Wealden District Council is urging motorcyclists and drivers to be extra careful during the summer months when there is an increase in the number of crashes involving motorcyclists, particularly those who ride as a hobby.
Councillor Claire Dowling, Cabinet member for Public Health and Community Safety said:
We have nearly 850 miles of road in Wealden including 254 miles of unclassified winding country lanes. Every summer motorbike enthusiasts take to the road and can be unaware of the challenges our country roads can pose. It is important for all road users to take care. Failing to look before carrying out a manoeuvre is the single biggest cause of serious road accidents in Wealden. It accounts for 30% of all contributory factors.
In the three years 2011-2013, there has been 68 motorcyclists and passengers killed or seriously injured on Wealden’s roads, with larger bikes of over 500cc involved in the majority of serious crashes. Nearly half of the casualties were aged over 40.
Cllr Dowling’s concerns are echoed by fellow Councillor Lin Clark who is a keen motorcyclist:
Motorcyclists should take their responsibilities to themselves and other road users seriously. A particular concern for Wealden’s roads is older bikers who take up motorcycling later in life as a hobby. However good a motorcyclist they thought they were when younger, some extra training is vital if you are considering taking up two wheels again.
Councillor Clark is a member of the East Sussex Advanced Motorcyclists (ESAM) which combines helping to prepare riders for the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) Motorcyclists’ Test with social activities. Lin recently became one of the first National Observers with the IAM, and as Observer of the Year she plays a key role in supporting and advising motorcyclists.
Councillor Clark, Wealden District Councillor for Pevensey and Westham said:
The IAM works closely with the Police on the Bike Safe courses and another safety initiative for motorcyclists called Biker Down. This is a first aid course aimed at providing lifesaving information for people involved in motorcycle accidents. ESAM welcomes anyone who wishes to improve their riding skills. They will have their own Observer who will work with them one-to-one. The aim is to get them through their advanced test, but what really matters is that they will end up a safer and more confident rider.