New motorcycle campaign in Somerset urged to keep ‘shiny side up’

Somerset County Council’s Road Safety Team has launched a new campaign to help reduce high casualty rates involving motorcycles in the county.

Called ‘Shiny Side Up’ – the name of the campaign comes from a popular motorcyclist saying – keep your shiny side up – implying that the rubber should stay firmly on the road.

The council said there was 21 fatal and 127 serious collisions on Somerset roads in the last five years involving motorcyclists.  Riders in the 40-59 age group are most at risk. Most of the collisions occur on rural A roads where the speed limit is in excess of 40mph.

During the initiative, Somerset Road Safety will be putting up temporary signs along key routes within the county.  A selection of six different signs will be used each designed to either highlight dangers to riders or to raise awareness of the presence of motorcyclists to other motorists.

Similar signs are also being used in partnership with other authorities in Devon, Cornwall and Dorset. The ‘Shiny Side Up’campaign was originally launched in the East Midlands to help tackle dangerous collisions involving motorcyclists.

The majority of fatal rider crashes occur on bends on rural roads or involve another vehicle at junctions – so they’ll be key messages on ‘bends dead ahead’ on routes where a number of crashes have occurred.  There also signs to encourage the rider to think ‘Safe to Go’ when considering an overtake of slower vehicles, particularly near junctions and where there is a danger of vehicles turning across your path.

One big concern for motorcyclists is that drivers don’t see them. Two of the new signs warn drivers to either check their mirrors for the presence of bikes before turning or to ‘Think Bike’

Somerset Road Safety will continue its campaign to reduce casualties to bikers who, unfortunately, figure too highly among crash statistics, alongside council partners within the Police and Fire & Rescue service.

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