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We will be dealing with the following in this element.

1. Be clearly visible to other road users - Conspicuity Aids

We need to as visible as we can be when riding a motorcycle or a scooter. The shape and size of the motorcycle or scooter when observing when being observed from the front is thinner more two dimensional than let's say that of a car. Things we can do to be more visible:

  • White Helmet
  • Headlights on when riding
  • White or colourful bike
  • Clean bike
  • High Visibility colours and reflective material on clothing

2. Legal requirements for riding on the road

You need a full car licence or a provisional licence and dependent on your age you can ride a 125 motorcycle or a moped on the public road with L-Plates as long as you do not carry pillions or go on motorways for two years from the date of your CBT certificate. Your bike must be insured, taxed and roadworthy and dependent on its age also have a valid MOT certificate.

3. Motorcylists more vulnerable road users

We have no:

Crumple zones, bumper, airbags, air conditioners, heaters. 

A bike has no real safety protection but the clothing that we wear.

Motorcyclists account for just 1% of total road traffic, but 19% of all road user deaths. Our campaign promotes the steps both drivers and riders can take to reduce motorcyclist casualties on our roads.

The facts

  • Motorcyclists are roughly 38 times more likely to be killed in a road traffic accident than car occupants, per mile ridden
  • In 2013, 331 motorcyclists died and 4,866 were seriously injured in road collisions in Great Britain.
  • Motorcyclist KSIs have fallen since 2008 when 493 motorcyclists were killed and 5,556 were seriously injured on Britain's roads.
  • 30 motorcyclists are killed or injured every day at junctions

4. The correct speed

You must comply with speed limits always. There are consequences for speeding. You could be committing a criminal offence. It can be seen as socially reprehensible behaviour. You can get points on you licence. You can get fined. Your insurance policy could go up. You could get disqualified from riding. You could be ordered to do an extended riding test. You could even be sent to prison. You should ride within your ability. Riding to fast is probably the factor that puts riders at greatest risk. The faster you go the less time you have to deal with any hazard. Speed is a matter of choice. Good riding requires that you ride at a speed that is safe in terms of the prevailing traffic and weather conditions. The maximum permissible speed (speed limit) is not necessarily the safe speed. It is a cornerstone of safe motorcycling that you should be able to stop on your side of the road in the distance you can see clear. Speed can affect your vision. Travelling to slow for the prevailing traffic and weather conditions could make you the hazard. It could also frustrate other road users.

  • Speed is one of the main factors in fatal road accidents
  • In 2013, 3,064 people were killed or seriously injured in crashes where speed was a factor
  • The risk of death is approximately four times higher when a pedestrian is hit at 40mph than at 30mph
  • Fatal accidents are four times as likely on rural “A” roads as urban “A” roads

6. Defensive Riding

Riding defensively makes you less vulnerable

Make sure you:

  • anticipate the actions of others
  • are alert and observant
  • can slow down and stop if the unexpected happens
  • position yourself in the safest and best place to maximise your visibility of potential hazards
  • take a 'lifesaver' glance over your shoulder before carrying out manoeuvres, so you know where others are and what they’re doing

7. Observations

8. Correct road position

9. Following distance

10. Weather conditions and riding

11. Road surfaces

12. Drunk and Drug Riding

There are strict alcohol limits for UK drivers:In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the legal alcohol limit for drivers is:

  • 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath
  • 80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood
  • 107 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine In Scotland (from 5 December 2014) the legal alcohol limit for drivers is lower at:
  • 22 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath
  • 50 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood
  • 67 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine. However it is not possible to say how much alcohol you can drink and stay below the limit. The way alcohol affects you depends on:
  • your weight, age, sex and metabolism (the rate your body uses energy)
  • the type and amount of alcohol you’re drinking
  • what you’ve eaten recently
  • your stress levels at the time So if you’re riding, it’s better to have none for the road.

The consequences

There are strict penalties if you are convicted of drink riding, including:

  • A minimum 12 month driving ban
  • A criminal record
  • A hefty fine
  • Up to 6 months in prison
  • An endorsement on your licence for 11 years

However, this list does not reflect the everyday consequences of being caught drink driving which can include:

  • Increase in car insurance costs
  • Job loss
  • Trouble getting in to countries like the USA
  • The shame of having a criminal record
  • Loss of independence

The Institute of Advanced Motorists calculate that a drink ride conviction could cost between £20,000 - £50,000 as a result of fines, solicitors fees, increase in car insurance and loss of job.

Also remember that legal over the counter and prescription medicines can also impair your ability to ride and you should always read the warning labels and information before riding in such an event.

Changes to the drug driving law

On 2 March 2015, the drug driving law changed to make it easier for the police to catch and convict drug drivers.It is now an offence to drive with any of 17 controlled drugs above a specified level in your blood. This includes illegal and medical drugs. The limits set for each drug is different, and for illegal drugs the limits set are extremely low, but have been set at a level to rule out any accidental exposure (i.e from passive smoking).Officers can test for cannabis and cocaine at the roadside, and screen for other drugs, including ecstasy, LSD, ketamine and heroin at the police station. Even drivers that pass the roadside check can be arrested if the police suspect that your driving is impaired by drugs.More about the drug driving lawOpens new window

The consequencesThe penalties for drug driving are the same as for drink driving. If you are convicted you could face:

  • A minimum 12-month driving ban
  • A criminal record
  • An unlimited fine
  • Up to 6 months in prison
  • An endorsement on your driving license for 11 years

    The consequences of a drug drive conviction are far reaching and can include:

  • Job loss

  • Loss of independence

  • The shame of having a criminal record

  • Increase in car insurance costs

  • Trouble getting in to countries like the USA

13. Aggressive Attitudes

14 Hazard Perception