I read this week that the Police are backing a new training initiative for motorcyclists called ‘Rider Refinement North.’ In a bid to reduce summer bike deaths, motorcyclists are being offered the chance to improve their riding and safety. The one-day training programme will be delivered by the Police but has been developed with Road Safety North East Scotland, Aberdeenshire, Angus and Dundee Councils, Perth and Kinross Community and Safety Partnership and Scottish Fire and Rescue.
I wholeheartedly welcome the programme as the number of deaths on our roads is shocking and all safety programmes are to be applauded.
This one-day course will hopefully encourage more motorcyclists to participate in advanced training. In the past, initiatives like BikeSafe and Operation Zenith have been well received plus the IAM continue to focus on improving motorcyclist’s riding skills using a system called IPSGA (Information Position Speed Gear Acceleration) which is at the core of advanced riding.
However, isn’t there something missing? Where is the further instruction and training for motorists to help prevent these fatalities? Surely these can't all be single vehicle incidents? Excessive speed into left-hand bends in rural areas is known to be a primary cause of many crashes but so too are collisions with vehicles at junctions and roundabouts.
Some cases we deal with include situations where cars have veered into the paths of experienced motorcyclists. Let’s see initiatives that challenge how driver actions and behaviour on the road makes them more aware of motorcyclists.
As motorcyclists, we can do courses to improve our skills and awareness but, if drivers don’t ‘think bike,’ we often don’t stand a chance anyway.