Police bid to cut fatalities

PUBLISHED: 16:19 18 October 2007 | UPDATED: 21:50 29 May 2010

Two police officers show how it is done on one of the Bikesafe courses

Two police officers show how it is done on one of the Bikesafe courses

SO FAR this year, 23 motorcyclists have been killed on roads across Essex. This represents a significant increase on last year, when there were 18 fatalities across the 12-month period, and Essex Police is keen to bring the casualty rate down. Insp Keith

SO FAR this year, 23 motorcyclists have been killed on roads across Essex.

This represents a significant increase on last year, when there were 18 fatalities across the 12-month period, and Essex Police is keen to bring the casualty rate down.

Insp Keith Whiting said: "Many fatal collisions can be avoided and we are encouraging all riders to attend a Bikesafe course, which is provided in partnership with Essex County Council.

But better still they are urging people to take advanced training through registered instructors or groups such as RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) or IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists).

Taking part in a Bikesafe or other training course will better equip you to deal with any emergency situations and help you to be prepared for any worse-case scenarios.

"A motorcycle has some very unusual, but predictable characteristics when put under emergency conditions," said Insp Whiting.

"For example the bike will stand up, steering straight on, in a corner if the rider brakes using the front brake - unbelievably many riders are unaware of this simple fact.

"They only become aware of this during an emergency, and must wonder why the bike is not steering in the direction they wish to go, away from danger."

Although forensic examination of most accidents shows that the rider is responsible for the accident, there have been examples where accidents were practically unavoidable, such as falling branches or vehicles unsafely pulling out of junctions.

However, Insp Whiting said that many people bought high-powered motorbikes without having the requisite level of skill to control them.

He said: "Many riders purchase motorcycles with impressive power, handling and braking characteristics, however, their skills are insufficient to appreciate their new machine.

"The advantage of taking advanced training is that you enjoy your motorcycle more.

"Many of the riders involved in collisions, have no riding qualifications other than holding the required licence, many also are either inexperienced riders, or are very inexperienced with a new bike for example."

For more information about the course call 08452 307407 or visit the websites www.bikesafe.co.uk and www.essex.police.uk/bikesafe

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