Motorcyclists being encouraged to ‘Think Bike’ and sign up for free practical safety courses this April – still spaces available

Biker Down tight

Motorcyclists across Herefordshire and Worcestershire are joining forces with Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service and other agencies this April for a free 3.5 hour ‘Biker Down’ course, offering them potentially life-saving skills.

There is still time to enrol on two of the sessions!

Biker Down, this year’s National Fire Chief’s Council (NFCC) Motorcycle Awareness campaign, is targeting bikers to have more awareness of motorbike safety and drive down injuries and fatalities.

The three-hour course provides practical and potentially lifesaving advice. It gives riders an awareness of what to do if they are involved with or see an injured motorcyclist and how to reduce their risk of being in a collision.

The Biker Down course is being delivered in partnership by a number of organisations who all have a vested interest in reducing motorcycle-related casualties and reducing the severity of injuries sustained, including: Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, West Mercia Police, IAM RoadSmart and Midlands Air Ambulance.

The free sessions are taking place at these fire stations but please note there is a waiting list at Ross-on-Wye:

  • Wyre Forest Fire Station – Friday 8 April (10:00 to 13:30) – still plenty of space
  • Ross-on-Wye Fire Station – Friday 22 April (10:00 to 13:30) – waiting list only
  • Worcester Fire Station – Friday 29 April (10:00 to 13:30) – still plenty of space

Designed for motorcyclists of all ages and abilities, Biker Down offers bikers the chance to benefit from essential first-aid training and advice on what to do should they find themselves first at the scene of a collision where a motorcyclist is injured, as well as learning practical skills to help avoid being involved in a collision.

Made up of three modules, the course takes in collision scene management, basic first aid and casualty care (including CPR and helmet removal) and ‘The science of being seen’ – advice on visibility and positioning.

We’re encouraging more people to sign up for the sessions where there is still space, so so anyone who’d like to attend should email with your details (name, email address, contact telephone number, preferred course date / time) as soon as possible.

You can put your name down for Ross-on-Wye but please note there is currently a waiting list only.

Motorcycles make up around 1% of road traffic but in 2020 accounted for 20% of road fatalities and 12% of road casualties in Great Britain.

The greatest proportion of road fatalities occur on rural roads and injuries on urban roads.

In Herefordshire and Worcestershire, between 1 Jan 2012 and 31 Dec 2021, there were 106 RTC incidents involving a motorcycle.

There were five fatalities over the time period. 18 people were taken to hospital with injuries appearing to be serious. 53 people were taken to hospital with apparently slight injuries, and nine people were given first aid at the scene.

Tony Crook, NFCC lead for road safety, said:

“Motorcyclists are over-represented in collision and casualty statistics nationally. With an increase in the number of people using motorbikes for both commuting and enjoyment, our aim is to encourage riders to do all they can to ride safe and ensure they do all they can to be visible on the road.

“This campaign at the beginning of the motorcycling season is a great opportunity for all partners to deliver a range of safety messages across the UK.”

Caroline Webster, a Senior Technician with the HWFRS Prevention department, added:

“We’re delighted to be able to run the Biker Down programme again. Anything that promotes motorcycle safety awareness and reduces accidents is well worthwhile, and we’re pleased that so many bikers have signed up to the courses.

“Since we still have some spare places, I’d urge anyone who wants to join us to sign up as soon as possible.”

Other partner organisations that will be supporting the campaign include the National Police Chiefs Council, the Motorcycle Industry Association, Trading Standards England, Highways England, the National Young Riders Forum, RoSPA, IAM and the Motorcycle Action Group. especially since the trade in counterfeit and fake gear has grown in recent years.

Biker Down is a national course which originated in Kent, and has already been adopted by numerous other areas across the UK including Warwickshire, Gloucestershire, Dyfed Powys and West Midlands.