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Motorcyclists

Motorcyclists are one of the most vulnerable groups of road users with Department for Transport. We have provided some information below to help you get the most out of riding your motorcycle whilst staying safe and enjoying yourself. Remember watch your speed, it isn't just about breaking the speed limit, excess speed is when you are travelling too fast for a required manoeuvre.

Close-up of a police motorbike from the front at night​Figures show that motorcyclists:

  • Are 45 times more likely to be killed on the road than car drivers.
  • Represent less than one percent of all road traffic but suffer 18 percent of deaths and serious injuries on our roads.
  • In 2013, 331 motorcyclists died and 4,866 were seriously injured in road collisions in Great Britain.
  • 30 motorcyclists are killed or injured every day at junctions.

Every road user, regardless of whether you drive a car, lorry or bike - should take responsibility for keeping each other safe.

RideBy5

RideBy5 Icon ClearStaffordshire Police  Motorcycle Initiative "RideBy5" 2017

RideBy5 is a Staffordshire Police Motorcycle initiative run by the Tactical Support Team, Motorcycle Officers. This is similar to the national Initiative "BikeSafe" with the same aim of encouraging motorcyclist of all ages, skill levels or experience to have their riding assessed with a view to take on further training if necessary.

The term RideBy5 was devised with the System of Control (Roadcraft) used by all police forces within the United Kingdom. "Ride" as we are all riding Motorcyclists, "By5" is the system of control, Information, Position, Speed, Gear and Acceleration, hence "RideBy5".

We will be running a number of workshops throughout the year, initially to be held at Staffordshire Police Headquarters, Weston Road, Stafford, ST18 0YY. Should the opportunity arise further events will be arranged later in the year. Please monitor this web page for the latest information. 

For more information on our workshops please contact the team by email on RideBy5@staffordshire.pnn.police.uk.

The Pathway to Rider Development

The Pathway to rider development in three stages.

Stage 1- RideBy5,  The day will start with a DVD presentation that will include useful tips on rider safety, observations, hazard awareness, positioning, cornering, overtaking, the law and a discussion on any areas of concern by this particular group of riders. The second part of the workshop will include a one to one rider assessment by a fully trained and operational Police Motorcyclist. The assessment will cover in the region of 20/25 miles around the surrounding area taking in all manner of roads available. The final part will be personal to you, feedback on how the ride has gone with both negative and positive feedback, where warranted. This will also include the introduction into stage 2 where any possible areas identified could be resolved.

Stage 2- Staffordshire County Council Bikesense, This is a heavily discounted full day of on the road  instruction, with  competent instructors  who will target specific and in turn improve your riding and the areas identified an stage 1. The day will not be class room based and will generally be on a two to one basis (one to one is available at a cost).

Stage 3- Advanced courses with IAM, ROSPA & DSA approved trainers. This course will potentially be run over several weeks and will bring your riding ability up to a competent advanced standard. This will include a final rider test that will enable you to achieve a pass and membership into either group. This not only makes you a more competent rider but also may enable you to cheaper insurance as they are nationally recognised accreditations.

The System of Control

The System of Control is used by all Police Forces

The handbook "Roadcraft" being readily available to the public  through all major book shops or internet based suppliers.

The System of control is Information, Position, Speed, Gear, Acceleration and is used for both Car and Motorcycle (Edited versions) Police driver/rider training courses.

As Police Motorcyclists we have been fortunate in that we have been given an intensive three week rider course for standard Police motorcyclists and when suitable a further three week Police advanced motorcycle course .

I have to say the basics of the course are not rocket science, its about adapting your riding style to the system of control with continual rolling plan throughout your ride. Once you have accepted and adopted this style of riding you will find that your confidence will improve and that you will get much more enjoyment from your riding.

Information

Information is all your observations, everything that you See, Hear, Smell, Feel and know.

All this information needs to be built into your riding plan to enable you to ride and progress safely to your destination. If done correctly you should be able to negotiate any feature or  hazard as safely as possible. If you have registered a possible hazard in your mind  when  the hazard develops into a danger then your reaction time will have increased as your already in the  position to react, and if need be, take evasive action.
As you are riding you should be scanning continuously from side to side making sure you can pick up any changes that may develop into a hazard or possible threat to you. You should not fixate your vision on the vehicle directly in front as this will drastically reduce your reaction time should a hazard develop. Try to increase the distance you are looking ahead to give you more time to plan for the feature or hazard ahead.

INFORMATION IS CONTINUOSLY CHANGING AS YOU PROGRESS, YOU NEED TO CONSTANTLY EVALUATE THE INFORMATION THROUGHOUT YOUR JOURNEY.

TUG

T  = Take Information
U  = Use Information
G  = Give Information

Position

Position is how and where you place your motorcycle for the safest way to negotiate whatever road layout, road condition or hazard that you come across, or have identified through your information gathering (Observations).

The correct position on the road will depend on the circumstances at that time, road condition, road layout, pedestrians, parked cars, built up areas, rural areas the list is endless, however you must never compromise your safety to be in a particular position. Your safety is paramount.

Speed

Speed is internationally recognised as being one of the fatal four contributory factors in serious collisions in all manner of vehicles. Speed, Seat Belts, Distractions- mobile phones and drink or Drugs (In no particular order).


Speed is one of the most important factors in the system of control but sadly is one of the most neglected. Riders tend to only think of speed as acceleration and performance terms but fail to take into account all the other factors that should be considered before you twist the throttle.

The system of control (IPSGA) will encourage you to consider your ability as a rider, the capabilities of the motorcycle, weather conditions, road conditions, traffic conditions, the current and future hazards and much more. These will all help you to decide the appropriate speed and gear for the current conditions and road layout. You must always ride safely but defensively keeping to the speed limits set for that road as this is deemed to be the safest speed for that area.

Excessive or inappropriate speed has been linked to the majority of fatal or serious collisions involving motorcycles, therefore they could have been avoided.

A simple thing to consider with regards to speed is "The LOWER the speed the LOWER the risk" and oppositely "The HIGHER the speed the HIGHER the risk".             

Gear

As a motorcyclist we are probably the most vulnerable of all road users due to the nature of being on a machine with two wheels that wants to constantly fall over.

Statistics will show that a significant number of motorcyclist get seriously injured in corners following open stretches of road. We can reduce this risk be making sure we are in the right position, at the right speed in the right gear to negotiate the feature ahead.

The gear phase is one of the most important in the control of your motorcycle and one of the most neglected. We need to make sure that we are in control of your motorcycle at all times and the key for this is to make sure that the bike is in the right gear doing the right speed  for the conditions or features ahead . It is common for riders of high powered motorcyclist to stay in a high gear when entering a bend to fast by thinking they can simple reduce the throttle and increase it again when they exit the bend. This is wrong and often leads to the bike feeling very loose and the rider not being in control the bike throughout the bend that can lead to tragic consequences.

The solution is to plan ahead using your Information (observations) putting your bike in the right position for the bend ahead, reduce your speed to a speed you know you can stop safely in the distance you can see to be clear. Reduce your gear to one that will be pulling slightly for that speed as you enter the bend. This needs to be continued throughout the bend which makes the bike sit down a little on the back wheel, this makes the bike much more stable and responsive to your actions should the bend tighten up or open out.

REMEMBER IT'S BETTER TO GO SLOW INTO THE BEND AND ACCELERATE OUT, RATHER THAN FASTER INTO THE BEND AND NOT COME OUT.

Acceleration

In relation to the acceleration phase in Roadcraft it is the final stage in the system

It is generally used after you have completed all the other phases. An example would be on the approach to a broken down HGV, you should be using your observations and identifying the hazard well in advance, look for the best position to give you a clear view of the hazard and beyond making sure it's safe for you to be in that position, remembering never to compromise your safety for position. On the approach reduce your speed, reduce your gear to match your speed and when it's clear and safe to pass use your throttle to increase your performance in order to pass. You now continue starting the whole system again, information, position, speed, gear and acceleration.