A new twist to training

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The Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Road Safety Partnership (CPRSP) is launching a new campaign to persuade powered two wheeler (P2W) riders to take additional training in order to enhance their skills and keep them safer on the roads.

In the last three years (2010 to 2012) there have been 870 P2W casualties in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough. Tragically 16 were fatal.

There’s a lot of debate about why these figures are so high, and who it is to blame (drivers or riders themselves) – but the indisputable fact is that if a rider has a collision with another vehicle he or she will almost certainly come off worse.

In a bid to try and address this issue, CPRSP has launched a new campaign called TWIST. It encourages riders to think about taking further training and to equip them with additional knowledge and skills to avoid end up being in a collision with other vehicles.

The TWIST campaign takes a novel and tongue-in-cheek approach to what is a very serious issue and features a main piece of animation on the website http://www.twistandride.net.

PC Simon Burgin, spokesperson for the CPRSP, said: “We’re not pointing the finger at riders, but we are saying that they have a duty of care to look after their own well-being.

“Even in situations where a driver makes a mistake, extra training whether it be ScooterSafe or BikeSafe can help a rider anticipate this and take appropriate action to avoid a collision or minimise the implications if a collision is inevitable.”

‘TWIST’ runs throughout the summer and into the latter part of the year and training courses are being set up for both motorcycle and scooter riders.

David Frost, Road Safety Consultant for Stennik, who developed the campaign on behalf of CPRSP, said: “We’ve developed this partnership campaign in consultation with riders based upon the casualty data to encourage them to take additional training.

“TWIST (That’s why I should think) training is what all riders should have on their minds every time they twist the throttle. Drivers should also pick up on the mantra ‘That’s why I should Think – Bike.”

David added: “Let’s face it, if we offered extra training to drivers to look out for riders they’d never take it so anything we can do as riders to reduce our risk is surely a good thing to do.’

Dave Hammond, Motorcycle Action Group, said “The campaign gets it’s message across in a humorous way but it’s certainly not funny when riders get caught out by their own actions or those of other road users in real life.

He added: “Anything to raise awareness to rider safety, improve skills through training and reduce casualties should be taken seriously.”

www.twistandride.net is the campaign website that hosts all of the social media content for the twIst campaign. The central element is an animation short to encourage all riders to think about their riding and to take up free or low-cost training.

The YouTube short can be accessed directly here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fe0pes6Muhc

ScooterSafe courses are being made available in Peterborough & Cambridge for those who have recently passed their test but want to stay safe on their journey to and from work or college.

BikeSafe courses can also be booked via the twistandride.net website and operate on a frequent basis throughout Cambridgeshire.

Dave & ‘Tink’ (Tracey) Hammond from Peterborough Motorcycle Action Group were included in the consultation of the campaign and particularly assisted with developing the campaign title.

David Frost

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By David Frost