A Motorcycle Safety and Transport Policy Framework
Motorcycle awareness and safety messages need to reach the wider public. A new joined up approach to be pursued across government, police, industry and other agencies.
Over the last decade there have been a large number of campaigns aimed at creating media messaging in support of safer motorcycling. In some cases these have been innovative and ground breaking. Memorable campaigns have been created by DfT, TfL and also the industry via DVD and other initiatives.
However, despite successes, the approach to motorcycle media campaigns, which have focused on safety, have been somewhat piecemeal. For every positive media campaign there have been others where consultation during the development phase has not been properly conducted and the final message is potentially damaging or misleading to the public audience targeted. In many cases this has generated negative press, an important concern for any media campaign, and undermined the strength of the key message. The involvement of Highways England in this Framework and their work with the Motorcycle Working Group will enable future campaigns to be more appropriately targeted.
Government support for the motorcycling elements of the ‘THINK!’ campaign has led to some good coverage and for a time, DfT put notable investment into this. Activities focussed on motorcycle racing events were utilised and this helped reach riding audiences who were more sports-bike orientated and regarded as harder to reach with traditional safety messages.
The casualty statistics still reveal that other road users are a primary causation factor in a large proportion of motorcycle and scooter incidents. This indicates that efforts to reach the public at large with positive safety messaging need to be stepped up.
However, in order to ensure that limited resources can be invested properly, a new approach should be taken to developing media campaigns. One which ensures that major government, TfL and other campaigns contain both consistent messages and are fully consulted upon with industry/community experts before ‘sign off’. The added value of the consultation comes from the fact that these parties talk to motorcyclists on a daily basis and know their core markets and how to target them.
Messaging should cover the following areas:
- Driver awareness
- Cyclist/Pedestrian awareness
- Motorcyclists hazard awareness/promotion of assessment/post-test training
- Promotion of low cost national safety campaigns such as ‘TyreSafe’ to help riders
- Messaging to wider publics that emphasise that motorcycles, like bicycles, are part of the transport mix and need to be treated with respect on the roads
- Benefits and importance of the motorcycle test and further training
Industry will complement activities via its media messaging (see Action 29: To ensure that motorcycle industry engages with society’s aimsError! Reference source not found.). There is also a need to engage organisations such as PACTS to help deliver safety messaging. The motorcycle media also have a role to play here.
- Establishment of an expert media group to link with DfT, TfL and other agencies engaged with this topic
- Development of a new timetable for media activity
- Development of a package of themes and key messages that can be used by public authorities at all levels considering work already undertaken through National Roads Partnership Intelligence Forum and the Motorcycle Working Group
UPDATE – Action 19 – Safety Messaging – Creating Awareness of Motorcycling
There is currently no progress to report.