Safe Rider Workshops – Improving motorcyclists’ safety on Suffolk’s roads
Pictured above: The RCRT & participants of a Safe Rider course held in September 2019
Motorcyclists across Suffolk are once again being given the opportunity to improve their riding skills and to enhance their awareness and ability while on the road at ‘Safe Rider’ motorcycle workshops to be held in 2020.
Safe Rider is a joint initiative between Suffolk and Norfolk Constabularies aimed at reducing the number of motorcycle casualties across the counties.
To date in 2019, 24 people have been killed on Suffolk’s roads, five of which were motorcyclists. In 2018, a total of 18 people died on the county’s roads, three of which were motorcyclists.
The two-day workshops will run from March through to October, the months when it is considered the number of motorcyclists taking to the roads increases due to more clement weather. They are aimed at all fully qualified riders who want to improve their skills to become better and safer riders.
In an effort to encourage more riders under the age of 25 to take the course, they will continue to be able to attend for half price (£25), which will be funded by the Safe Rider scheme.
The first six applicants aged under 25 (who must be fully qualified) will be able to attend the course for free after the scheme received a donation of £150 from a member of the public.
PC Andy Masterson, from Suffolk Constabulary’s Road Casualty Reduction Team and who coordinates the scheme, said: “The workshops give motorcyclists greater awareness of the hazards they may face when out and about to help them become better and safer riders and are designed to bridge the gap between passing the basic motorcycle test and taking an advanced test.
"The underlying message of the workshops will continue to be that education is key, not enforcement.
“I am very grateful to the member of the public who donated £150 to the scheme to enable six riders aged under 25 to attend free of charge, which was a very kind and generous act.
“This age group – as the most inexperienced road users – potentially have the most to gain by attending and as such we are continuing to offer the 50% reduction of the course fee to under 25s.
“I would still equally encourage experienced motorcyclists to attend as it is always good to refresh your skills. Indeed, all us police officers who are advanced-level riders are required to have refresher training every three to five years.
“Relatives or friends still looking for Christmas ideas for a loved one who is a motorcycling enthusiast, might consider booking them onto a Safe Rider course – in particular parents of young riders.
"Reducing the number of people who are killed or seriously injured on the county’s roads remains a priority for us, but unfortunately the number of fatalities to date this year is higher than the total number last year. We will keep doing all we can to make Suffolk’s roads safe for everyone.”
Safe Rider courses are aimed at riders living in Suffolk and are run with the support of Suffolk Roadsafe and Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, with funding provided from Copdock Classic Motorcycle Club, along with Lings Motor Group and Orwell Motorcycles.
Riders who do not reside in Suffolk are also welcome to attend, though it is recommended that they contact their home county’s constabulary in the first instance to see if they have any courses available.
The workshops cost £50 per person, or £25 for those aged under 25, and are held at Suffolk Police Headquarters, Martlesham Heath, Ipswich.
They start at 7pm on a Friday evening with classroom sessions on the system of road craft, with particular attention given to positioning and cornering.
The next morning, there will be an escorted ride out session with a Class 1 police motorcyclist. A maximum 3:1 ratio ensures an accurate and personalised assessment of riding performance.
First aid sessions take place on the Saturday afternoon provided by Suffolk Fire and Rescue.
Participants are provided with lunch on the Saturday and are also given a Safe Rider bag for life containing a number of useful items, including a flask, keyring and Parker pen.
The workshop dates for 2020 are:
July 31/August 1
For further information visit the Suffolk Police website: www.suffolk.police.uk/services/safe-rider-workshop or if you would like to register for a course, call the Road Casualty Reduction Team (RCRT) on 01473 613888, ext 3722 or email: [email protected]
Anyone organising a motorcycle fete in the county next year is encouraged to contact the RCRT as they may be able to attend in order to promote the Safe Rider workshops.