MOTORCYCLE ROAD SAFETY SURVEY 2011

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1 MOTORCYCLE ROAD SAFETY SURVEY 2011

2 FOREWORD FROM BRENDA MITCHELL Motorcycle Law Scotland is a new, innovative and dynamic legal service for motorcyclists by motorcyclists. We feel that when you re in a serious accident like a motorcycle accident, it is important that you get an expert service from solicitors who know what they re talking about. As a keen motorcyclist, I understand motorcycle dynamics and control but, more importantly, I recognise that personal service matters. No one should have to go through the trauma of a road traffic accident. Too many people s lives are cut short and their family s lives turned upside down by road traffic accidents. That s why at Motorcycle Law Scotland we are not only about getting victims and their families the best possible compensation, but we want to prevent accidents happening on our roads. Safety is paramount and from our survey it s clear that motorcyclists think it is too. More needs to be done to ensure that motorcyclists get access to the best possible training. More training will mean a more responsible approach to using our roads and reduce accidents. It s a simple concept that works and initiatives like Bikesafe Scotland and Around the Corner do fantastic work. We need to support and grow these initiatives to have the best chance of reducing accidents on our roads.

3 Motorcycle Law Scotland Motorcycle Law Scotland is a new, innovative and dynamic legal service for motorcyclists by motorcyclists. Motorcycle Law Scotland is a trading style of Scotland s leading personal injury firm, Thompsons Solicitors. Our experts help motorcyclists who have been in accidents get the compensation that can help them get their lives back together. Brenda Mitchell, lead solicitor for the service, is a keen motorcyclist and has over twenty years experience of representing the victims of motorcycle accidents. Our Motorcycle Road Safety Survey We asked a series of questions to motorcyclists across the country relating to road safety and initiatives such as advanced rider training. 196 motorcyclists took part in the survey which was conducted through our website and facebook. We also asked all police forces in Scotland the following questions through Freedom of Information legislation: Funding provided for the "Bikesafe Scotland" initiative every year since its launch in 2000, broken down by year. Funding provided for the Police Assessed Ride programme since 2000, broken down by year. The number of assessed rides provided through the Police Assessed Ride programme since 2000, broken down by year. What is Bikesafe and the Police Assessed Ride Programme? Bikesafe Scotland is an initiative which aims to reduce the number of motorcycle accidents on our roads by increasing the riding skills of participants. The Police Assessed Ride Programme is part of the Bikesafe Scotland initiative. The scheme is free and open to all who hold a motorcycle licence. The scheme begins with a theory night which the rider must attend before taking an assessed ride. On the assessed ride, a police officer will follow the rider concerned on a set route and after completion will give the rider advice on strong and weak points of their riding and suggest improvements.

4 Our main findings Motorcyclists feel more needs to be done to improve safety on the road Our survey found that 92% of the motorcyclists who took part agreed with the statement More needs to be done to ensure motorcyclists are safe on the road. Motorcyclists are most concerned about road safety We asked motorcyclists to rank the following concerns 1-4 (1 being the most important to them as a motorcyclist): Safety on the road Attitude to motorcyclists The cost of repairs The cost of fuel Safety on the road was the most important concern with 83% of respondents ranking it as their number one issue. The next most important issue was the way motorcyclists were perceived 45% of respondents also highlighted that as one of the most important to them. Over a third (35%) identified the cost of fuel and 22% identified the cost of repairs. Motorcyclists want a specialist solicitor to handle their accident claim An overwhelming 92% of those surveyed would prefer a specialist legal service like Motorcycle Law Scotland to handle their accident. Motorcyclists want to improve their skills on the road There is great demand for initiatives aiming to improve motorcyclists skills on the road. 87% of those surveyed were aware of the Bikesafe and Police Assessed Ride programmes and 86% answered yes when asked Would you ever consider taking an advanced rider course?. However, only 45% of those surveyed had actually undertaken further training after taking their test. This gives rise to questions around accessibility and availability of advanced testing. Demand for Bikesafe Scotland is growing Forces like Fife have seen the number of assessed rides hit the highest on record this year (98), the number of those taking the programme in Lothian and

5 Borders more than doubled from 34 to 69. In Grampian, the figures show 2010 and 2011 were the busiest years for the scheme (181 for 2010 and 146 in 2011). Most police forces receive no extra funding for Bikesafe Scotland The majority of police forces receive no extra funding for Bikesafe Scotland. Only one police service stated that they received extra funding for Bikesafe and the Police Assessed Ride Programme. Northern Constabulary confirmed receiving 1000 in the last four financial years from Highland Council through their allocation for the Pass Plus scheme. The forces fund it through existing budgets such as the Roads Policing Budget. Conclusions It is overwhelmingly clear from this survey that motorcyclists feel that more needs to be done to improve their safety on the road. While the myth is that motorcyclists behave dangerously on the road, from our survey results it is clear that the overwhelming majority of those who took part feel vulnerable on Scotland s roads and identify road safety as the most important issue for them over the cost of fuel and repairs. There is awareness of initiatives aimed at improving their skills, and demand has clearly increased to record levels across some of Scotland s police forces. However, from the survey it appears that access and availability of these successful initiatives may be issues that need to be addressed. From our research, it is clear that the majority of police forces in Scotland currently receive very little additional funding to deliver Bikesafe and the Police Assessed Ride Programme and with demand increasing, it is likely to create pressures on already stretched police budgets. Allowing these initiatives to suffer, would have a grave impact on road safety for all road users. At Motorcycle Law Scotland we offer an expert legal service for motorcyclists by motorcyclists. It is clear that an overwhelming majority of those surveyed would trust our expert service to get them the best results from their claim if they were in an accident.

6 Survey responses in more detail Note: All figures have been rounded down to the nearest percent. 1. How often do you wear protective clothing when riding your motorcycle? Always 87% Sometimes 11% Never 1% 2. Rank the following concerns 1-4 (1 being the most important to you as a motorcyclist) Safety on the Road Attitude to motorcyclists The cost of repairs The cost of fuel 83% 3% 1% 11% 45% 35% 8% 10% 22% 26% 32% 19% 35% 25% 22% 16% 3. If you had an accident, who would you prefer to handle your claim for compensation? A solicitor appointed by my insurance company 7% Any solicitor 0% A specialist legal service for motorcyclists by motorcyclists 92%

7 4. Are you aware of Bikesafe and the Police Assessed Ride programme? Yes 87% No 11% 5. Are you aware of the Scottish Police safety initiative Around the Corner? Yes 42% No 57% 6. Have you taken any form of post-test training? Yes 45% No 53% 7. Would you ever consider taking an advanced rider course? Yes 86% No 12% 8. Do you agree with this statement: More needs to be done to ensure motorcyclists are safe on the road? Yes 92% No 6%

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