Ad bid to reduce motorcycle crashes

A new £1.2 million advertising campaign has been launched in a bid to reduce the amount of motorcyclists involved in road accidents.

The campaign will target car drivers, urging them to see the person behind the helmet. The scheme was launched by Road Safety Minister Mike Penning, who is a biker himself.

He said the inspiration for the campaign came after research suggested that car drivers who know a biker are more careful in looking out for them on the roads.

Despite making up only 1% of the UK's traffic, motorcyclists account for 22% of all road accident deaths.

Using the existing 'THINK!' advertising slogan, the new campaign will try to show people that motorcycle riders are ordinary people, with flashing neons signs pointing to the riders saying things such as 'new dad' or "shy retiring type".

The adverts have already started to be broadcast on commercial television, with adverts due to appear on radio stations and petrol station forecourts next week.

As well as reducing the amount of casualties, a reduction on the number of accidents will help drivers keep theircar insurance premiums down.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists' director of policy and research, Neil Greig said: "'Sorry mate, I didn't see you' isn't good enough. 75% of motorcycle injuries in towns and cities are caused by crashes at junctions - most are down to drivers simply failing to see an approaching biker when they pull out.

"Drivers should be ashamed of these statistics and take responsibility for the role they play in the safety of innocent bikers."

Copyright Press Association 2012