South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership
09 Jul 2021

This Summer the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership (SYSRP) is working with South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) to promote the ‘Think Bike’ message across the county.

Signs are being placed on busy routes and outside fire stations around Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield in a bid to remind road users to look out for riders and to always ‘Think Bike’ – especially at junctions.

The initiative is part of SYSRP’s on-going work to reduce collisions and casualties among scooter and motorcycle riders – one of the Partnership’s priority road-user groups.

Joanne Wehrle, manager of SYSRP, said: “One of the knock-on effects of the recent Covid restrictions has been the increase in the number of people switching to two wheels as an everyday option for commuting, not just for leisure or the weekend.

“This requires a major adjustment in how we all use the roads, which is why we are running the ‘Think Bike’ campaign in the county. 

“Our brains are set to look for the things that are the most danger to us, so at a junction a driver is looking more for a 4x4 or HGV, rather than someone on a scooter or motorbike.  

“This is why they need to take a few extra moments to ‘Think Bike’ and take a second or even third look, before making a manoeuvre.”

The promotional campaign features a series of five messages aimed at all road users, from riders watching their speed on corners and at junctions, to drivers using their mirrors before turning and being aware of those less visible.

Gareth Overend, Collision Reduction Officer for SYFR added: “Unfortunately a large part of our job these days is attending road incidents, many of which could have been avoided by a rider or driver taking a little longer to look before turning or making a manoeuvre.

“Many of our officers commute by two wheels, so the ‘Think Bike’ message is very prevalent on our minds, from a professional point-of-view but also knowing that many bikers are also someone’s work-mate, best-friend, son, daughter, parent or loved one.

“Most drivers and riders look out for each other, but it’s reminding that small percentage that there is a real need to look for other road users when out driving.”

The Partnership runs a series of campaigns throughout the year focussing on different types of road safety messaging.

“Our overall aim is to improve the safety of everyone on the roads in South Yorkshire, including two-wheels”, added Joanne.

“As we move forward and restrictions are lifted, we all need to think more about other road users and sharing the space for everyone’s benefit and safety.”