Safety message driven home to bikers

A MAJOR road safety campaign has been launched as yet another motorcyclist died on the roads of Essex.Essex County Council has pledged to target bikers with the latest initiative, due to be officially rolled out next month.

A MAJOR road safety campaign has been launched as yet another motorcyclist died on the roads of Essex.

Essex County Council has pledged to target bikers with the latest initiative, due to be officially rolled out next month.

The announcement coincides with the death of a 38-year-old Brightlingsea man who was killed on Thursday night after his bike clipped the kerb on the B1027 at Alresford.

He was the seventh motorcyclist to die on Essex roads this year.


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Twenty-nine motorcyclists died last year in Essex – more than a quarter of the total of 105 road deaths in the county.

This shocking figure has led Essex County Council to launch the new initiative aimed specifically at riders.

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Take Control – Ride Safely will be launched on Monday, June 6 with the support of police, Essex Air Ambulance, motorcycle dealers, trainers and riders groups.

Rodney Bass, Essex County Council's cabinet member for highways and transportation, said that concentrating on motorcyclists was one of the main parts of the council's strategy.

He said: "Our key target is to try and reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured. We have got to put across the vulnerability of a two-wheeled vehicle compared with a four-wheeled vehicle."

Five thousand CD ROMs have been produced as part of the campaign. They will be given away free to riders. The CD gives details of safe riding courses and tips on maintaining a motorbike with safety in mind. There is also a computer game where players negotiate hazards on the road.

Dermot Hawkins, road safety officer at Essex County Council, said the CD was aimed at making riders think about the kind of hazardous situations they could meet on the road and then taking steps to ensure they were well prepared.

He said: "We want to push people to go that little bit further in getting training. If we can save one life then we've done our job."

Mr Hawkins said motorbike dealers would have a crucial part to play in distributing the information, especially as nearly 40% of fatal motorbike accidents occurred within months of buying a new machine.

As well as the human cost to loved ones, Mr Hawkins pointed out that each road death costs the taxpayer about £1.2m. The Essex Air Ambulance is normally scrambled for serious crashes involving motorcycles, largely because a rider's injuries are expected to be severe.

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