Spring onto two wheels

“Watch out for bikes” is the message from Devon County Council as Spring approaches and the clocks go forward on Sunday (31 March).

Devon County Council is supporting the national THINK! campaign, which encourages drivers to take longer to look for motorcyclists.

The number of bikers on the county’s roads always increases as the weather improves, and motorists are being urged to take extra care, such as checking mirrors regularly.

Despite only making up around 1% of all traffic in Devon, motorcyclists account for around a quarter of all road users killed on the county’s roads.

In 2011, 60 motorcyclists were killed or seriously injured in Devon, with April seeing most collisions. 75% of these incidents occurred in collisions involving another vehicle, with 53% at junctions.

Devon County Council Safer Travel Officer Mike Newcombe said: “We would urge everyone to show consideration on the roads, respect each other and give each other space. Riding a motorcycle can help tackle congestion and can save people money, but we have to remind all road users to take extra care and look out for bikers. Taking that little bit longer when at a junction to look carefully for oncoming traffic could make all the difference in avoiding a collision.”

Motorcyclists are encouraged to ensure they complete a maintenance check on their machines before they go out for the first ride of the year. This includes checking oil and fluid levels and battery, lubricating the bike's chain, as well as ensuring that tyres are inflated properly and have the legal tread. Riders are also encouraged to try out a Max Rider development course to improve their performance.

Further details can be found at www.maxrider.co.uk