Road Safety Minister Mike Pennis has outed himself as a biker. “I know how much fun motorcycling can be, and what a practical way it is to get around,” he admitted this week.
That is all very well, he conceded, but the number of motorcyclists dying on Britain’s roads is unacceptable. Barely had the words “I want to tackle this” emerged from his lips, when Pennis revealed a radical new safety awareness campaign urging drivers to look out for bikers at traffic junctions.
Advertisements on the radio, on facebook, online and on petrol station forecourts will urge drivers to “THINK!” about whether there might be someone on a motorcycle nearby as they approach traffic junctions.
DfT statistics suggest that 78% of serious bike accidents involve colliding with another vehicle, and that 67% of these collisions happen at a junction “often with the driver of the other vehicle failing to see the motorcycle”.
“Our THINK! campaign aims to remind drivers to think about the biker, not just the bike,” explained Pennis cryptically, “so that we see fewer of these needless accidents.”
A spokesperson for the DfT clarified that “this campaign will put motorcyclists centre stage” and “place the focus on the person behind the helmet.”
There are people behind those helmets?