Lancashire Police respond to motorcycle filtering video
Earlier this week Lancashire Police released a motorcycle safety video focusing on filtering safely in towns and built-up areas.
The video received thousands of views almost immediately on The Bike Insurer and generated lots of comment on Twitter.
We spoke to Chief Inspector David Mangan, Lancashire Police, who featured in the video, to ask why he thought the video got so many riders talking.
“Filtering is one of the benefits of riding a bike. You don’t have to sit in traffic queues and it can drastically reduce your journey time,” said CI Mangan.
“It can be done very safely with no problems caused to other road users, however if you get it wrong or misjudge it, there can be serious consequences. The film probably struck a chord with bikers when they see how quickly those silly mistakes can turn a normal journey into a life-threatening situation.”
While the video was generally well received, there are a few bikers who think that motorbikes are unfairly penalised on the road and revealed just as much on Twitter.
We asked CI Mangan whether he agreed that bikers are treated unfairly by police on UK roads.
“Our job is to reduce road casualties not to dish out a certain amount of tickets. We do this by Education (such as Bikesafe, my film and #mikeslastride) Engagement (bike shows and checksites), Engineering (changing dangerous junctions, road surface etc) and finally Enforcement,” said CI Mangan.
“It’s a sad fact that some bikers enjoy the thrill of riding their machines at speed and in a dangerous fashion. Bikes are now capable of 0-60mph in less than 3 seconds and speeds of 180mph, they are very fast and in the hands of less experienced riders or those who ignore the law they are very dangerous indeed.”
“If we have to enforce we will”
“Unfortunately we do not have the luxury of knowing who will be the one to crash next so we try to slow people down to normal road speeds with our presence and if we have to enforce we will.”
Police enforcement around motorbikes isn’t just based on assumptions about riders, with some damning statistics supporting CI Mangan and Lancashire Police’s stance on two wheelers.
“Recent surveys identify that 30 per cent of accidents involving motorcycles were single vehicles and entirely the fault of the rider and 60 per cent (including the 30 per cent single vehicle) had causation factors that included a level of error by the biker,” revealed CI Mangan.
“Lancashire police believes that education is the key to keeping riders safe and this is why we support Bikesafe and other educational and engagement opportunities but there is no place on the roads for those who treat it like a race track, they will be identified and prosecuted.”
A quick look at motorcycle safety on Twitter reveals numerous police officers engaging with the public about road safety, helping to spread the word to a wide and varied audience.
Which is exactly the kind of approach that CI Mangan is after as part of the force’s Education and Engagement remit to reduce road casualties among bikers in the UK.
But alongside Social Media, events and initiatives like BikeSafe allow police riders to engage with everyday riders and hammer home their safe riding message.
“Motorcycle cops are mad keen bikers too”
“Bikesafe offers riders the chance to be assessed by a trained police advanced rider and these police bikers are recognised as excellent, technically proficient motorcyclists,” said CI Mangan.
“Most of our police motorcycle cops are mad keen bikers too and they love nothing more than riding their own bikes off duty.
“This enthusiasm for biking usually comes across when they talk with fellow riders although if you have been caught riding like an idiot they may not be too happy.”
Lancashire Police’s motorcycle safety videos won’t stop with Filtering and there are already plans to release two more videos covering bad cornering and overtaking, so we asked why.
“What we see time and again is bikers drifting wide on bends either into oncoming traffic on a left hander or off the road into walls or ditches on right handers.”
CI Mangan continued: “This is usually down to poor road positioning and excessive speed for the bend. When poor skills are thrown into the mix its little wonder that avoidable accidents happen.
“They think they can emulate Guy Martin or John McGuinness”
“Bikers will ride top of the range sports machinery that graces the tracks across the country or can be seen at the TT. They think that they can emulate Guy Martin or John McGuiness but they do not have the skills.
“Overtaking also causes many fatalities. Most involve overtaking when a car is turning right into an unseen road or driveway and the biker goes for the overtake because they can’t understand why the traffic in front of them has slowed down or stopped, or they commit to the overtake without checking the opposite carriageway is clear, they then ride head first into oncoming traffic.”
With so many poor skills on the road, rider training is clearly an area of pressing concern in the UK.
But where can riders go to improve their skills on the road?
“Start with a Bikesafe course and then I would always recommend advanced motorcycle training either with the IAM (Institute for Advanced Motorcyclists) or RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents).
“Details of your nearest training can be found online. You can also watch Mike’s Last Ride on YouTube or watch out for more films like the last on Lancashire Police social media accounts.”