Highways England has selected the south coast of England – home to five of the country’s nine hotspots for young rider KSIs – to officially launch its new motorcycle safety campaign.
The campaign targets young motorcyclists and is underpinned by a tongue-in-cheek video, which since being published on Facebook on 7 November has received more than 520k views.
The video centres around a spoof pop-up shop, called ‘Distressed’, which appears to feature a new range of trendy clothing for young scooter and motorcycle riders.
Once a customer has settled on an item, the shop assistant reveals the ‘cost’ of being involved in a collision while wearing it – for example ‘broken ribs, a punctured lung and three nights on life support’.
The shop assistant asks: “Do you think it’s worth that cost?”
Research published by Highways England as part of the campaign shows that while young riders comprise 15% of motorcyclists across Great Britain, they represent more than 38% of rider casualties. As such, a young rider is two and a half times more likely to be injured in a collision than a rider with more experience.
Six of the country’s top nine hotspots for young rider deaths and serious injuries are in south east England, with five of those on the south coast – a key reason why Highways England chose Chichester College to premier its new video.
Andrew Green, executive principal at Chichester College, said: “We want to ensure our students travel to and from college as safely as possible, and encouraging our young riders to wear the right gear is really important.
“The campaign is extremely thought-provoking, with some sobering messages about life-changing injuries which could so easily have been avoided.
“We hope it is successful in inspiring riders to think twice before getting on a motorcycle without protective clothing.”
Stuart Lovatt, Highways England, said: “The mental and physical cost of not wearing the right motorcycle gear can be far greater than the financial cost.
“Most young riders will come off their bikes at some point – whether you have popped round the corner for a pint of milk or you are riding further afield to see friends or get to college, you need to be prepared.
“Our campaign is designed to encourage discussion around wearing protective clothing.”
Alongside the video, the campaign is being promoted via social media, using the hashtag #distressedpopup.