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17-06-2011 Government relaunch THINK! campaign to improve rider safety

A new THINK! campaign to help cut the number of motorcyclists killed and injured on Britain's roads was launched today by Road Safety Minister Mike Penning

Despite accounting for only 1% of traffic, motorcyclists make up around 19% of casualties on Britain’s roads with many of these collisions happening at junctions and involving another vehicle. This campaign will put motorcyclists centre stage in a bid to encourage drivers to look out for bikers by placing the focus on the person behind the helmet.

Mike Penning said:

"Britain has some of the safest roads in the world but around nine motorcyclists were still killed on the roads each week in 2009.

"As a biker I know how much fun motorcycling can be and what a practical way it is to get around, but it is unacceptable that so many motorcyclists are dying on our roads and I want to tackle this.

"While many drivers may take extra care at junctions, they often don't see bikers and this is a major factor in motorcycle casualties. That is why our THINK! campaign aims to remind drivers to think about the biker, not just the bike, so that we see fewer of these needless accidents."

In 2009, 78% of motorcyclists killed and seriously injured were in collisions involving another vehicle and 67% of these collisions occurred at junctions, often with the driver of the other vehicle failing to see the motorcycle.

The THINK! campaign will include national radio adverts which will run from Monday 20th June which will be supported by drive time radio sponsorship and nationwide petrol forecourt advertising. There will also be Facebook activity aimed at motorcyclists and online adverts reminding drivers to look out for bikers.

The figures are startling and although improved training for riders is important, it is clear where the focus of attention should be if the government is serious about cutting casualties.

MAG applauds the new Think! campaign but reiterates that the onus of responsibility should not be placed on the victim, but rather the perpetrator and awareness of all road users should be central to driver training.

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