Charley Boorman supports 'Be a Better Biker' campaign

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As part of a new motorcycle safety initiative Highways England are raising awareness for safer roads. 

Running until mid-July, ‘Be a Better Biker’ is about giving advice to help riders deal better with unexpected hazards, like cornering, overtaking and riding when tired. 

The campaign has the support of TV presenter Charley Boorman, who a year ago suffered a horrific motorcycle accident in Portugal.

Boorman said, “We are all riders, some of us experienced and some of us not too much. What I like about this campaign is it aims to give practical and good tips on how to be a little safer on the roads.

“As we know as bikers, roads can be challenging and the people on them frustrating. As roads are getting busier we have to be more careful.”


5 top motorcycle safety tips

  • Taking regular rest breaks: fatigue is one of the four main causes of accidents. Get off your bike, walk around, drink a caffeine based drink. Make sure this is done in a safe place and never on the hard shoulder of a motorway.
  • Being aware of unexpected hazards: hazards come in all shapes and sizes: physical, such as junctions and roundabouts, and moving hazards such as people, vehicles and animals that are hard to predict. Concentrate, Observe, Anticipate and give yourself Space and Time (COAST).
  • Exiting a motorway or A road: Look as far ahead as you can and make a riding plan. As you are coming up to leave the A or motorway, move to lane 1 in anticipation. Bring your speed to a suitable one that will enable you to leave the motorway in line with the prevailing traffic. As you leave the main road, adjust your speed and consider extending your braking for vehicles behind.
  • Cornering: get into position as early as is safe to do so and get your speed right. If needed, slow the bike down by coming off throttle or using both brakes. Select the correct gear for road speed, look through bend for hazards, then as you see bend emerging, apply acceleration sufficient to leave the bend safely. Remember to always be able to stop in the distance that you can see to be clear and on your side of the road.
  • Overtaking: Is it necessary? Look for road markings that may help you decide such as solid white lines. Look ahead, can you pass the hazard safely, without causing them unnecessary inconvenience, and get back on your side of the road in plenty of time. Be sure it is 100% safe – if in doubt, don’t overtake.

The campaign aims to give these sort of practical tips to help protect protect themselves.

“We understand the pride and the passion that goes into biking, but we’re concerned about the persistently high casualty rate” said Richard Leonard, Head of Road Safety at Highways England.

“Far too many bikers are still coming to harm on our roads. This campaign will help give bikers continue enjoying the unique freedom of the open road that biking offers.”

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James Archibald

By James Archibald

Former MCN Junior Web Producer