‘Too many motorcyclists dying on our roads’

Portsmouth coastguard called to reports of a body near Chichester

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ELEVEN motorcyclists died on Hampshire’s roads last year – and seven occurred in a four-week period in July.

The shocking statistic has been revealed by Hampshire County Council as it launches a campaign to make sure motorcyclists and drivers look out for each other.

Figures show motorcyclists represent one per cent of traffic, but account for 20 per cent of road fatalities.

Motorcycle accidents tend to rise in the summer as more bikers take advantage of the weather. Riders are being reminded they still need to wear protective clothing during the hot weather to protect themselves and ensure they are seen by other road users.

As part of the campaign, the county council is putting up extra ‘Think Bike’ posters on key routes, such as the A272 between Petersfield and Winchester.

Councillor Seán Woodward, who heads transport in Hampshire, said: ‘We want to help prevent further accidents by increasing safety awareness amongst riders and car drivers.

‘Many riders are injured at junctions when vehicles pull out, others crash as a result of entering a bend too fast.

‘Our message to drivers is “think bike” and always take longer to look for motorcyclists especially at junctions and when overtaking, give a second glance to really check it’s safe to manoeuvre as they could be hidden in your blind spot.’

Sergeant Rob Heard, road safety officer for Hampshire Constabulary, said: ‘We are still having too many motorcyclists killed and seriously injured on our roads; some of these are due to motorists not seeing approaching motorcycles and others are to do with the actions of the motorcyclist themselves.

‘Motorcyclists need to make sure they are as visible as possible, by wearing suitable clothing, riding with your headlight on or just riding in the best position to be seen.’

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