Road Safety News

New campaign targets leisure riders in south east England

Thursday 6th July 2017

Highways England is currently running a motorcycle safety campaign in south east England, as part of a wider campaign to reduce all road casualties in the region.

Highways England points to data showing that motorcyclist killed or seriously injured (KSI) casualties in the south east are higher in comparison to other regions.

The target audience for the campaign, which is co-branded with THINK!, is leisure riders, defined by Highways England as ‘those who are riding for pleasure on large bikes (500cc+) and are an older males (35-55 years)’.

These motorbike enthusiasts are described as a socially diverse group, with motorcycling likely to be the only thing the majority of the group have in common.

Research shows that May to August appears to be the peak time for performance motorbike related KSI collisions in the south east, with 44 of the 94 KSI casualties among performance bike riders in 2014 occurring during this four month period – the highest of any period.

The four-week campaign reminds leisure bikers of the key behaviours that contribute to KSIs in the south east: cornering, speeding, overtaking and fatigue.

The campaign assets are available free of charge for stakeholders to use and distribute. Resources include three videos and four posters featuring messaging on speeding, cornering, overtaking and fatigue. Links to all the resources are included at the foot of this news piece.

The campaign went live on Sunday 18 June with a launch event at Ryka’s café in Box Hill, a popular venue with bikers from around the region.

In an email to stakeholders, Annemarie Hennessy, senior marketing manager with Highways England, said: “We engaged with a large number of bikers on the day and they were all very receptive to the safety advice we provided. Initial evaluation puts the number of conversations with bikers at 306 across the day.

The campaign also featured in an ITV Meridian news report on 29 June. Please do share this widely as it is a great kick start to the campaign.

The campaign is running across:

• Digital out of home media (motorway service station, forecourts) • Social media – sponsored Facebook adverting

• Proactive social media via Highways England’s own channels

• The THINK! motorcycling webpage

Campaign resources





Posters for print use

Born to be wild 

Easy rider 

Live fast

Ride forever 

Posters for online use

Born to be wild 

Easy rider 

Live fast 

Ride forever




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Kevin you make an issue out of what could be called operational error which probably means that the rider is at fault and you wonder why authority should sometimes jump to that conclusion.

May I remind you that your more recent campaign about 'Surprises' is all based upon the rider making the wrong assumptions and presumptions. Is that not the same thing?

By the way you are right that many riders cannot see further than the nose on their face and need to be trained in the way to think.....properly.

You also know from all the training that you do, that no matter what amount of useful information you give to students many will in the main retain only those snippets that mean more to them and so the guidance that one should reinflate their motorcycle tyres after a track day can in many cases fall into the no need to know catagory. Anyway how many bikers carry a foot pump round with them, and how can they alter the pressure correctly when the tyre is not only inflated but hot as well. You know that they have to be checked whilst cold. What rider who wants to get home and has the adrenalin still pumping is going to wait for that to happen. It's only human nature to get it wrong.
Bob Craven Lancs

Agree (2) | Disagree (0)

I recently came across a young man that I befriended and he was a back to biker wanting some experience to bring him up to scratch. He had bought a Triumph Triple and was a little concerned about it. He explained that it was ok in a straight line but he seemed to be fighting it on bends. He thought he had bought a bad one and wanted to know what to do. On closer examination he admitted that he had reduced the tyre pressure by some 6 lb. front and rear as it was recommended by a so called friend to do and from what he had been advised on a Youtube track day video. It was his understanding that the lower pressure would give him a larger footprint of the amount of tyre tread in contact with the tarmac and that was safer. Plus at higher speeds the increased heat would create an increase in pressure and that would even things out.

A week later I met up with him again and he had a smile on his face. He had increased the pressure to that advised by the manufacturer of the bike and all was now well. He was now going round corners and enjoying every minute of it.

All tyres contain information about the max. speed. and weight and pressure required in order to make the bike safe. If anyone uses a tyre unsuitable for their machine or indeed different from that recommended by the manufacturer of the bike or of the tyre then they should inform their insurance of such a change. We must remember that we are limited to a speed limit of 70 mph in this country which is well within the bounds of all tyres manufactured for normal riding purposes.
Bob Craven Lancs

Agree (1) | Disagree (1)

"Highways England points to data showing that motorcyclist killed or seriously injured (KSI) casualties in the south east are higher in comparison to other regions."

Why the instant assumption it's 'operator error'?

Has anyone bothered to cross-reference against:

a) distance travelled
b) traffic density
c) the appalling disintegrating road surfaces, some of which fall under Highways Authority remit, and which are a particular concern of - and risk to - motorcyclists?
Kevin Williams / Survival Skills Rider Training

Agree (4) | Disagree (1)

Evidence for the low tyre pressure claim?

In any case, what's the 'correct' pressure? Do you mean what's on the label that applies to some notional standard weight rider who is still using the original fitment tyres?

What happens when you change the tyre? There's a considerable difference in carcass rigidity between a road-legal supersport tyre and a heavy duty touring tyre, yet both fit the same rim. Are you suggesting the OE pressure applies to both?

How do you decide what's the 'correct' pressure when you are lighter or heavier than average? It's quite possible to have riders weighing anything from 40kg to 160kg riding the same bike. How can the 'standard' pressure possibly apply to both of them?

Trackday advice is certainly to lower pressures, but it also comes with highly stressed warnings about the need to ensure tyres are warmed up before trying too hard on the corners. Everyone I know who does trackdays thoroughly understands that and returns pressures to normal at the end of a session (whatever normal is). Most road riders I know check their tyre pressures anally regularly too.
Kevin Williams / Survival Skills Rider Training

Agree (4) | Disagree (1)

I like the posters but they won't be identified by pocket rocket riders which make up to 50% of bikers just about 9% of riders who are rockers. The three films about cornering, overtakes and speeding are full of flaws.

If they were at a cafe all day they could have checked the tyre pressures of bikes when riders were leaving after lunch and I have no doubt that many would have been found well below the recommended psi as some riders deflate their tyres believing wrongly that the heat generated by high speed riding would bring them up to a safer level...they don't and after lunch they ride off with under inflated cold tyres and come off on the first or second fast bend as the tyres are still cold. Now that would have been doing something worthwhile.
Bob Craven Lancs

Agree (3) | Disagree (2)