Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) launched the RideSMART initiative sponsored by Triumph on 14 December 2010 at the Service Headquarters in Eastleigh. The overall objective of the RideSMART scheme is to reduce the number of motorcycle road deaths in Hampshire. The new initiative aims to raise awareness of motorcycle safety to all ages and ranges of skills.
The key areas covered by the RideSMART scheme are Skills, Maintenance, Awareness, Respect and Tailoring. Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service is promoting the use of protective clothing which is suited to the style of riding, increasing the skills levels of riders, promoting safety and maintenance, and producing a ‘rider information card’ for motorcyclists to keep in their helmets.
Station Manager for HFRS Road Safety, Clyde Evans advises:
“Since January 2010 there have been 14 motorcyclist deaths in Hampshire. Over the past six years, the total is almost 100 with 97 motorcyclists killed and nearly 1500 seriously injured (1472 in total).
“ According to police statistics 20% of the national average of road deaths involve motorcyclists. In Hampshire this figure is higher (28%).
“These figures really bring home the stark reality of the dangers on our roads and the need to raise awareness appropriately with this road user group”.
The implementation of RideSMART has been achieved with the support of Triumph UK and local dealer Destination Triumph located in Fareham, Hampshire, who have loaned a Triumph Sprint GT to the Service. Glen Corbett, a Sales Controller at Triumph, attended the launch and said:
“We support initiatives such as RideSMART because it raises awareness of key aspects for motorcyclists to consider when out on their bikes especially the machines are getting more powerful and quicker.”
Keith Bloxham founder of Bull-it said:
“HFRS saw an opportunity to use our clothing to engage with the younger rider and encourage them to wear protective clothing without loosing their street cred. We were very keen to assist the fire service and support the important work it is doing to reduce motorcycle injuries on the road.”
Bull-it clothing, based in Warsash, have contributed some of their protective range of clothing includes re-enforced jeans, cargo’s, combats, hoodies, t-shirts and fleeces to HFRS to support the RideSMART scheme.
HFRS Chief Officer John Bonney said:
“I am delighted to see the launch of the road safety initiative RideSMART. This is a real model of partnership working between commercial businesses and the public sector. Using the motorbike is another example of the innovative approach we take in engaging with our local communities and improving safety on Hampshire’s roads.”