Enjoy your summer ride - but take care

DEVON County Council is urging motorcyclists to take extra care in order to have a safe summer on the region's roads.

DEVON County Council is urging motorcyclists to take extra care in order to have a safe summer on the region's roads.

So far this year, nearly 40% of all fatal collisions in the county have involved motorcycle riders, and yet motorcyclists only make up between 1-2% of all traffic.

A total of seven motorcycle riders have been killed in Devon in 2008, and the County Council is concerned that the figure must not rise if more riders head out on their bikes should the weather improve over the next couple of months.

Councillor Margaret Rogers, Devon County Council's Executive Member for Environment, said: "We recognise the benefits that motorcycling has in reducing congestion on our roads and the tourism that motorcycling brings. But motorcyclists are our most vulnerable road users and we urge them to enjoy riding in Devon this summer but to take care. We are keen to promote the safe and sensible use of motorcycles, as well as educating and raising awareness of motorcycling among other road users. There are also a number of simple measures that riders can perform to improve their safety when out riding this summer."

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Devon County Council's ongoing motorcycle safety campaign, Bringing Bikers Out of the Blindspot, aims to promote the safe and sensible use of motorcycles. Bikers are also being reminded to consider a range of additional advice to improve their safety, including:

* Take care when approaching junctions - car drivers do not always spot bikers and you may be the victim of their poor driving;

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* Choose appropriate speeds for the conditions - speed limits are there for a reason;

* Make sure you wear the correct riding gear to reduce the severity of injuries if you are involved in a crash;

* Have you thought about joining an Advanced Riding Group? There are a number of excellent groups in Devon who can provide a package of rider training that will develop your style;

* Riding in groups is enjoyable, but in recent years a relatively high number of fatal crashes have involving a rider out with others - ride in a group, think as an individual;

* Motorcyclists are usually more vulnerable to road defects especially in sensitive areas such as bends. Road defects can be reported on 0845 1551004;

* One day riding courses are available at the Devon Drivers' Centre. Prices start from £85. Call 01392 444773.

Further details can be found at www.devon.gov.uk/bikers

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