Police in Cornwall are urging motorcyclists to stay safe on the roads this summer after figures show 20 per cent of all crash casualties are bikers, despite making up only two per cent of the traffic on the roads.
Richard Pryce, roads policing unit inspector, said: “It is important to understand that in this police area this small percentage of road users accounts on average for about 30 per cent of collisions resulting in death or serious injury, significantly above the national figure. It’s a stark indication of how vulnerable motorcycle riders are.”
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) lists the five main types of collision involving motorcycles. At number one is failure to negotiate bends on rural A roads, of which there are many in Devon and Cornwall, with even more smaller roads.
Inspector Pryce said: “During the summer months we see a modest increase in the number of motorcyclists visiting the region from other parts of the country, with local riders also visiting other parts of their home counties.
“Motorcyclists should take extra care when riding on roads which are unfamiliar to them, and at all times be mindful of their own speed and of speed limits.”
Hot weather can tempt some motorcyclists to abandon protective clothing and ride in light trousers, shorts and even flip flops. This happens not only in the UK but when people go on holiday to hotter countries and hire motorcycles, riding them in a way they would never consider at home.
Inspector Pryce is unequivocal about the "madness of riding without suitable protective gear". He said: “A fall at any speed onto a road surface when not wearing suitable protective clothing will have incredibly serious consequences. Thinking of what will happen when your skin meets the road surface requires little describing. The consequences can be permanent.
“It is vitally important that riders are fully protected and highly visible at all times. The short term inconvenience of perhaps getting a bit hot is far better than the possibility of suffering a serious and painful injury.”
As well as urging all motorcyclists to ride to the standards laid out in the Highway Code and to the level of their ability, Inspector Pryce has one more top tip.
“Get additional training. Passing your test is just the start and riders should never stop learning and improving their riding skills and awareness.”
More information about motorcycle safety can be found in the Traffic section of the Devon & Cornwall Police website at www.devon-cornwall.police.uk.
Inspector Pryce added: “We believe that the better a rider you become, the less likely you are to be involved in a collision and the more enjoyment you’ll get out of your bike. Take care, stay aware and protected, and above all enjoy safe riding across our two counties.”