QUADRANT PROMOTE BIKER LEAFLET WITH A HELPING HAND FROM A HOLLYWOOD STAR
Tuesday 08 March 2011
Quadrant helped raise further awareness of the Wales by Bike campaign by getting Port-Talbot raised star Michael Sheen OBE to back a new leaflet urging bikers in Wales to slow down and stay safe on the roads.
The Ride Wales leaflet is part of the Wales By Bike campaign, which was set up to tackle the high number of motorbike fatalities on Welsh roads and is funded by Go Safe – the Wales Road Casualty Reduction Partnership. The leaflet has been designed to provide bikers with top tips on how to be safe, common causes of accidents and how to avoid them, and training advice.
Michael has given his backing to the Wales By Bike campaign after learning that there were 25 motorbike fatalities across Wales last year. Michael is president of Melanie’s TREAT charity. “While the number of bike fatalities has dropped since its peak in 2007, sadly one death on the road is one death too many,” he said.
“Through my work with TREAT, I have come across many people whose lives have changed forever as a result of an accident. That’s why initiatives such as Wales By Bike are so important as they drive home the safe riding message to bikers so they don’t end up another statistic on our roads.”
Melanie, who grew up in Port Talbot, was paralysed in a horrific motorcycle accident in 1980 when she was just 15-years-old. As a result of her experiences of rehabilitation services, she set up the TREAT (Treatment, Rehabilitation, Exercise and Therapy) Trust to build a state-of-the-art rehabilitation centre at Morriston Hospital in Swansea to benefit patients in South West Wales.
“My life changed as I knew it, as my parents and as my friends and family knew it, in a second. I walked out of our home a carefree 15-year-old in May 1980 for what was to be the last time in my life. In the accident, my back was snapped between the shoulder blades paralysing me from the chest down,” she said.
“I was told I would never stand or walk again and that the rest of my life was to be lived in a wheelchair. I never thought it would happen to me - who does? I have many biker friends and TREAT Trust Wales supports this campaign to keep all biking enthusiasts safe and healthy.”
The Wales By Bike campaign centres around the website – www.walesbybike.com. Written by professional bikers for bikers, it features seasonal riding advice, hints, blogs, downloads, competitions, tips for car drivers and a safety camera database.
Jim Moore, manager of Go Safe, said: “We are doing everything we can to reduce the number of bike fatalities on our roads and the misery brought to families and friends. Not only do motorcyclists have to be more aware, adhere to speed limits and wear the right kit but motorists in general can help too by remembering that there are many more motorcycles on the road today and, because of their size, are difficult to spot, especially at night or in poor weather conditions.”
PC Kevin Garner, a motorcyclist with South Wales Police who helped develop the Wales By Bike campaign, added: “We want to provide bikers with as much information as possible on riding safely but without preaching or overcomplicating the issues. In my job, I’ve had to attend many motorbike accident scenes and break the news to families that a loved one has been injured or, much worse, killed. Wales has some great roads for biking and we want people to enjoy them – but safely. Motorbikes are becoming faster, more powerful and more sophisticated while, at the same time, our roads are getting busier. This means that bikers need to be much more clued up and keep their riding skills sharp through ongoing training such as the BikeSafe courses.”
The Ride Wales leaflet will be distributed to popular motorbike haunts and dealers across Wales and will also be available to download at www.walesbybike.com from the end of March. For more information on BikeSafe, visit www.bikesafe.co.uk