UK Government

Department for Transport: Bold new THINK! campaign to cut motorcyclist deaths

Press Release   •   Feb 26, 2010 10:29 GMT

Motorcyclists will see their names up in lights as part of a bold new THINK! campaign to save lives on the roads.

The new TV adverts will show bikers with flashing neon signs attached to their bikes.  The signs show the rider's name and describe personality traits such as 'shy retiring type' or 'new dad'.  The voiceover at the end asks drivers to look out for motorcyclists next time they're out driving.

The new £3.5 million campaign - launched by Road Safety Minister Paul Clark today - marks a radical departure for THINK! after research showed drivers are more likely to notice motorcyclists on the roads if they personally know a biker.

The adverts put motorcyclists at the centre of the new campaign in a bid to encourage all drivers to see the person behind the helmet – and so tackle the huge over-representation of motorcyclists in road casualty figures. Despite only accounting for 1% of traffic motorcyclists make up 19% of deaths on Britain’s roads.

Paul Clark said:

"We are working hard to tackle the unacceptable number of collisions where motorcyclists are killed on Britain's roads and our THINK! campaigns are a vital part of this.

"Previous adverts have warned drivers to look out for bikes in specific situations such as at T-junctions or in their blind spots and showed the deadly consequences of failing to do so.  This exciting new campaign goes a step further by asking drivers to reconsider the way they look at bikers."

"I hope this bold new approach will help to reduce the number of motorcyclists killed or hurt in crashes with cars."

The new 'Named Riders' campaign starts on Monday March 1st and includes TV, radio, cinema and online advertising.  The first TV advert will air on March 1st during Coronation Street in London and during Emmerdale across the rest of Great Britain.

There will also be a campaign called ‘Be Alive to the Road’ which will encourage new motorcyclists to wear protective clothing and take up further training.

Notes to editors

  • TV, radio and online advertising and radio sponsorship activity for Named Rider will run from 1st – 31st March.
  • Cinema advertising will run between 5th-11th March and between 19th -25th March.
  • Be Alive to the Road activity will commence on 22nd March.  In addition to the partnership marketing, we will continue to sponsor of the British Superbikes Championship, which aims to encourage more experienced leisure riders to take up further training.
  • Motorcyclists have the highest fatality rate per billion kilometre of any road user group.  Despite only representing 1% of vehicle traffic, they account for 19% of all road user deaths in Great Britain.  In 2008, 493 motorcyclists were killed and 5,556 were seriously injured (source: Reported Road Casualties GB 2008) although this is over 20% fewer fatal and serious casualties than in 2003, it is still too many.
  • Typically around three-quarters (75%) of motorcycle deaths and serious injuries occur in collisions involving another vehicle (usually a car).  In 2008, just over half (51%) occurred in collisions at junctions, with the remainder of deaths and serious injuries occurring either in crashes with other vehicles away from junctions (24%) or in single vehicle incidents (25%) .
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