Now that the Welsh population is permitted to travel further afield that 5 miles from home, this weekend, many motorcyclists will undoubtedly be looking forward to their first significant ride for months.
As well as the usual safety precautions to avoid collisions and breakdowns, a new blog from Wales By Bike has highlighted some extra issues to consider to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Mandatory MOT testing is to be reintroduced from 1 August 2020 as COVID-19 restrictions are slowly lifted, Roads Minister Baroness Vere has announced.
Mandatory MOT tests for car, motorcycle and van owners in England, Scotland and Wales to be reintroduced to keep roads safe
Drivers encouraged to book a test in advance to ensure vehicles are in a roadworthy condition
Vehicle owners with an MOT due date before 1 August will still receive a 6-month exemption
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, drivers were granted a 6-month exemption from MOT testing in March to help slow the spread of the virus. However, as restrictions are eased when safe to do so, all drivers whose car, motorcycle or van is due for an MOT test from 1 August will be required to get a test certificate to continue driving their vehicle.
MOT tests are important for road safety and ensure that vehicle parts, including tyres, seatbelts, brakes, lights and exhausts, are in proper working order.
Ride to Work Day, which is celebrated every year on the third Monday in June, is an opportunity to raise awareness of the benefits of motorcycle commuting, and to show that biking can be a practical alternative to commuting by car.
The message is even more relevant this year as the Government is advising people to avoid public transport to reduce the risk of a second Coronavirus peak.
By taking to two wheels, Ride to Work Day supporters are doing their bit to cut congestion for all road users. Also, a motorcycle or scooter is the perfect vehicle for socially-distanced transport; bikers even come equipped with their own gloves and face coverings.
Cardiff Council has announced that to address roads around school gates being dominated by cars, causing a potential danger to children and contributing to harmful pollution levels, a pilot scheme will be introduced around five schools.
Cardiff Council wants to ensure that children can attend school as safely as possible; the School Street scheme will begin on from the 6 January 2020, to help to reduce traffic around school entrances during peak drop-off and pick-up times.
During term time, motor vehicles will not be permitted to drive in the specified streets on weekdays between 8.30am - 9.15am and 2.45pm - 3.45pm. Signs will inform drivers of the restrictions at the entrance to the School Street and any unauthorised vehicles entering during restricted times will be issued with a penalty charge notice of £70, reduced to £35 if paid within 21 days.
Tomorrow, Saturday 15 June, brings the much anticipated return of Cruz Cymru at the Royal Welsh Showground, Llanelwedd. Now in its third year, this popular event is attracting a growing number of car and motorcycle clubs that have the event fixed in their annual calendar.
Hosted by Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Cruz Cymru runs from 11am-3pm and is FREE to attend; the day includes road safety partners as well as fire and rescue service personnel from all over Wales.
The attending clubs will be showcasing their impressive, pristine vehicles along with trade stands, competitions and a special appearance by Welsh rally driver Osian Pryce.
In the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency’s (DVSA) latest blog, Chris Parr an assistant chief driving examiner in their driver and rider policy team, reminds motorcyclists about the need to ensure their bike, kit and skills are still up to scratch. Below, Chris shares some simple safety checks for bikers to undertake before getting back on the road:
How are those tyres looking?
Even if a bike hasn’t been sat in the garage for the past few months, it’s always a good idea to give it a check over before taking it out.
Carmarthenshire County Council road safety officers will be out talking to motorcyclists as part of an initiative to reduce the number of casualties involved in motorcycle collisions.
In Wales there were 595 motorcyclist casualties in 2017, 9.6% of all casualties. This was a 10.1% fall compared with 2016 and is the lowest recorded figure since comparable records began.
Of the 595 casualties 252 were killed or seriously injured, and 343 were slightly injured. In 2017 fatalities increased by 4.5% while the number of serious and slight injuries fell by 1.3% and 15.9% respectively.
Gwent Police will once again be running a series of 1-day BikeSafe and 2-day 'Bridging the Gap' workshops between April and October which are specifically designed for motorcyclists looking for post-test training and have proved to be of benefit to riders of all levels and experience.
The workshops are a mix of theory and practical sessions and will include on-road observed rides, information videos and biker-related first aid.
The cost of a 1-day BikeSafe workshop is just £35 with the 2-day 'Bridging the Gap' workshop costing £60.
RoSPA has recently published a series of video clips containing advice on group riding, where a motorcycle trainer shares his experiences of organising group rides. The clips are designed for those who have not organised a group ride before and contain advice to help riders ensure maximum safety and enjoyment while taking part in their group ride, whilst avoiding common pitfalls.
The video clips feature Kevin Bryan, a motorcycle trainer with over 28 years of experience. You can find the full suite of videos here.