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Motorcycle Safety

16 January 2019

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Motorcyclists across Suffolk are being given the opportunity to improve their riding skills and to have better awareness and ability while on the road at ‘Safe Rider’ motorcycle workshops to be held in 2019.

Safe Rider is a joint initiative between Suffolk and Norfolk Constabularies aimed at reducing the number of motorcycle casualties across the counties.

 To date in 2018, 14 people have been killed on Suffolk’s roads, two of which were motorcyclists. In 2017, a total of 34 people died on the county’s roads, five of which were motorcyclists.

The two-day workshops will run from April through to October, the months when it is considered the number of motorcyclists taking to the roads increases due to more clement weather.

They are aimed at all fully qualified riders who want to improve their skills to become better and safer riders.

In an effort to encourage more riders under the age of 25 to take the course, they will be able to attend for half price (£25) which will be funded by the Safe Rider scheme.

PC Andy Masterson, from Suffolk Constabulary’s Road Casualty Reduction Team and who has taken over organising the workshops, said: "The underlying message of the workshops will continue to be that education is key, not enforcement.

"The workshops give motorcyclists greater awareness of the hazards they may face when out and about to help them become better and safer riders and are designed to bridge the gap between passing the basic motorcycle test and taking an advanced test.

"I am pleased that we are able to offer the 50% reduction of the course fee to under 25s again, as this is the age group we tend to not get as many participants from but who can potentially benefit the most due to being less experienced riders.

"However, I would still equally encourage experienced motorcyclists to attend as it is always good to refresh your skills. Indeed, all us police officers who are advanced-level riders are required to have refresher training every three to five years.

"Relatives or friends still looking for Christmas ideas for a loved one who is a motorcycling enthusiast, might consider booking them onto a Safe Rider course – in particular parents of young riders.   

"Reducing the number of people who are killed or seriously injured on the county’s roads remains a priority for us and while the number of fatalities to date this year are half the number we experienced last year, one death is still too many.

"I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to PC Kevin Stark who ran the scheme for the past 15 years. We intend to continue his hard work and commitment to Safe Rider and the reduction of serious collisions across our county.”

Safe Rider courses are aimed at riders living in Suffolk and are run with the support of Suffolk Roadsafe and Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, with funding provided from Copdock Classic Motorcycle Club, along with Lings Motor Group and Orwell Motorcycles.

Riders who do not reside in Suffolk are also welcome to attend, though it is recommended that they contact their home county’s constabulary in the first instance to see if they have any courses available.

The workshops cost £50 per person, or £25 for those under 25, and are held at Suffolk Police Headquarters, Martlesham Heath, Ipswich.

They start at 7pm on a Friday evening with classroom sessions on the system of road craft, with particular attention given to positioning and cornering.

The next morning, there will be an escorted ride out session with a Class 1 police motorcyclist. A maximum 3:1 ratio ensures an accurate and personalised assessment of riding performance.

First aid sessions take place on the Saturday afternoon provided by Suffolk Fire and Rescue.

Participants are provided with lunch on the Saturday and are also given a Safe Rider bag for life containing a number of useful items, including a flask, keyring and Parker pen.

The workshop dates for 2019 are:  

April 5/6

May 10/11

May 31/June 1

July 5/6

August 2/3

September 6/7

October 4/5

For further information visit the Suffolk Police website: www.suffolk.police.uk/services/safe-rider-workshopor if you would like to register for a course, call The Motorcycle Casualty Reduction Team (RCRT) on01473 613888, ext 3722or email: saferider@suffolk.pnn.police.uk

Anyone organising a motorcycle fete in the county next year is encouraged to contact the RCRT as they may be able to attend in order to promote the Safe Rider workshops.