‘Hugger’ encourages road users to look out for P2W riders

12.00 | 26 August 2015 | | 3 comments

A campaign to encourage other road users to consciously look out for motorcyclists has been running across Essex during the summer period and is now drawing to a close.

Statistics published recently by the Safer Essex Roads Partnership (SERP) show that while motorcycles comprise around 0.6% of traffic by vehicle miles, their riders make up 26% of killed and seriously injured (KSI) casualties. What’s more, 31% of all injuries to motorcyclists in the SERP area (Essex, Southend-On-Sea and Thurrock) in the past 18 months were KSIs.

However, SERP data also shows that often the P2W rider is not at fault; in P2W collisions involving other vehicles, 61% were deemed to be the fault of the other vehicle and not the P2W rider.

The three most common faults attributed to other road users involved in P2W collisions are: failing to look properly; misjudging the P2W rider’s path; and misjudging the P2W rider’s speed.

Andy Stroulger, SERP’s motorcycling specialist, said: “SERP is involved in a number of activities and campaigns directed at P2W riders, but to date there has been little focus on educating other road users to look out for motorcycles.

“That’s why we developed this campaign in order to raise awareness of the presence of P2W riders among other road users.”

The campaign was targeted in the areas where P2W collisions are most prevalent: Basildon, Braintree, Chelmsford, Colchester, Epping Forest and Southend-On-Sea.

Using the straplines “Are you looking out for me?” and “Only just spotted me?”, the campaign features the familiar ‘Hugger’ character which was first developed in Norfolk and introduced in Essex last year. The name ‘Hugger’ comes from a certain type of motorcycle rear mudguard.

The campaign comprised bus back and radio advertising and posters in washrooms across the county. It also featured at a series of community engagement days and other events across the SERP area, and ran across SERP partners’ social media channels including Facebook and Twitter.


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    I am really pleased that you have reported on this matter. What you fail to realise Idris is that the close to backside overtaking position is recommended in the Police Riders Roadcraft Manual and who can argue against this bible of a book that inspires all motorcyclist to take up an illegal and dangerous position just for the sake of a few less seconds in the other lane whilst overtaking. It further suggests that motorcyclists should look out for a gap in the traffic ahead, sufficient for them to come back after an overtake and back into the correct lane.

    I believe that this is poor and dangerous advice as a gap to many motorcyclists could be any small space sufficient to push oneself into and not a Safe Space as prescribed in the Highway Code, and understanding Safe Space is what I am campaigning for.

    It is possible therefore to presume as there always seems to be accidents by what is called reckless and unnecessary overtaking and that the Roadcraft manual is maybe responsible for a lot of reckless and dangerous behaviour on the part of motorcyclists who have either read it or have undertaken training by organisation that follow its advice.

    Bob Craven Lancs….Space is Safe Campaigner
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    There are large numbers of recreational motorcyclists around here, on the A272 and A32 and while most ride responsibly (though too noisily) and I and I am happy to wave them past when appropriate I am concerned by the increasing numbers who overtake across double white lines and who tailgate me and other drivers, not just a car’s length behind me but often just a motorcycle’s length.

    How stupid this is was confirmed in spades a few weeks ago when 5 left a popular cafe at the junction of those two roads and accelerated away in a gaggle only for the engine of the one in front to seize solid. All 5 went to hospital with life threatening injuries.

    Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield
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    The campaign is all very well but it takes two to tango and it appears that a lot of twv riders are not behaving or responding as they should do and therefore are in fact contributing to their own demise. Harsh words but for a motorcyclist for over 50 years and with police experience it is a truth. The Space is Safe Campaign and the No Surprise No Accident Campaign are suitable for many if not all of these situations.

    If asked I can send my Space is Safe Paper to the local road safety authority and to anyone else that would wish to peruse it. With greater distance afforded between moving and stopped vehicles I am sure that there should be an accountable reduction in such incidents.

    Bob Craven Lancs…Space is Safe Campaigner
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