BikeSafe

The BikeSafe day at RAF High Wycombe took place on 18th June and provided briefings, discussion and practical experience to 20 motorcyclists from RAF High Wycombe and Halton.

There are a considerable number of casualties each year within the RAF’s motorcycling community which represents a significant percentage (in proportion to the overall total) of the RAF’s road injuries, reduction of which is one of the RAF Road Safety Team’s key priorities.

Nine instructors from the Metropolitan Police Motorcycle Unit began the day with briefing sessions in the Oakeshott Centre, looking to help RAF road users to be more aware of the risks, the techniques available to ride defensively and as a consequence be safer when out on the road.

Serco provided the vast majority of sponsorship for the event with individuals  only needing to make a small contribution. The Serco Transport Services Manager, Mr Bruce Dray was pivotal to getting the sponsorship, and also took part in the day.

He said “a very professional and relaxed day meant that we all got to ride our bikes on the road without fear that, even though we were being followed by a police motorbike, we weren’t about to be pulled over! A visit from the Stn Cdr   highlighted that unfortunately service personnel are far too often injured whilst riding motorbikes and the fact that Serco helped us all to enjoy a fun but meaningful day was very important. As a Serco contractor who attended the day I was both proud and pleased that Serco had sponsored such an important safety event in support of our MoD partners”.

ESS were also able to support the event by providing lunch at no cost to the riders or police instructors, which always goes down well! After lunch the riders took to the road for practical assessments, allowing the instructors to give constructive feedback to the attendees.

The organiser of the event Sqn Ldr Stephen Sharpe said “personally, as a keen motorcyclist for a considerable number of years, I am all too aware of instances where riders, irrespective of their level of experience, find themselves involved in serious crashes. The plain facts are that the majority of these crashes are avoidable and all too often involve basic errors of judgement being made by the rider with things as simple as road positioning, hazard awareness and excess speed for the type of road travelled. The aim of BikeSafe is a simple one and that is to reduce the unacceptably high rate of powered two-wheeler casualties on the roads of the UK. BikeSafe has a real contribution to make in fulfilling that objective”.

BikeSafe is not a training scheme, because whilst advanced police riders are some of the safest drivers on the road, they are not in the business of delivering training to members of the public. They do, however, through BikeSafe workshops, provide detailed briefing on hazard awareness and how to make motorcycling safer. This is followed up by an on-road assessed ride where an experienced BikeSafe assessor will provide participants with detailed one-to-one feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of their riding, raising their awareness and hopefully leading to many going on to more advanced training with either the Institute of Advanced Motorists or the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

For more information on this or future events please contact Sqn Ldr Sharpe at EAGLog-1@mod.uk.