Armed Forces motorcycle usage on the increase
With motorbike usage on the increase within the Armed Forces, it is recognised that motorcyclists still remain a distinct minority and face a much higher risk of serious injury. In total motorcyclists in the UK account for about 1% of road traffic, about 18% of fatal casualties and 19% of serious injuries are motorcycle related. The minor “shunt” in a car will only damage the vehicle but on a motorbike, it can result in a serious disabling injury. Whatever safety improvements are made to motorcycling; Anti-Lock Braking (ABS), improved visibility, better helmets and protective clothing to name but a few, the motorcyclist still remains especially vulnerable.
High risk of injury amongst armed forces
Identifying that avoidable Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs) remain amongst the highest risks for injury across the Armed Forces, Headquarters Catterick Garrison in partnership with the North Yorkshire Motorcycle Police Unit delivered a BikeSafe on 22 May for Service Personnel across the Garrison area. This was an opportunity for 10 fortunate participants to engage with the Police (on friendly terms) directly to consider and analyse why motorcycle accidents are happening.
Overwhelmingly positive feedback
After a coffee, the day started in the briefing room where the riders of varying skill levels were first instructed in the classroom on skills such as filtering, junction procedures, cornering and overtaking to name but a few. From the onset the atmosphere was very informal and relaxed, with the participants encouraged to have an open debate – always from a Police perspective of course.
In the second part of the day after lunch, a Police motorcyclist took each rider out individually on a 2-3 hour observed ride to assess their riding skills and put into practice the theory from the morning’s deliberations. Riders were further given an individual development plan to encourage that all-important link to continue advanced riding with an accredited training provider.
Overall feedback throughout the day was overwhelmingly positive from both the Police and the riders, with the majority saying that the day was for sure not just valuable, but better still, so glad that they attended. From my perspective this was great to hear.
Article written in respect of BikeSafe workshop that was run by the North Yorkshire Police BikeSafe team at Catterick Garrison on the 22nd May 2019.
WO2 Shaun Bedford
Garrison Master Driver