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National Police Chiefs Council Launches Scheme to Help Motorcycle Safety

A ‘new’ scheme, ‘Vulnerable Road Users Operation’, has been launched by the National Police Chiefs Council. It aims to target motorcyclists, to encourage them to become safer riders by taking further rider training. Suggested post-test training includes online and on-road BikeSafe courses, IAM/RoSPA and the DVSA Enhanced Rider courses. In addition, although it has never been shown to work, it is suggested that increased road signage can help. Also, that prospective riders should complete the online RideFree course. Whilst the initiative is very welcome, it is simply a rehash of older schemes that have not proven effective in previous years. Increased signage on ‘popular biking roads’ doesn’t suggest that any serious research, particularly into the more effective measures of ‘near misses’, has played any part in signage decisions. There is no suggestion that motorists should get extra training in ‘motorcycle awareness’. Helping young riders, by removing VAT, to afford better quality riding gear could also reduce the severity of injuries. The initiative targets only motorcyclists and ignores the roles of other road users, commercial vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, or road design and new technology. The new scheme fails to recognise motorcyclists as part of an integrated transport system. Let’s hope that next year’s ‘new initiative’ will actually produce some ‘new thinking’ on keeping motorcycle riders safer on UK roads.

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