Norfolk Police and Norfolk County Council’s road safety team are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Safe Rider training course, which has been delivered to more than 3,000 riders.
Safe Rider runs from April to October and comprises a ‘relaxed and informal’ two-and-a-half hour evening workshop followed by a five-hour road session. The course is aimed at fully qualified riders (either full A or A2 categories) who want to improve their skills to become better and safer riders.
In a ‘conflict free environment’, riders are introduced to the police Road Craft system, the ‘cornerstone of police riding’.
The workshop provides individuals with professional advice and confirms their strengths and identifies their weaknesses as a rider.
The road session includes a demonstration ride by a police rider and an opportunity for the participant to have their riding assessed with written feedback – with options for further skills enhancement outlined at the conclusion of the course.
Norfolk Police says that in 1998 when Safe Rider was first introduced, 17 motorcyclists were killed – and a further 139 seriously injured – on the county’s roads. In 2017, six motorcyclists were killed and 101 seriously injured.
Despite these reductions, Norfolk Police says motorcyclists still represent a big proportion of all KSI casualties. Statistics show that between 2013 and 2017, riders represented 26% of all KSIs.
Chief inspector Kris Barnard, head of the Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing Unit, said: “Reducing the number of people who are killed or seriously injured on the county’s roads remains a priority for us and sadly the statistics speak for themselves that each year a high percentage of those killed on our roads are motorcyclists.
“The underlying message of the workshops is that education is key, not enforcement.
“The workshops give motorcyclists greater awareness of the hazards they may face when out and about to help them become better and safer riders.”