Motorists in the North East are being urged to take a second look for motorbikes this spring, in a bid to reduce the number of riders killed or seriously injured.
Figures show more than a half of all motorcycle casualties in the North East in 2019 were either killed or seriously injured – highlighting their vulnerability.
As the weather improves, more bikers are likely to take to the roads, leading to an increased risk of collisions.
Road Safety GB North East has joined emergency services from across the region to remind bikers and drivers to both play their part in ensuring the safety of all road users.
Bikers are being encouraged to ride according to the conditions and within the speed limit – while drivers are urged to take a second look for bikes before pulling out or overtaking – checking their blind spot every time.
Paul Watson, chairman of Road Safety GB North East, said: “We’re very pleased that the number of overall biker casualties has fallen, but we continue to be concerned that more than half of all bike collisions result in a rider either losing their life or being seriously injured.
“Less than 1% of vehicle miles travelled on the region’s roads are by bikers, but they account for 18% of those that are killed or seriously injured, so there is much more that we can do.
“Bikers are vulnerable, and we know that almost half of all motorbike collisions are caused by either the biker or the driver simply not looking properly. They can be avoided.
“Yes, we are urging bikers to ride sensibly and according to the road they are on, but drivers need to take a second look for bikes at junctions and before overtaking.”
Insp Ian Leach, from Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, said: “Bikers are very vulnerable road users who are at considerably more risk of being involved in a serious or fatal collision than car drivers.
“Riders are reminded to wear high visibility garments and suitable protection equipment to increase their visible presence, and to adjust their riding to the conditions. Drivers must play their part, too: Use your mirrors regularly and use head checks to increase your all-round visibility.
“Most collisions are preventable so we fully support any campaign that will encourage our road users to be more aware and look out for each other.”