Road Safety News

Hugger in demand

Wednesday 2nd April 2014

Norfolk County Council’s established ‘Hugger’ motorcycle brand will now also be used to deliver safety messages to bikers in Suffolk and Essex.

The Hugger character, which is named after the rear mudguard of a motorcycle, was developed and launched in Norfolk four years ago to provide an identifiable brand that bikers would recognise and buy into.  Following its success in Norfolk, Essex and Suffolk County Councils have now invested in the Hugger brand.

Launched initially to deliver ‘Think Bike’ related messages on bus backs and printed media, Hugger was subsequently developed to promote messages encouraging riders to take post-test training. To date, more than 300 individual riders have benefitted from ‘Hugger challenge’ training sessions.

Iain Temperton, Norfolk’s road safety team manager, said: “The series of seven Hugger rider skills downloads provides an easy-to-read and well received introduction to Roadcraft principles.

“We’ve also used social media to expand brand recognition and interaction with the motorcycle community.”

For more information about Hugger contact Iain Temperton on 07748 933955.



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before this thread gets put away.

The answer to my question was .....dust.

It was harvest time and that's why the combine was out. It was working in the fields that were parallel to the road. As it harvested the grains, the chaff and dust from within that chaff was spread to the wind. Some chaff, being heavier will have fallen onto the road and could have hit someone in the eyes who was on a bike causing temporary blindness but also the dust would have settled, invisibly, onto the road surface. This would act as a lubricant and susceptible vehicles such as a motorcycle would skid quite readily on it as it would act similar to diesel but without warning signs or any knowledge on the part of the rider. We have to watch ahead and understand what dangers lurk there but this is one which we do not come across very often. It won't be found on stats 19
bobo craven Lancs

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We can have a chat when I'm next down your way, but in the meantime this a copy of my response to Duncan:

Dear Duncan
Thank you for your email and comments on the Rider Skills downloads. It seems that your issue is with the source material which is taken from Motorcycle Roadcraft and the Highway Code.

Our intention in creating this resource was not to push the boundaries of current thinking but to introduce riders to the accepted concepts of Roadcraft in a much 'lighter touch' way than the manual itself, then encouraging them to read the manual and take training once their interest is raised. We have no intention of trying to replace Roadcraft or introduce new or different concepts.

The experience of my ex police instructor from many years of running Norfolk’s Safe Rider courses (similar to Bikesafe) was that, despite many clients buying Roadcraft, very few of them had actually read it. In a similar way that the IAM have done with their manual, we sought to repackage existing material to make it more accessible.

Our default position is Roadcraft and the Highway Code and we will not be venturing outside of the accepted material contained within those documents. It is not our job to rewrite the manual for the Police Foundation or research new concepts. As things change over time and are reflected in newer versions of the manual, so they will be reflected in revisions of the downloads. Given this as our position there is little point in a blow by blow comment or rebuttal of any of your points but I am grateful for your views.

There were scientists involved in the production of the current version of Roadcraft and it’s spin off, Motorcycle Roadcraft so you may wish to try and influence their thinking if you feel that a fundamental change to current practice is required. I do not see anything in the current material that could be described as ‘lethal’ or that I would consider to be even vaguely dangerous, quite the opposite.

The material has served generations of police riders and members of the public very well indeed. Of our 9 motorcycle fatalities in Norfolk last year, three were single vehicle crashes and three were caused by loss of control on left hand bends, hitting vehicles coming the other way. The reasons were not because they were following outdated Roadcraft practices but precisely because they were not following any of the basic practices laid down in the manual with tragic consequences for themselves and their families.

We spend a lot of time and effort trying to prevent such tragedies and the biggest barrier is persuading people to get involved in any assessment/training in the first place, not a fundamental flaw in the material itself.
Iain Temperton - Norfolk

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David, I have emailed Iain over in Norfolk with my observations and I'm sure he will share them with you.
Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon

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Can I ask a question..... How does a combine harvester in a field contribute to or cause the death of an experienced motorcyclist on a straight well surfaced road with no obstructions, vehicles etc. and it was determined that the rider was not riding too fast for conditions? This happened in Norfolk several years ago. It went onto YouTube and to my knowledge no answer was found. I believe that I have the answer. It won't be found in any safe riding manual.
bob craven Lancs

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As a Road Safety Officer in one of the two counties who have just bought into the Hugger brand, I would be keen to find out which bits of the downloads Duncan thinks are downright lethal.
David, Suffolk

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I agree that you have a world of experience in your forums, persons coming from many different attitudes and qualifications and that is a good thing. However it is based on one book and one book only. There is more than one book out there. There are many other qualified practitioners out there also with diverse attitudes and experiences. Some mirror and support The Police Riders Manual and others that would not disagree with it digress and give a different attitude. One more perhaps on the understanding and simplifying the complexities and diversity of a) a situation and b) the bikes much improved and complex capabilities so that riders will become more knowledgeable and safer. Things that the Police Manual doesn't even try to touch upon.
bob craven Lancs

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Bob, I agree with the thrust of your argument, but I would point out that my team has Constabulary experience, DSA car and bike qualifications, an MSc in Driver Behaviour and numerous other bits of paper and experience. In the development of schemes of work there are a number of backgrounds that can bring something to the table and we rely upon a mix of experiences and skill sets. A diverse bunch...
Iain Temperton - Norfolk

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Iain, if they are all singing from the same hymn book then they will all agree with each other won't they?

There is a big difference between a police officer on duty with lights and horns sounding, making progress (possibly exceeding the speed limit) going to the scene of an incident and any other rider out for a ride on a Sunday morning.

A police rider will have received months of ongoing training to ride in the manner acceptable for him/her to be called an advanced rider, but the same accolade is given to someone who has had maybe a dozen hours instruction and yet is still classed as an advanced rider. I think not.
bob craven Lancs

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Interesting comment Duncan. The Downloads were written by a former Police Advanced Instructor / DSA RPMT instructor, reviewed by a RoSPA Diploma (Dist) Instructor / DSA RPMT instructor and checked by a current Constabulary Class 1 Roads Policing Motorcycle Sergeant. The content is taken from Roadcraft and the Highway Code. However, we do love a debate, so if you could send me the specifics of your concerns I will give them due consideration. Just drop me an email to Cheers!
Iain Temperton - Norfolk

Agree (18) | Disagree (1)

Just reviewed the materials in the download section and as per normal there is a lot of good information, some so-so information and some information which is downright lethal. My concern is that the average rider wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon

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