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Topping Welcomes Motorbike Safety Campaign

>> Thursday, 18 July 2013

Chairman of Fraserburgh & District Community Safety Group and Broch councillor Brian Topping has welcomed the announcement that motorcycle safety campaign Operation Zenith has teamed up with the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) and their local groups to hold a motorcycle training course later this month.

Be A Better Biker is a one-day motorcycle safety awareness course which aims to improve the skills, knowledge and hazard awareness of bikers and reduce the number of road traffic collisions involving motorcyclists.

The course features presentations from trained police motorcyclists and a ride out with IAM observers, who will observe the biker’s riding style and offer constructive feedback on how to be safer on the roads. The day-long course also includes First Aid awareness specially tailored for motorcyclists and a session on motorcycle mechanical awareness.

Similar Bikesafe courses had been run regularly through the summer period as part of the Operation Zenith safety campaign, until the start of this year.

The special Be A Better Biker course will run on Sunday 28 July, from 9.30am until 5pm, at Woodhill House on Westburn Road in Aberdeen.

There are 12 places available. Places cost £20, the same price as previous Bikesafe courses.

Operation Zenith and the IAM have teamed up for a one-off event at the moment but the success of the day will be evaluated, with a view to considering further Be A Better Biker events later this year or in 2014.

To book a slot, email leanna.maclarty@aberdeenshire.gov.uk or phone 01224 664235. A packed lunch will be provided. A copy of your driving licence and proof of insurance and MOT will be required on the day.

Commenting, Councillor Brian Topping said:

“I’m delighted at this initiative and would highly commend it. We need to work as a community at reducing the number of road accidents in the North-east, particularly those involving motorcycles.

“Figures since March show that there is on average one accident per week involving a motorcyclist on North-east roads and some of the skills and expertise being passed on at courses like these may mean the difference between life and death so I would encourage bikers to get involved.”

Neil Warden, Regional Group Co-ordinator for the IAM in Scotland, said:

“Here in the north-east we have a large established biking community and some of the most exciting and challenging roads. However these roads if not treated with respect, can have serious or fatal consequences for all concerned.

This course is open to all bikers, who are looking to improve their riding skills as well as riders who have recently passed their test or any ‘born again biker’ that may be returning to two wheels after a long period of absence, and want to improve their confidence to come along and take part in this day. I would encourage all concerned to come along as they have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

The most recent figures reveal that since March 1, there has been one fatal and 22 serious collisions involving motorcyclists on north-east roads. This figure is an improvement compared with the same time last year – three fatalities and 31 serious collisions – but more can be done.

Now in its fourth year, Operation Zenith is a partnership with Aberdeen City, Shire and Moray Councils, Police Scotland, the North East Safety Camera Partnership (NESCAMP), Community Safety Partnerships, the Scottish Ambulance Service, IAM and local motorcycle groups, Transport Scotland, BEAR Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

Operation Zenith aims to reduce motorcycle casualty figures in Grampian by engaging with motorcyclists, raising awareness of motorbike safety issues and offering advice.

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