HOGs help biker safety in Somerset

Somerset County Council’s road safety team has received a generous donation from Bridgwater bikers.

At a recent Biker Down course in Taunton, run jointly by Somerset Road Safety and Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, members of Bridgwater Harley Owners Group (HOG) kindly donated £1,000 to Somerset Road Safety in support of their work keeping bikers safe on the roads of Somerset.

Biker Down teaches riders practical skills to avoid being involved in a collision, essential first aid training, and what to do if first on the scene of a collision involving a motorcyclist. Almost 100 Somerset based bikers benefitted from attending the course in 2018. Biker Down is roughly three hours long, is free of charge, and aimed at riders of all ages and levels of expertise.

Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways said: “Bikers make up just one per cent of traffic on the roads but account for almost twenty percent of all road casualties.

“Statistics like this highlight exactly why courses like Biker Down are so important. I would like to thank the members of Bridgwater Harley Owners Group for their generous donation which will help to provide the funds to continue offering courses and support free of charge to members of the biking community within Somerset.

“If you want to improve your riding skills please get in touch with the Road Safety Team.”

Riding over the winter months can be a challenging experience so the County Council’s road safety team have put together a few tips to help bikers stay safe on the roads:

  • Check the forecast before starting your journey, if adverse weather is predicted then think about whether your journey is really necessary.
  • Give your bike the once over; check tyres, lights and controls before setting off.
  • Watch out for ‘microclimates’; patches of ice can still linger in areas of shade even if the rest of the road looks safe to ride on.
  • Keep a safe distance from other vehicles, braking distances can increase by a factor of ten in icy conditions!
  • Look out for debris on the roads, mud and wet leaves can make the road surface very slippery.
  • Be aware that high winds can force your bike off course.
  • Wear the correct safety gear and warm clothing, low temperatures and wind chill can affect a rider’s ability to control the bike properly.
  • Try to make eye contact with drivers to ensure they’ve seen you.

Pictured are, left to right: Peter Parks (Bridgwater HOG), Neill Sedgwick (Somerset Road Safety), Tony Heywood (Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service)

For more information on road safety visit: www.somersetroadsafety.org