscience and an understanding that training is of value.

I believe that those who wish to ride recklessly and or at excessive speeds should be taken to book by the police and courts and 1. be disqualified from riding bikes [not nec. all vehicles] and then before they can get that entitlement back be required to undertake compulsory further training and undertake a new test. Further, that there should be a substantial fine that will require them to sell the bike or have it removed from their possession and sold. Then when their toy is taken away from them the roads will be a lot safer for the rest of the motorcycling public. And other road users in general.
R. Craven

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To clarify the situation here in North Yorkshire, which is what this campaign has been designed to address:
Approximately 85% of the motorcycle crashes in North Yorkshire are either single vehicle - motorbike only - or are where a motorbike collided with another vehicle as a result of its rider losing control. They happen on rural A and B roads, most often on bends, particularly left hand bends.
This is very specific to our county, which is a very large rural area with two national parks and a number of very popular routes for motorcyclists. Some 42% of our motorcyclist collisions happen on Saturdays and Sundays. All these fatalities and most of the serious injuries have been to riders of large bikes, 500cc and above. This is a specific campaign to address a very particular local situation. It should not be taken to reflect more general motorcycling issues in urban and other areas of the country.
Honor Byford, North Yorkshire

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I'm sorry Derek but 80% of collisions involving motorcycles are NOT the responsibility of another road user, not by a long shot. Once we discount the number of single vehicle collisions which represents around a third of the total figure the remaining two thirds is split roughly 50/50 between the rider and the other road user being at fault and in a large majority of cases where the rider is not at fault they still had contributory factors, often speed related, attributed to them. It is very rare that a collision occurs where a rider could have done nothing to prevent it. As a motorcyclist it is all to easy to pass the buck as say 'drivers don't look' or 'he just pulled out on me' it is more difficult to say 'I assumed he'd seen me' or 'I was travelling too fast / riding inappropriately so they didn't have a chance to see me'. As the most vulnerable group of road users (and I include myself in this) riders have to take primary responsibility for their own safety. Training is a great place to start but it's the attitude behind the behaviour that's the main issue and the most difficult one to address.
Dave, Leeds

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From figures alone, it is not possible to assess the causes of individual accidents. Motorcyclists in general are far better trained now than at any previous point in history. Further training is always a bonus, and may indeed be a life saving bonus, but one inescapable fact arises: Over 80% of accidents involving motorcyclists is the sole responsibility of a third party, often a car driver that has misjudged the path, speed, or - and a greater likelihood - the presence of a motorcyclist. Modern machines, like modern cars, are capable of accelerating smoothly and effortlessly to high speed. Their capabilities are greater than older machines, and there is undoubtedly a number of riders who rode in the sixties and moved across to cars when family arrived, who have now been able to return to their youthful hobby, but are presented with machines quite different to those of their youth. This is where advanced training comes in, but it needs to be balanced with all road users being 'Bike Aware'.

Motorcyclist of 47yrs, over 20yrs professionally, holder of advanced training certificate from Cheshire Constabulary. None of which makes me invulnerable against the folly of others, but it helps.
Derek Reynolds

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I am saddened to hear about the apparent increase in deaths of bikers in that area.

As it was reported by a survey done by the IAM of its motorcycling members, some 60 % replied that in the early part of this year their mileage for social and pleasure useage had increased compared to that of previous [wet weather] years.

With the good dry weather we have been enjoying its understandable that more mileage will be enjoyed by an increased number of bikers, particularly on sunny Sundays and evenings.

Unfortunately this increases the risk of accidents and the therefore increased death and injury rates.

I have a question. Of the riders who have accidents would it be possible to ascertain if they have undertaken any further training such as with IAM, Rospa etc. or even done track days?

Would it be beneficial to inquire if such persons have received training and if not why not?
Bob Craven - Lancs

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