A Day Out in Devon

“GET yourself heard” is the message Devon County Council is giving to motorcyclists who regularly use the county’s road.

This summer marks the launch of a major consultation for bikers, allowing them to comment on the various issues that affect their safety and how they feel it can be improved.

The campaign will be promoted using a humorous pro-bike video which will be circulated through a viral email campaign and displayed via websites such as YouTube. It is hoped that this marketing technique will encourage the ‘hard to reach’ groups to take part.

The consultation is part of Devon County Council Road Safety Team’s ongoing motorcycle safety campaign, ‘Bringing Bikers Out of the Blindspot’. The Blindspot scheme was launched in 2004 with a similar survey, and the responses from that were used to direct the campaign and launch initiatives to tackle issues that bikers felt posed the greatest risk.

Some of the initiatives which have been introduced include:

  • Better training options for riders;

  • Education campaigns aimed at car drivers to look for riders;

  • Intervention courses for riders as an alternative to prosecution;

  • A Devon County Council motorcycle audit team to check the condition of road surfaces from a biker’s perspective;

  • Improved road conditions through the promotion of issues such as the diesel spills initiative ‘Spiller Killer’;

  • Courses in schools for scooter riders.

Councillor Margaret Rogers, Devon County Council Executive Member for Environment, said: “It’s incredibly important that motorcyclists take this opportunity to have their say on Devon’s roads. The motorcycle safety campaign has already put in place many services for improving their safety from the last survey three years ago. Now we need the help of the biking community again.”

Motorcyclists are seen as one of the most vulnerable road users and improving their safety is crucial. Despite only making up only 1% of all traffic, they historically account for up to a third of all fatal crashes in the county.

However, 2006 saw the number of riders killed on Devon’s road fall to one of the lowest in recent record with a total of seven.

Michael Newcombe, Devon County Council Road Safety Officer, said: “Motorcycle safety is a major priority for the road safety team and we need bikers’ help in order to reduce casualty numbers. The survey shouldn’t take much more than 10 minutes to complete and this feedback will help us achieve the goal of lowering the number of those being killed and injured.”

Andy Poulastides from Three Edged Productions, who directed the marketing film, said: “As an avid biker myself, I was pleased to be offered the chance to write and direct a short piece for the ‘get yourself heard’ campaign. I hope the film proves effective in bringing bikers together and making their voices heard.”

The consultation is available in paper form by emailing bikers@devon.gov.uk but riders are being encouraged to give their views online at www.devon.gov.uk/bikers

By having their say, riders have the opportunity to highlight matters that affect them most and direct the Blindspot campaign to target these issues.

Adrian Lane

Notes for Editors:

The promotional video can be viewed at: Here or DVD copies can be made available.

You can also view the video by downloading the file Here 2.4mb

New: We have also made this into a screensaver. This is available as a free download from the following link: Click Here

For further information please contact Michael Newcombe, Road Safety Officer, 01271 388496.

Councillor Margaret Rogers 01297 680384.

Andy Poulastides, Three Edged Productions, on 07951055679.

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