Since the introduction of the FireBike initiative and selection of the riders, the ESFRS motorcycle and riders have attended a variety of events in support of, and along side, representatives from the Sussex Police Road Policing Unit.
The primary purpose of the partnership is to assist Sussex Police in bringing about a reduction in motorcycle-related fatalities and serious injuries on Sussex roads through the promotion of advanced training, following riding skills assessment via the Police BikeSafe scheme.
The aim of the scheme is to target the group which statistics have shown are at greatest risk, namely sports bike riders in the age range of 35 - 45 years old.
This is achieved by attending public events, bike meets and Sussex Police BikeSafe days and talking to riders about motorcycle road safety issues and advanced rider training programmes.
Experience has shown that FireBike and PoliceBlade attendance at various events to date has generated a great deal of interest amongst motorcyclists. So much so, in fact, that there have been occasions when riders have been literally queuing up to talk to the ESFRS and Sussex Police representatives and look at the distinctive machines.
The response to the promotion of Bikesafe, advanced training and the FireBike initiative itself has been extremely positive. Naturally, it remains to be seen whether or not this will translate into increasing uptake both for BikeSafe and advanced training, leading to a reduction in motorcyclist casualties for Sussex over the coming years.
The motorcycles are instrumental in attracting riders' interest and drawing them in and provide an ideal initial talking point before moving on to BikeSafe and advanced training.
In addition to attracting the target group, the motorcycles also attract interest from enthusiasts of all age groups and backgrounds which may be of benefit, especially with regard to younger riders who have not yet progressed to ownership of large-capacity sports motorcycles.
Motorcycle related fatalities and serious injuries continue to be a problem on Sussex roads.
The involvement of ESFRS through the FireBike initiative assists Sussex Police in raising the profile and uptake of BikeSafe assessment amongst motorcyclists, leading to more riders undergoing advanced training which will develop and improve their individual riding skills.
This will all go some way towards achieving a reduction in motorcyclist casualty figures in due course.
Made up of 3 modules and lasting 3 hours, Biker Down is designed to inform Bikers about what to do on happening upon an accident or even witnessing an accident.
- Scene management = How a rider/witness can cope at the scene immediately after the event looking at the individual's Dynamic Risk Assessment and their initial actions to safeguard themselves, other road users and the casualty, and their responsibilities to themselves and the casualty, delivered by a Fire Bike Rider and closely based on the Fire Service procedures.
- First Aid = Instruction from First-Aid Instructors, input on Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), treatment of likely traumas associated with Motorcycling Accidents and Helmet removal technique.
The Thinking Biker - This Module looks at the way the brain interprets data sent by the eye so that what’s visible isn’t always seen, examining phenomena such as motion camouflage, saccadic masking and looming, and offers some positive advice on how to make the most of our chances of being seen.
It puts the point over quite clearly that hi-vis clothing, day riding lights and retro-reflective materials don’t guarantee we’ll be seen by other road users!
This is delivered using a film produced by Biker Down North America, which is followed up with an open discussion on the points raised in the video. Informative and interesting and may just challenge some of your previously held views!
At the end of the course, the students will be invited to join the Biker Down East Sussex Facebook page where we can maintain our contact with them and further expose them to our various road safety messages and campaigns.
2023 Biker Down Events
- Monday 17 April – Bohemia Road Fire Station, Hastings, TN34 1EX. 1900-2200
- Monday 15 May - Bohemia Road Fire Station, Hastings, TN34 1EX. 1900-2200
- Monday 5 June - Eastbourne Fire station, Whitley Road, Eastbourne, BN22 8LA, 19.00 to 22.00
Free tickets available via Eventbright, search for Biker Down, or contact us at BikerDown@esfrs.org
BikeSafe is a national police led motorcycle project and it is run by most police forces throughout the UK. Sussex is the only county that delivers this in partnership with the Fire and Rescue Service.
The main aim is to reduce the number of bikers being hurt on the roads. We think that riding should be fun and by improving skills, knowledge and hazard awareness it will hopefully make riding safer and more enjoyable.
The BikeSafe workshop explores the main issues facing today's bikers. It also explores the principles of advanced riding through the on-road element. The BikeSafe observer will give assessment and feedback which will highlight areas where the rider needs to develop.
BikeSafe is about starting on the right path to development as it "Bridges the Gap".
Riders should continue to train throughout their riding years and not just stop once they have passed their bike test.
Visit www.bikesafe.co.uk for course dates bookings in your local area.
New Rider Awareness
To help those who have just taken to life on two wheels top up their training with practical advice and information.
The free 90-minute sessions are delivered in colleges across Sussex. Each of the sessions will cover:
- Understanding the causes of crashes
- Methods of reducing risk and avoiding crashes
- Defensive riding
- Increasing hazard perception
- Protective clothing - what you need to wear
- The law surrounding scooters
- Maintenance - some general pointers
The New Rider Awareness Workshops aim to build on the information that you'll have already received from taking your CBT and/or your A1 Licence, giving you additional practical knowledge and insight to help you stay safe.
Sussex Safer Roads Partnership
The Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP) continues its work to reduce road casualties across Sussex. East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service are important stakeholders in this partnership, alongside teams from Brighton and Hove City Council, East Sussex County Council, National Highways, Sussex Police and West Sussex County Council, including West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.
Using the wealth of knowledge and experience, the Partnership aims to provide advice and support to all road users across Sussex.
Through refining and developing strategies to promote road safety and to encourage everyone to consider how they use the roads and how everyone can become safer. Every year the Partnership develops new strategies in three key areas, including Education, Engineering and Enforcement (the three E's) to make the roads and communities of Sussex safer, by sharing the responsibility and engaging with members of the public.
The role of The SSRP is to support the partner authorities to work towards achieving the national Department for Transport forecasts for casualty reduction. A 55% reduction in killed and seriously injured (KSIs) by 2030.
Because locally and nationally, motorcyclists are over-represented in casualty statistics The SSRP suggest that all bikers, no matter what their age or experience, consider taking up some 'top-up’ or refresher training.
Just a small investment of time and money could have life-changing consequences.
By supporting Firebikes for East and West Sussex Fire and Rescue Services in conjunction with the Roads Policing Units across Sussex Brighton and Hove, national, regional and local initiatives such as BikeSafe, Bikerdown and Rider Engagement Days (REDs) will deliver this additional training and education. www.sussexsaferroads.gov.uk.