Safety campaign targets rural motorists

MOTORISTS are being urged to take extra care on rural roads through a series of warning signs placed on vital routes.

The Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership campaign, which runs until the end of October, includes signs placed on hazardous roads.

The routes were chosen because the A466, A48, A417 and A38 have all been the scene of motorcycle accidents.

Safety campaigners aim to reduce the number of bikers injured by making them and motorists more aware of each other and potential hazards.

Of those people killed or seriously injured on the county's roads between 2009 and 2011, some 23% were riding motorbikes.

"Following a very successful campaign in 2012, we're very keen to repeat it in 2013," said Chris Harrison, motorcycle safety co-ordinator for the road safety partnership.

"As the motorcycling season gets fully underway, we want to remind both riders and drivers of their joint responsibility to keep each other safe.

"We hope signing these routes acts as a clear reminder to all road users to look out for each other."

The initiative is being backed by Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service.

Deputy chief fire officer Geoff Sallis said: "The vast majority of motorcyclists ride responsibly and understand the potential for particular risks in the more rural parts of Gloucestershire.

However, it helps to remind people that they should not only think of their own safety but those of other road users when making the most of the countryside."

The campaign highlights the fact that the biggest factor in collisions remains drivers and bikers who fail to look properly.

Motorcyclists are also being encouraged to reduce their speed.

From 2011 to 2012, the number of motorcycle casualties in Gloucestershire fell from 162 to 133.

The partnership believes this can fall further if road users are aware of the risks facing riders.

PC Simon Ross, BikeSafe coordinator for Gloucestershire Police, said: "We would like to see a similar drop in casualty numbers as last year."

That view was echoed by Will Windsor-Clive, Gloucestershire's County Council's cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure.

"We want all road users to enjoy the glorious countryside that Gloucestershire has to offer, but we want to ensure they are clear on the risks and this is the perfect opportunity to do just that."


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