Press release

THINK! urges motorcyclists to 'stay in control'

Defensive motorcycling riding skills to improve in new road safety initiative.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


A new THINK! road safety initiative to encourage motorcyclists to improve their defensive riding skills has been launched today (18 April 2013) by the Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond.

The ‘stay in control’ campaign - which has been developed with partners from the motorcycle industry - advises motorcyclists to ride defensively and seek further training to sharpen their skills. Posters, leaflets and other promotional material will be distributed to hundreds of motorcycle dealerships and retailers across the UK. The campaign will run throughout the peak riding season this spring and summer, when, historically, the number of motorcyclists killed and seriously injured on the roads sees an increase.

Stephen Hammond said:

Motorcyclists make up just 1% of the traffic on our roads but last year accounted for 19% of deaths. So reducing the number of bikers killed on our roads is a key priority for the government. I am pleased that, in parallel with this initiative, we are also running a THINK BIKER campaign encouraging car drivers to take longer to look for motorcyclists.

This latest campaign urges bikers to ride defensively – this includes taking a ‘lifesaver glance’ around before manoeuvring and giving yourself time to react to potential hazards. Any message that has the potential to reduce the number of tragedies on our roads involving motorcyclists and save lives is worth hammering home.

Current industry partners include the Motorcycle Industry Association, Motor Cycle Monthly magazine, Devitt Insurance and Yamaha. The advice and support from all partners is crucial to the success of this campaign. Other organisations able to promote the campaign to customers and members are encouraged to contact the THINK! Campaigns team.

Notes to editors

Motorcyclists accounted for 1% of road traffic but 19% of deaths on Britain’s roads in 2011. Around 30 bikers are killed or injured in accidents at junctions every day.

In 2011, 5,609 motorcyclists were killed or seriously injured with 74% of these occurring in accidents involving another vehicle. 69% of these casualties happened at junctions. The number of accidents increases significantly during March and April as improved weather encourages more motorcyclists onto the road.

Last year, 26% of motorcyclist fatalities and serious injuries resulted from accidents where no other vehicle was involved.

Comparing different road users’ casualty rates per billion vehicle miles highlights that motorcyclists are at a much greater risk of being killed or seriously injured, approximately 75 times that for car drivers.

See the department’s annual road casualty statistics of 2011 for further information.

In addition to the four partners mentioned above, other partner organisations are Motorcycle Retailers Association, Motorcycle Industry Training Association, British Motorcyclists Federation, Motorcycle Action Group, retail brands including Shark and Furygan and all major motorcycle dealers including Kawasaki.

The campaign encourages motorcyclists to ride defensively – this means encouraging riders to expect the unexpected, take a lifesaver glace’ over their shoulder before manoeuvring and positioning themselves in the safest and best place on the road to maximise visibility of potential hazards.

The campaign also encourages riders to consider sharpening their skills by taking on extra training with qualified instructors.

Learn more about how riders can sharpen their skills. Information on the national THINK BIKER can be found on the THINK! website too.

The THINK BIKER campaign started on 11 March and ends 25 May. New radio adverts for 2013 and a new petrol station screen advert are available.

new petrol station screen advert

THINK! campaigns team contact:

THINK!’s social media channels include the THINK BIKER Facebook page and THINK! twitter channel.

Roads media enquiries

Published 18 April 2013