Campaign to raise awareness of motorcycle safety in the Highlands and Islands

Inspector Neil Lumsden, Highlands and Islands Division, Police Scotland
Inspector Neil Lumsden, Highlands and Islands Division, Police Scotland

OVER the coming months, many motorcyclists take to the beautiful Highland and Islands roads to experience the open roads and stunning scenery.

Police in the Highland and Islands Division are keen to raise awareness to all road users of the increased risk of road traffic collisions involving motorcyclists over the spring and summer months, in order to make our roads safer for everyone.

Road Policing Inspector Neil Lumsden said: “Six motorcyclists died as a result of road traffic collisions in the Highlands and Islands between April and October last year and we deal with an average of 39 motorcycle collisions each year with most occurring during the month of May.

“We are keen to raise awareness of the vulnerability of this group of road users, both to motorcyclists and to other road users.”

He continued: “We recently held a Facebook chat on motorcycle safety, which was seen by 12,000 people and we will continue to raise awareness through education and enforcement over the coming month.

“Our aim is to stop and speak to as many motorcyclists as possible with a view to encouraging and educating riders on positive actions that will help to keep them safe.

“This highly visible and proactive approach will deter and divert inappropriate riding, whilst detecting and appropriately dealing with any offences.

“One death is one too many and by adopting this educational and interactive approach, we hope to reduce the number of collisions and keep all road users safe,” he added.

“We are keen for bikers to enjoy the opportunities offered by the roads in the Highlands and Islands, but ask that this is done in a manner which does not put riders or other road users at risk of injury and allows for a safe journey home.

“As for motorists, be alert and aware of motorcyclists and other road users.”

Inspector Lumsden identified six safety tips:

Anticipate the actions of motorists

Be alert and observant - important when negotiating junctions or roundabouts and when you need to look out for other vulnerable road users

Ride at the speed that will enable you to slow down and stop in good time. The unexpected can happen - ride according to the conditions - slow down if wet, foggy or icy

Position yourself in the best place on the road, usually the middle of the lane, but take up your road position in good time before turning right or left, showing others what you aim to do

Overtake safely - can you see hazards? Is there a junction? Can you overtake without speeding up or swerving too much? Take a lifesaver glance over your shoulder before carrying out manoeuvres when you need to know where other drivers are and what they are doing.

Make sure you are seen. Dipped headlights, even in good daylight can help you to be seen. Motorcycles built and sold after 2002 always have dipped headlights on, but does yours?

For more information on how you can improve your skills and driver behaviour, visit the following websites: ; ;