South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership
News
17 Mar 2022
BLOG: ALL THE GEAR ALL THE TIME
Have you heard the line, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes”? As a walker that has certainly been true over the last couple of months as we have battled high winds, rain, cold and even the odd bit of sunshine on our daily walks. But we’ve managed to stay warm and (mostly) dry by donning the right kit and not being deterred by overcast skies and big puddles.

This week’s road safety campaign is also about wearing the proper gear, but not just to keep warm and dry. Our message “All the Gear, All the Time” urges young riders taking to their scooters  and motorbikes to commit to wearing personal protective clothing at all times when out riding. This won’t necessarily help them to avoid coming off their bike, but if they do it will provide them with protection to help reduce the severity of any injuries.




Talking to young riders, they think they are invincible and that being involved in a collision is something that will never happen to them. Unfortunately, the casualty statistics don’t agree. And those young people often have a similarly optimistic view when it comes to how much protection the tracksuit bottoms, sweatshirt and woolly gloves they wear will protect them as they are sliding down the road after coming off their scooter  or motorbike.

Various campaigns aimed at young riders have shown in graphic detail (much to my distress) the very real and horrific injuries that can result when riders have a crash and are not wearing the right protective gear.  Many of these injuries can be life changing at such a young age, or at the very least they can be scarred for the rest of their lives.

A good pair of proper motorbike gloves will help to prevent severe road rash when a rider instinctively puts their hands out to save themselves when they fall. A decent pair of boots could prevent an ankle being broken and a Kevlar lined top and armoured trousers could stop knees and shoulders being shredded or bones crushed.
Since April 2018, all motorcycle clothing sold in the UK and EU has had to, by law, be tested and certified.
At the London Motorcycle Show held earlier this year, a number of retailers were found by Trading Standards to be offering potentially unsafe riding kit that had not been tested and certified, and in some cases had falsified labels and even fake armour.

It’s a complicated system of certification, which means it can be easy for unscrupulous retailers to pull the wool over the eyes of confused consumers. Motorcycle jackets and trousers need to conform to regulation EN 13595 or EN17092, boots to EN 13634 and gloves to EN 13594. This is in addition to (not instead of) any CE rating which relates to armour within the clothing, not the clothing itself.

That’s why we would advise visiting your local bike dealer or reputable motorcycle retailer to buy your gear and make sure it has all the necessary certification labels. Don’t be fooled by a seller who tells you that the standards don’t matter. They do and they are in place to help you, as a rider, to make the right choice and an informed purchase that could help to save your skin, literally.

Of course, a motorcycle helmet is a legal requirement, but it needs to fit properly to offer the maximum protection. And not all helmets are the same; some have a better safety rating than others, offering a better defence in the event of a collision.

The Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme (SHARP) is a consumer information initiative that was launched by the Department for Transport in 2007 following research that revealed real differences in the safety performance of motorcycle helmets available in the UK. The SHARP website provides clear advice on how to select a helmet that fits correctly and is comfortable. It also gives riders clear, impartial and objective information about the relative safety of motorcycle helmets available to riders in the UK.

The Safer Roads Partnership also encourage riders to carry an ICE card containing the contact details of people to get hold of in an emergency. They can also be used to record important information about your health and medical requirements. First responders are trained to look for an ICE card in any situation where this information is needed. To request an ICE card from the Safer Roads Partnership, email us at enquiries@sysrp.co.uk.

We encourage all riders, young orexperienced, to continually improve their skills and knowledge through further training and advanced rider courses.  They will not only make you a safer rider but also increase your enjoyment of being out on two-wheels Find out what further options are available in South Yorkshire by visiting our website.

As ever we also encourage drivers to be more aware of riders on the road, especially with ‘L’ plates and give them more time and space.  We were all learners at some point, whether on two or four wheels.

By being a ‘positive’ rider, by improving your skills and wearing the right gear, will hopefully  mean you are less likely to be involved in a collision. But if the worst does happen wearing the right gear could make the consequences a lot less serious and save a lot of pain and suffering both in the short and long term.

Until next time, stay safe.
Joanne