Road Safety News
 

BikeSafe workshops set out to enhance ridersí skills

Monday 21st March 2016

Gwent Police is running a series of BikeSafe workshops to improve riders’ skills by offering an insight into what can be achieved through advanced training.

BikeSafe workshops are run across the UK by police motorcyclists and comprise a mix of theory and practical sessions including on-road assessments, videos, motorcycle-related first aid, maintenance and security issues.

The sessions are designed to enhance the skills of riders who have already passed their test, and are suitable for all abilities including those returning to biking after a period of absence.

Gwent Police says a combination of excellent motorcycle routes and low traffic levels attract many riders to the area, particularly at weekends and when the weather is good.  

PC Lee Stachow said: “BikeSafe encourages riders to become safer and more competent; thereby avoiding some of the most common causes of accidents.

“We have received positive feedback from those who've previously attended saying that the course is enjoyable and succeeds in making them better riders with further training.

“The police officers who run the workshops are advanced riders and are all keen motorcyclists both in work and socially. They fully understand the enjoyment people experience when out on the open road.”

Click here for more information, including dates, venues and prices.

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Don't disagree David. You point out salient fact that police officers first undergo intensive training in cars then go on to become a police motorcyclist. They have what, 5 weeks of intensive training and that means a lot of time on the road, a lot of time studying in own time as well and a lot of time getting their heads round what is required of them, the do's and dont's so to speak. Enabling them at the end of that period of time to become class one riders. A few chosen ones become what we would call advanced riders by learning all other necessary skills of working within a team and alone in situations that the normal class one officer doesn't. This usually is regard to escort duties.

Why then can a candidate be given 12 hours or maybe a little more and then pass I hope a similar test to that given to police officers and thereby awarded a certificate of Advanced Riding? Doesn't make sense to me. If on the other hand he did some 40 or 50 hours of work on and off road and satisfied a number of assessors of his abilities worthy of becoming an Advanced Rider, then I would change my mind.
Bob Craven Blackpool

Agree (4) | Disagree (0)
+4

There is a great deal of good advice given in BikeSafe (and other similar courses). Riders can use that in a couple of ways: they can significantly improve their safety margins by using better vision, positioning, anticipation, planning, etc and still riding at the same old speeds as they used to, or they can use all those techniques to ride faster than they used to. Better technique and a small speed increase may still result in improved safety, but if someone is going to push things to the limit then it is usually simply a matter of time before it all goes wrong.

As a former Police driving instructor, I found that giving a commentary forced students to make much better use of their visual skills, and most of our information for driving comes through our eyeballs. Most Police riders will have been through car courses long before they go on their motorcycle training, so their vision is already better than average. BikeSafe candidates will naturally tend to have low, narrow vision and there is not much that a day's course can do to cure that shortcoming. It takes weeks of daily practice to master the correct visual skills and only a short time for them to fall back to normal if one is not vigilant in their upkeep.

I see BikeSafe and its close relatives as something that will help riders to see that there is somewhere else that they can take their riding. Hopefully they will go on to take further training, and that training over an extended time period is the thing that brings about the change in attitude that is the real key to safety on the roads.
David, Suffolk

Agree (4) | Disagree (0)
+4

I agree in some degree to what you say. Keith. I have enjoyed and been involved with others in motorcycling for over 50 years of my life and it has been the pleasure, freedom and independence that it has given me. Not in my case the thrill of speed upon the open road but the pleasure of riding them and seeing the countryside. When I have a good ride, one without any safety concerns caused by my own actions or that of others I have a feeling of peace and pleasure when I get home and a smile on my face. I know of many such persons who think like I do.

My concerns expressed are for those that do in fact take up training and ask the question, do they get the correct training that is the safest way to proceed on bends and overtakes? I think not.
R.Craven Blackpool

Agree (4) | Disagree (1)
+3

My thoughts in taking a Bikesafe assement in 2011 in Northern Ireland. I wonder how many riders return each year to Bikesafe - at least they are doing something but does this translate into advanced rider "training" or other training such as instruction on tracks? http://www.righttoride.co.uk/supporting/bikesafe/taking-the-bikesafe-ride/
Trevor Baird - Now in France

Agree (1) | Disagree (0)
+1

The reason the vast majority of riders ride a mototcylce is the thrill and experience they get from being closer to the elements and speed is one big reason. Having been involved in road safety for over 30 years many people do not take up further training as it appears in their eyes to be no tangible asset at the end of it.
Keith

Agree (7) | Disagree (3)
+4

There is no doubt that the greatest danger to life on a motorcycle is out on the country roads, particularly on bends and inappropriate overtakes and the possible excessive use of speed doing both. A lot of time in Advanced bike training is spent particularly on country roads training for those two particular hazards. Yet year on year they represent almost 50% of incidents or collisions in rural areas and by far the largest contributor to KSIs out there. This carnage has been going on for decades and no one seems to get the better of it. Why is that? Perhaps we need to take a fresh look and consider something different in the way we train others to ride on our country roads.
R.Craven Blackpool

Agree (4) | Disagree (2)
+2

Last Friday I attended the classroom session of my county's Safe Rider course run by the local Police. I was most impressed by what went on and there were riders who had passed their tests only 3 months previously ranging to those who had been riding for longer than they cared to remember. All were made welcome and it was pointed out that everyone would go home with extra knowledge no matter what their experience was. I would recommend taking further training as early as possible as it gives less time to get into poor habits.
David, Suffolk

Agree (7) | Disagree (0)
+7

I undertook the Bike Safe course about 18 months ago in Avon & Somerset. The first day riding was out with a current Police Office. However, the 2nd day I was placed with an IAM assessor who rode and a Yamaha 1300 XJR I ride a Yamaha XVZ 1300 cruiser. The riding styles were incompatible and felt I was being pushed beyond the limits at times due to the differing characteristics of each bike. Otherwise a great 2 days and well worth it.
Keith

Agree (5) | Disagree (0)
+5

In London it's called Scootersafe empowering the smaller machine riders to become more confident.
Gareth Surrey

Agree (3) | Disagree (0)
+3

There are no engine capacity thresholds/restrictions on Bikesafe as far as I am aware. The Police biker assessors accommodate interested parties of all abilities. Apart from the assessment, one of the aims of BikeSafe is to encourage those attending the workshops to then go onto take advantage of accredited post-test training. Also, if a learner wanted more training then our local CBT trainers are happy to provide it.
Pat, Wales

Agree (6) | Disagree (0)
+6

In the past it seemed to be that only experienced riders would be considered suitable for training as an Advanced rider. Together with the fact that apparently one needed a bigger bike and thus scooters and smaller capacity machines were not considered suitable. Many were not considered capable of the higher speeds required. With many 125cc machines now capable of reaching and indeed exceeding the highest speed limit and understanding that no one will be allowed to exceed that limit anyway, even when overtaking, I don't see why more newbies and smaller capacity bike riders shouldn't be included for training. I would like to hear if that is the case as the sooner a rider obtains the benefit of further training the sooner he will be a safer rider.... well at least one hopes.
R.Craven Blackpool

Agree (5) | Disagree (0)
+5

I went through the Gwent Bikesafe workshops a while back. Very informative and actually great fun too. We have lovely rural A and B roads here, just made for biking (safely).
Pat, Wales

Agree (6) | Disagree (0)
+6

I went through the Bikesafe course in Edinburgh. I found it to be very worthwhile.
Iain (Scotland)

Agree (6) | Disagree (0)
+6