|Wednesday 27th May 2020
After 2 months of lockdown it appears that there is the spectre of some light at the end of the tunnel. But to paraphrase Sir Winston Churchill this is just the end of the beginning rather than the beginning of the end. In order to continue to protect our most vulnerable we must continue to remain vigilant, disciplined and maintain social distancing.
Like me I am sure that you have been aware of a steady increase in traffic over the past few weeks and on the better days the number of motorcyclists out and about has also increased.
Perthshire is blessed with beautiful scenery and roads that are favoured by motorcyclists but over the past few years that has not been without its tragedies. Previous years’ figures show that in Scotland motorcyclists account for less than 1% of traffic but accounted for 7% of all casualties and 16% of fatalities.
The consequences of being involved in any crash while riding a motorbike can be serious. Motorbike riders should not over estimate their own abilities and should at all times ride defensively. The majority of road crashes are avoidable and often involve basic errors of judgement being made.
There are a number of things you can do to reduce the risk of crashing on a motorbike:
Take time to negotiate bends on rural A roads
Take extra care at junctions – remember in a busy environment or built up areas you could get lost to other drivers in all the activity
Take care when overtaking and only overtake when it is safe to do so
Know your cycle and how to manage it if you do start to feel like you are losing control.
Clothing is particularly important when riding a motorbike. Your clothing is important for your visibility and for your safety. During the day you should ensure you are wearing bright or fluorescent colours over your protective clothing and in the evening reflective clothing should be worn. A helmet is required by law when riding a motorbike.
I would also encourage other road users to:
Look carefully for motorbikes when you pull out at a junction. If you’re approaching a junction, look out for motorcyclists pulling out too.
Keep your distance, driving too close can intimidate a less experienced motorcyclist.
Check for bikes when changing lanes, a motorcyclist may be in the space you want to move into, or moving into it fast. Remember your blind spot.
Check for bikes when turning, parked cars or large vehicles can obstruct your view of a motorcyclist.
Motorcyclists might pass you on either side – double-check for motorcyclists, whether you’re turning left or right.
Park safely – check for motorcyclists before opening your car door – and ensure that your passengers do the same. When you pull away, remember to look specifically for motorcyclists as they can accelerate faster than cars.