Scheme aims to make new bikers safer
Derbyshire County Council is launching a new scheme, Bike Plus, to help newly qualified bikers stay safer when they take to the road.
The county council is launching the scheme on 26 January, and claims to be the first local authority in England to introduce post test training for bikers. Perth and Kinross Council in Scotland is the only other local authority in Britain operating Bike Plus, which it introduced in April 2004, and knowledge and experience gained there has helped Derbyshire set up this similar scheme.
Like the Driving Standards Agency's (DSA) Pass Plus for drivers, Bike Plus offers post-test training to people who have passed their test in the last year. Qualified instructors will work with bikers to develop their riding skills and improve their awareness of potential hazards on the road.
The cost of the one day course will be as little as £60 - depending on how many sign up - with the county council subsidising 60 per cent of the cost.
Training - which will cover hazard awareness, forward planning, road positioning, overtaking, rural/urban riding and bends and cornering - will be given by qualified motorcycle instructors, registered and approved by the DSA, who have registered to take part in the scheme.
"Bikers continue to be over represented in road accident casualty figures both nationally and locally," says councillor Walter Burrows. "Bike Plus is a practical initiative offering potentially long-term benefits to the safety of riders."
Figures show that 21 per cent of crashes in Derbyshire over the last three years have involved either an inexperienced rider or a new bike. Accident figures for urban roads also show more than half of the riders were aged 16 to 20 years-old, mainly on smaller bikes.
For further information contact Shonagh MacKenzie, 01629 585269, firstname.lastname@example.org.