Motorcycle campaign gives road users an eyeful

12.00 | 8 August 2013 | | 8 comments

Lancashire Constabulary has launched a billboard and poster campaign featuring images of a naked police officer, and an officer dressed as a clown, in a bid to make road users more aware of motorcyclists.

The headline on the posters asks: “What do I have to do to get you to notice me?”

The campaign conveys the message that people would notice a biker if they were riding naked or dressed outrageously, but that other road users should look out for them at all times.

The billboards are located across the county and posters are being placed in petrol stations, car parks and motoring shops. Banners have also been produced for display on road bridges.

Chief inspector Debbie Howard, head of road policing in Lancashire, said: “This campaign has been developed to educate other road users on the importance of being aware of motorcyclists. It aims to increase awareness among road users of the need to be aware of bikers when driving.

“The posters are something different to what we have done in the past but we felt that this was a good way to get our message across.”

Councillor John Fillis, Lancashire County Council, said: “The evidence suggests a substantial proportion of accidents involving motorcyclists happen because another driver has made a manoeuvre without seeing them.

“This campaign is vital to remind drivers to ‘think bike’ and to ask motorcyclists to consider whether there’s more they could do to make themselves visible and therefore safer.”

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    The authority has failed miserably with this one. The reason is simple. This poster is not being displayed on bus stops or buses or any other place on urban roads where there is the greatest potential for risk.

    It’s no use on rural roads as most accidents are single vehicle ie incidents being the sole responsibility of the motorcyclist whereas the majority of urban collisions involve another vehicle… usually one that has not seen the motorcyclist.

    bob craven Lancs
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    Got to come onto this one Duncan. The eyes are attracted to movement and light. So with all the lights on during the day and all the day glow and reflective strips being worn there should be no or at least fewer problems.

    We can assume that because a motorcycle is so small that looming doesn’t work and so there is now the suggestion that a biker should do swerves across the carriageway to be seen, what next, wheelies or jumping through hoops?

    Yes the motorcyclists, and you are one, need to be fully aware of the dangers of embarking on a journey but the public that drives cars should be more aware of him and his vulnerabilities. The message is there.

    Unfortunately I have only seen two of these posters and they were out of the way on one of the quietest roads they could find. They should be more prominent say on motorway bridges and facing traffic.

    bob Craven Lancs
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    Sorry but people wouldn’t notice an oncoming motorbike no matter how the rider is dressed.

    All they will ‘notice’ is whether or not an object is moving, how it is moving and where it is moving to. There are many reasons why people don’t see motorbikes, or pushbikes for that matter, but their attention will always be drawn to something that’s moving, no matter what that ‘something’ actually is. If a bike exhibits strong movement relative to an observer then the bike will always be noticed and attended to especially when the observer is waiting at a junction getting ready to pull out.

    The simple answer the question posed on these posters is ‘always be moving relative to any observers’, simple.

    Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon
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    Surely we shouldn’t be encouraging people to ride naked. What about the cold in winter? Also this bike has no panniers so what does the biker wear when he gets off?

    Dave, Sheffield
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    I applaud the bravery of this campaign – too often campaigns are diluted for fear of upsetting someone. We proposed something very similar a couple of years ago:

    Paul Williamson, Kent
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    Sorry, can’t agree wholly with all that you say Iain.

    Whilst stats show that motorcyclists are their own worst enemy when it comes to the majority of KSI that occur, the majority are single vehicle accidents on country roads. Many firms teach so called Advanced Riding techniques and to some degree, Defensive Riding. Much is made of the making progress element and so called advanced cornering which enables, or suggests to, many motorcyclists that they can actually approach and take corners faster. Many have commented that after training they do corner faster.

    However the majority, 70%, of accidents are around towns and urban areas and generally in these cases the majority involve another vehicle. Many of which occur at junctions, crossroads, roundabouts, T junctions etc. and it is to this end that these adverts address and try and change other drivers attitudes.

    Its a two pronged attack and this one doesn’t dismiss further training as many would agree, and I am one, in favour of something like 40 hours of further training once the test is passed.

    Bob Craven Lancs
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    Maybe not as “innovative” as you might think( But still good luck to the for putting it out there!

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    I can see where they are coming from with this and it is certainly innovative, but I would be reluctant to use it for one reason. Bikers (and yes, I am one) generally default to the ‘it’s all the drivers fault’ position, which makes it harder to sell the concept of rider training. We prefer to acknowledge that both parties can be at fault and push a strong ‘rider skills need to improve’ theme; this is driven by the fact that most of our PTW incidents are down to rider error.

    Iain Temperton – Norfolk
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