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.
North Wales Police officers arrested 19 people in the first week of the Winter Anti Drink and Drug Driving Campaign. Of those arrests, 13 were made in relation to drink driving and six for drug driving.
The highest breath test reading of the campaign so far has been 146mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath - the legal limit is 35mg.
Inspector Dave Cust, from North Wales Police' Roads Policing Unit, said, "It is disappointing that a small minority of people are still intent on ignoring our messages, despite our repeated warnings.
North Wales Police is urging motorcyclists to ensure their vehicles are safe and secure following a recent spate of thefts. Sgt Dafydd Curry said, “We are advising everyone who owns a motorcycle to ensure their vehicles are secure and not easily accessible or visible, following the increase in thefts from the north Gwynedd area.”
The following security tips for owners of motorcycles or scooters has been issued:
Always put a steering lock on
If your motorcycle or scooter doesn’t already have one, have an approved electronic immobiliser professionally fitted
If you have a security device fitted, always use it. A wide variety of locks can be used, such as chains or padlocks, disc locks and D locks
The most important thing to remember is to secure your motorcycle to a solid object that can’t be moved
When not in use, put your motorcycle or scooter in a garage or a secure outbuilding with a fixed or ground anchor to secure it to inside the building. If you can, fit a good lock and an alarm system to your garage or outbuilding
Don’t leave your garage open and make sure your vehicle is covered up, even when you are at home. Some motorcycles and scooters are stolen to order, so a motorcycle spotted by a thief today could be stolen tomorrow
“Someday you will realise the damage that you have caused but by then it’s too late. Everybody has a choice” – that is the message being driven by Police across Wales as they launch their annual Winter Anti Drink and Drug Driving Campaign.
Led by North Wales Police the month-long operation against driving under the influence begins on Saturday, 1st December and officers across the country will be using intelligence-led tactics and local knowledge of hotspots to detect people who are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol over the festive period.
The campaign features officers from the North Wales Police Roads Policing Unit giving their own accounts of dealing with the aftermath of a collision involving an impaired driver.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is currently conducting research to evaluate the use of the Helping Learner Drivers website, www.helpingldrivers.com to identify any ways in which it can be improved.
The website provides advice to novice drivers, motorcycle riders and their families on learning to drive or ride. The information covers the whole process, from private practice and professional driving lessons until after the practical test.
Young drivers and their families are being asked to take a look at the website and complete the evaluation survey which can be found here.
With shorter days and colder temperatures, motorcyclists are being reminded how essential it is to check that lights are working properly and that any kit they wear is in good condition.
Weather conditions are changeable at this time of year; cold nights can catch you unaware and lower temperatures bring morning frost and ice. In its latest blog, Wales by Bike is reminding bikers to never be complacent because shaded areas and bridges take longer to thaw and could still be wet and icy long after the sun starts shining.
Dressing appropriately is a must as it can get particularly tiring when riding for long periods in cold weather, so keep warm! Avoid kit that’s too bulky - it can make you even more exhausted and the added weight may affect how you ride. Investing in some heated gear can make a huge difference on a long journey, even if it’s just a pair of heated gloves.
Safety on the road network referred to as the EVO Triangle will be improved thanks to £500,000 Welsh Government investment, Transport Secretary Ken Skates has announced.
The funding, which will be for the for the first phase of a safety scheme, will see average speed cameras installed on the A543 in Denbighshire and Conwy, the section of the ‘EVO Triangle’ with the highest collision record. It will also allow the design and pre-installation works for the second and final phase of the full scheme to progress.
Incidents of dangerous driving involving excessive speed have taken place on the route and this plan of action, which is jointly led by Denbighshire County Council and Conwy County Borough Council, aims to tackle such occurrences.