Stay safe this Ride to Work Week

Look out for one another – that’s the message from Somerset County Council’s road safety team ahead of national Ride to Work Week (19-25 June)

Ride to Work Week aims to promote the advantages of commuting to work on a motorcycle or moped.

Somerset Road Safety is urging all road users to look out for each other and take extra care to look out for those more vulnerable road users travelling on two wheels.

Despite a decrease in the number of motorcyclist casualties in Somerset between 2015 and 2016, more than two motorcyclists a week are still being injured on the county’s roads.

There are a number of simple tips to help keep everyone safe – ranging from checking mirrors and blind spots to wearing the correct gear. See full list in Notes to Editors

Cllr John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “A motorcycle or moped can be a fantastic way to travel, but it is important that all road users look out for each other when using Somerset’s roads.

“I hope everyone finds these road safety tips useful, and if any bikers would like training under the Biker Down programme please do get in touch with the Road Safety Team.”

Biker Down is a free three-hour course open to all regardless of ability or type of bike ridden. It’s interactive and aims to provide bikers with practical skills to avoid being involved in a collision. Somerset Road Safety promotes the Biker Down training programme alongside Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service.

Participants will also learn essential first aid should they find themselves at the scene of a collision where a motorcyclist has been injured. They also receive a first aid kit, certificate and a crash card.

For more information on Somerset Road Safety courses, please visit www.somersetroadsafety.org, find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/somersetroadsafety, Twitter www.twitter.com/SCC_RoadSafety, or Instagram www.instagram.com/somersetroadsafety.

Further information on Ride to Work week can be found at www.ridetoworkweek.co.uk.

Notes to editors

Advice for drivers

  • Remember that motorcyclists can easily become hidden in the blind spots on your vehicle.
  • Take a longer look. When pulling out at a junction the advice is look once, look twice, think bike!
  • Always check your mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes or turning.
  • If you’re stuck in slow moving traffic be aware that bikes can be filtering through.
  • Check your mirrors before opening your car door and make sure passengers do the same.
  • Keep your distance – if you drive too close to a motorcycle or moped you won’t be able to react in time to potential hazards.
  • Remember that motorcyclists might pass your vehicle on either side so always check both wing mirrors.
  • Don’t get distracted! Distracted driving puts the lives of other road users at risk.

Advice for riders

  • Check your bike is fit to ride before setting off. A few simple checks can help keep you safe on the road.
  • Ride defensively – defensive riding allows you to anticipate hazards faster and increases your chances of being able to stop in time.
  • Wear the correct gear and helmet. The SHARP rating system can aid understanding on the level of protection a helmet offers.
  • Mind your speed – always ride at a speed that is appropriate for the road conditions.
  • Take care when filtering in traffic, as drivers may not have seen you.
  • Don’t overtake unless you can see the road ahead to be clear and it is safe to do so.
  • Check behind you before manoeuvring.
  • Consider further training – remember a trained rider is a safer rider!