If we’re honest none of us like criticism and a particularly sensitive subject is our driving / riding prowess? Many people have a jaundiced view of organisations like Institute of Advanced Motorists and RoSPA due to the perceived stereotypes they come with? These are misplaced stereotypes, more of which I will explain in due course.
The fact does remain that most people holding a full licence for any class of vehicle typically feel they have nothing to learn.
Here then are some cold hard facts:-
- In the UK approx. 3500 people per annum DIE in traffic collisions.
- Around 400 of those are bikers. Not a good statistic when you consider that as bikers we make up only 1% of the motoring population?
- Most people accept that a police advanced riding course is the highest calibre riding course available in the UK (possibly the world).
Many bikers rush to blame the car driver and in many cases they can be seen to shoulder the lion’s share of the blame but consider this question. Did the car driver with a good job, nice car, beautiful family and good standard of living in general, wake up and decide that day to go out, maim or kill a biker, and go to prison losing everything? I think not! He made a mistake but you allowed him to catch you out.
Bikesafe aims to help you ride smart by sharing with those wishing to listen, the information only previously accessible to police riders and drivers on bespoke courses. After all, police riders appear to ‘get away’ with negotiating traffic in all weathers, sometimes at high speed and in environments where you know the stakes are high. This can’t be down to ‘good luck’ surely there has to be more to it? Obviously there is and it’s called ‘system riding’ a tried and tested formula that works, validated by literally millions of miles over many years.
UK Police riders formed a national ‘think-tank’ and pooled what they considered to be an accurate list of the common (albeit not exhaustive) causation factors in traffic collisions relating to bikers. Their collective experience then compiled suggested solutions to these traumatic events. This translated into a course based around an interactive DVD delivered by police riders, many of whom are instructors in police driving schools.
The courses are run by many police forces around the country and you can go to any of them, not just the ones in your area. They all use the same course content.
They will all involve some form of assessed ride where you get followed by a police officer on a patrol bike. Normally this would be an unnerving experience but remember that these guys and girls are petrol heads like you and have an incredibly positive attitude to biker skills. Remember these people rode exactly like you before they were fortunate enough to undertake such a course as part of their job.
The end goal is to give you a taster of what you will get from further training with a training school on the DVSA register of post-test motorcycle trainers, IAM or RoSPA, the latter two having Observers who have passed an outside accredited course similar to an NVQ in training. They will ALL take your riding to a new level. The stereotype should be consigned to history, they have all moved on, give them a chance.
No matter what your experience you WILL take something new away with you to enhance your riding skills. It MAY make you faster, it OFTEN will lower your speeds into dangerous situations, it is GUARANTEED to improve your safety and fun.
That is, after all, what you bought the bike for isn’t it?