Road Safety News

THINK! launches ‘Stay in Control’ for bikers

Thursday 18th April 2013

A new THINK! initiative to encourage motorcyclists to improve their defensive riding skills has been launched by Stephen Hammond, road safety minister.

The ‘Stay In Control’ campaign - which has been developed with partners from the motorcycle industry including the Motorcycle Industry Association, Motor Cycle Monthly magazine, Devitt Insurance and Yamaha - advises motorcyclists to ride defensively and seek further training to sharpen their skills.

The campaign will run throughout the spring and summer peak riding season, when the number of motorcyclists killed and seriously injured traditionally increases. Posters, leaflets and other promotional material will be cascaded to hundreds of motorcycle dealerships and retailers across the UK for distribution to customers.

Stephen Hammond said: “Motorcyclists make up just 1% of the traffic on our roads but last year accounted for 19% of deaths, so reducing the number of bikers killed on our roads is a key priority for the Government.

“This latest campaign urges bikers to ride defensively – this includes taking a ‘lifesaver glance’ around before manoeuvring and giving yourself time to react to potential hazards.

“In parallel with this initiative, we are also running a THINK! BIKER campaign encouraging car drivers to take longer to look for motorcyclists.”

The THINK! campaign team is encouraging other organisations that may be able to promote the message to their customers and members to get in touch.

The THINK! contact for more information is Juliet Owen on 020 7944 3399.


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We would welcome the opportunity to include any publicity material, videos, pdfs in a dedication collection here at REALRIDER to promote the ERS.

As Dave knows, we're accelerating numbers and have the right system to communicate with all types of riders. Users will also find great content such as Great Roads Great Rides 1 & 2 and the Commuter Survival Guide within REALRIDER, all designed to compliment what's out there and promote skills development.

With the likes of Triumph UK pushing our app to their 45,000 customer database this week, and REIJU giving an app away with every bike sold in 2013, we have a great opportunity to help stimulate the debate around enhanced training.
Andrew Richardson, North East

Agree (2) | Disagree (0)

We are trying very hard to revive the DSA Enhanced Rider Scheme with a new course called 'SharpRider' which we are rolling out nationally. It is a 2-day course, costs £100 - or £50 in Leics, or £20 in Notts, Derbys and South Yorks thanks to local Government subsidies. The problem is riders aren't aware of the ERS Scheme, and don't know what 'defensive riding' is - it means totally different things to different riders. Riders have 2 options, learn by 'Trial and Error', magazine articles and mates, or get trained properly. The Government has not promoted the ERS Scheme for 4 years - which may well be why bike accidents increased sharply in 2011.
Mike Abbott Retford Notts

Agree (2) | Disagree (0)

When I first got the "THINK BIKER" campain stickers some years ago I got two and changed one around to say "BIKERS THINK" and that is the crux of my interest in motorcycle safety. I don't believe that we are getting early enough intervention and accept that so called Advanced Riding is for the experienced and more mature rider. Not so.

We train riders how to pass the test and that just not good enough. There should be further training on more safety measures that a rider needs to be aware of early on in his/her riding experience and not wait, otherwise they just become another figure on the police stats form.

I would like to see a greater proactive involvement by insurance companies in road safety and motorcycling would, to my mind, be a good place to start.
Bob Craven Lancs

Agree (4) | Disagree (0)

Momentary loss of concentration is largely unavoidable, to err is human after all. It is the concious decisions we make before the error that often influence whether that error leads to a crash or just a near miss. Speed and road position are concious choices. Good riders allow for others' mistakes, great riders allow for their own too.
Dave, Leeds

Agree (16) | Disagree (0)

As has been proved by a year-long project in the USA using several cameras in each of 100 vehicles, some 80% of accidents are immediately preceeded by momentary loss of
concentration. That is the overwhelming problem, what drivers fail to do, not what they consciously decide to do.
Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield

Agree (2) | Disagree (1)

‘Expect the unexpected’ means being prepared to stop/slow for an event that most other drivers/riders didn’t expect to happen and separates the smart driver from the rest. It’s the underlying principle of defensive driving and if every motorised road user did it there would barely be any road accidents, which is why my earlier comment bemoaned the fact that this message seemed to be only directed at the two-wheeled rider.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (7) | Disagree (3)

How about: 'Always keep control in your hands, never rely on any other road user (driver, biker, pedestrian, one tonne escaped bull!) to do the right thing. To do this you'll need to ride at a speed so that you can stop on your side of the road within the distance you can see to be clear. Not quite as short and sharp - but makes sense.
Mark - Wiltshire

Agree (15) | Disagree (0)

What a thoroughly stupid statement "expect the unexpected" is. Nobody expects the unexpected and that's why they call it unexpected. Should I be sitting here expecting aliens to land on the front lawn? Now that would certainly be unexpected, but funnily enough I haven't given it a moment's thought until now. Does that make me a bad person?

A campaign that went along the lines of :-

"Good riders expect the expected"
so that
"Nothing surprises a good rider"
"Good riders know what's going to happen next"

Now that would be of much more use to the average rider.
Duncan MacKillop. Stratford on Avon

Agree (12) | Disagree (3)

The essence of publicity and information campaigns is to direct them at a specific target audience. It would be almost impossible to design a campaign that addressed everyone who uses the roads all at the same time. This campaign is one of a number and needs to be seen as part of a mosaic of campaigns rather than as a single tool and the only one in use.

You are quite right to emphasise that all road users need to travel with a mind-set of sharing the road, not owning it. I think you will see more of this in future campaigns and materials.

But this particular campaign is a valid approach. In rural areas that have choice routes used by many bikers, such as here in North Yorkshire, most biker crashes are either single vehicle accidents involving only the motorcyclist or are caused by the biker getting it wrong then hitting another vehicle.
Honor Byford, North Yorkshire

Agree (9) | Disagree (2)

The majority of crashes nevertheless involve drivers of four-wheeled vehicles, so why can't the DfT promote a Think! campaign getting all drivers to learn to drive defensively - not just the two-wheeled variety.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (5) | Disagree (1)

Why haven't the DfT spent this money on supporting and marketing the enhanced rider which is effectively their own product?
Dave, Leeds

Agree (16) | Disagree (0)