Friday, 30 March 2012

Bikesafe scheme launched in bid to reduce deaths on Cumbria’s roads

Police in Cumbria are set to launch 2012’s Bikesafe scheme this weekend in a bid to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on the county’s roads.

In Cumbria in 2011, there were 152 road collisions on public roads involving a powered two wheeled vehicle that resulted in injury. Eight of these were fatal, 43 collisions resulted in casualties sustaining serious injuries and 101 collisions saw casualties sustain slight injuries.

Seven of the eight fatal collisions – almost 88 per cent - occurred on large capacity machines and, every rider who tragically lost their life last year was male.

As April sees the start of the summer biking season when thousands of motorcyclists flock to Cumbria to enjoy the open roads and breath taking views, officers are inviting riders to sign up to the successful Bikesafe scheme to build on their knowledge and awareness and help prevent serious collisions in 2012.

Sergeant Jo Lennox is a police motorcyclist from Cumbria’s Roads Policing Unit who coordinates the Bikesafe scheme locally and works as part of the national Bikesafe team. She said “A lot of effort goes into providing educational events for motorcyclists as, unfortunately, statistics show that motorcyclists are 50 times more likely to be killed or injured on British roads.

“In 2011, we saw a rise in the numbers of motorcyclists killed on Cumbria’s roads. Police officers had to deliver tragic news to eight families who lost a loved one and whose lives will never be the same again.

“In Cumbria, the number of motorcyclists killed on the county’s roads last year doubled in comparison to previous years which causes us real concern.

“As a police motorcyclist, I share the passion of riding on the open roads and host events throughout the year to speak to fellow bikers, promote road safety and encourage people to attend the educational events that we run.

“People may think that you learn how to ride a motorcycle when you pass your test but there are always new skills to learn. Any opportunity to improve your safety and skills as a rider should be grasped with both hands and Bikesafe encourages just this.

“A sad fact is that almost 50 per cent of collisions that result in injuries involve men aged 41-56 who ride larger speed bikes. This group tends to feel experienced and like they would have nothing new to learn or gain - but with bikes developing and roads changing, absolutely everybody would benefit from attending Bikesafe. In fact, statistics suggest that riders that fall within this age group should be the first to sign up.

“The Bikesafe courses are now a one day event where riders can benefit from some educational input in the morning and an assessed ride-out by an advanced motorcyclist in the afternoon. Participants also get an input from the North West Ambulance Service who provide advice on basic first aid and what to do if motorcyclists are the first to arrive on scene of a road traffic collision.

I can’t recommend these courses highly enough. For the sake of a £10 admin fee and a few hours of a motorcyclists’ time, they can walk out of the course with so much additional knowledge to get more out of their riding and hopefully the enthusiasm to seek further training through an approved agent such as the Institute of Advanced Motorists.

“We look forward to welcoming motorcyclists into Cumbria as the biking season starts and hope that Bikesafe is as successful as previous years as we want our roads to be safer for all road users.”

For further information about future courses, contact Sgt Jo Lennox on 101, email her at or visit the Bikesafe website


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