Road Safety News
 

Campaign urges drivers to take longer to look for bikers

Wednesday 1st June 2011

Hampshire County Council is urging car drivers to ‘think bike’ and ‘think biker’ as we approach the summer months when motorcycle casualties tend to peak.

In 2010 there were 508 collisions on Hampshire’s roads involving motorcyclists; 13 were fatal, and 164 were serious, and so far this year two more lives have been lost.

With the aim of reducing these casualties, the council is running a county-wide bus back campaign. Double-decker buses will carry a picture of a motorcyclist on the rear, with the message ‘See me now? Take longer to look for bikes.’ Single-decker buses will promote the ‘THINK bike!’ message by displaying a vehicle’s wing mirrors with a biker and cyclist in each of them.

Marc Samways, traffic management and road safety manager, said: “Despite only 1% of traffic on the nation’s roads being motorcycles, they account for 21% of road deaths. Many riders are injured at junctions when vehicles pull out, others crash as a result of entering a bend too fast.

“Our message to drivers is ‘think bike’ and always take longer to look for motorcyclists especially at junctions and, when overtaking, give a second glance to really check it’s safe to manoeuvre as they could be hidden in your blind spot. Riders can help too by riding defensively, concentrating and anticipating the errors of other road users.”

For more information contact Charlotte Tilling on 01962 832204.

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Further to my last commnents I would also like to introduce several facts that have become apparent to me. First that vehicles are now being enabled to park closer to junctions than before and therefore making the exit onto a main road very much more difficult.

Before double yellow lines appeared vehicles could not park at or near a junction either at both sides and also across the road and a given distance was stated. Then yellow lines were painted on the main carriageways and reduced that distance considerably in some instances. Now driving or riding any vehicle out of or towards that junction has become a nightmare as visibility has been severely restricted. Causing accidents.

So lets have more vehicles away from junctions and visibility will be improved and less accidents thereby. Also we may wish to improve visibility by the removal of other pavement obstructions such as telephone posts, lighting, postal boxes, litter bins, road maintenance signs and A boards. Lets clear the junctions. No reduction of speed to 20 mph will do this.

Another factor is that full or broken lines at junctions have not been fully maintained and drivers disregard full line anyway and drive over them before stopping. They do this partly to overcome the obstructed visibility already mentioned and partly because they no longer fear being reported for the traffic offence of failing to stop. More junctions should in my opinion be full lines and therefore MUST stop at it and then if visibility is obstructed they should move forward slowly.

Lastly having ridden and driven our roads for nearly 50yrs I can honestly say that something in the region of 25% that's one in four of drivers when on a side road and intending to turn into a main road do not look right first [toward oncoming traffic] but look left first. I don't know why they do this, they would have been trained otherwise but they do look away from me when I am approaching them. I know that many more foreign drivers are on our roads and it becomes natural to them to do so but many others are British born and ALL drivers should be reminded to look at oncoming traffic first ie 'LOOK RIGHT BEFORE LEFT THEN IF ALL IS CLEAR LOOK RIGHT AGAIN AND IF ALL IS STILL CLEAR THEN AND ONLY THEN MOVE OFF'

Some ideas for thought.
Bob Craven, Lancs

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+1

Quote: "Many riders are injured at junctions when vehicles pull out, others crash as a result of entering a bend to fast' unquote."

Just like a road safety officer. There is a vast difference between a motorcyclist being the victim of an accident as in a vehicle pulling out, usually in a congested town situation, and the other extreme of a motorcyclist losing control on a bend and classified as being totally blameworthy.

In the first instance the injuries are far less severe than the second which can prove more fatal as an excessive speed [inferred as exceeding the speed limit] is considered a contributory factor.

One must look at motorcycle accidents differently from car accidents. There are those that occur in town siuations and address the problems there and there are county accidents usually involving bends and overtaking manoeuvres and no other vehicles. They should be addressed seperately from each other. Then, having addressed these two as seperate issues, one can start to address the ways in which to reduce them.
Bob Craven

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Well Done Hampshire, good to see some places being proactive about driver awareness. Would be nice to see more of this sort of initiative in my country.
Brendan, New Zealand

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Yes I like this one. However I have to disagree with the comments of Marc Samways. He is of the belief that motorcyclists represent only 1% of the road using population.

When u look at when motorcycle accidents happen u will find that during the week it is whilst commuting to and from work or college. A very busy time on the road and yes about 15 of vehicular traffic.

But about 50% of accidents. And the most kills and seriously injured are on a Sunday and on a major motorcycling road when the ratio of bikes to cars is totally different. Something in the region of 10 to 20% of vehicular traffic [or more]. This may account in some small way with the 21 % KSI rate.
Bob Craven, Lancs

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Love it .... link going on my facebook wall - All hail Hampshire Council!! : )
JulieDuke - Doncaster

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Nice one Hampshire
Simmo, Devon

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Brilliant. Well done Hampshire.
Biker girl

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If it saves one person it has to be good.
Shirley

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