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TfL wants motorcyclists to ride towards safety

Advert launched to cut motorcycle deaths and injuries in the capital as Londoners return to work

14th September 2009: Transport for London (TfL) wants motorcyclists to ride towards safety.
It has launched latest advert to cut motorcycle deaths and injuries in the capital as Londoners return to work. In fact, TfL and BikeSafe-London is warning road users of ‘optical effect’ that can lead to collisions with motorcyclists.
The TV ads, created by designer Peter Saville highlight an optical effect that psychologists believe could put motorcyclists at risk. It reminds the drivers to ‘give motorcyclists a second thought’.
It is believed optical effect is caused the way the brain assesses approaching objects. Drivers can underestimate the time that small vehicles take to reach them – causing risk of collision when pulling out in front of approaching motorcycles.
An official release says autumn traditionally signals a return to work for thousands of Londoners and a rise in the number of casualties among users of motorbikes and scooters. 
Riders commuting to work are a vulnerable group; the majority of casualties occur in the morning or evening. Last year, there were 4,890 collisions in greater London involving power two wheelers. As many as 848 of these collisions resulted in a death or serious injury. In all, 94 per cent of P2W collisions occurred on roads subject to a 30mph speed limit.
Chris Lines, Head of the London Road Safety Unit at TfL, said: ‘This ‘optical illusion’ campaign highlights just one of the ways in which drivers can come into contact with motorcyclists. Drivers should look out for motorcyclists in all situations, especially during the commuting hours, when a high proportion of collisions occur.
‘Encouraging the use of bikes, whether they are the powered or pedal variety, is important to reduce congestion and keep London moving. Hopefully this campaign will encourage more considerate riding and make the roads safer for any Londoner wishing to make the switch to two wheels.’
Available information indicates in tests using footage of vans, cars and motorcycles approaching at identical speeds, psychologists found that participants regularly estimated that motorcycles would take longer to reach them, than larger vehicles. This optical effect, caused by the way the brain assesses approaching objects, could cause drivers to underestimate how much time and space they have available when pulling out in front of approaching motorcycles.
It has also been established casualties rise in September and October and people return to work on their motorbikes; and bike commuters are the most vulnerable group with the majority of collisions taking place Monday-Friday either between 8-9am of 6-8pm
Most collisions involving motorcyclist take place close to their homes/work in 30mph zones – one reason may be that riders and drivers move into autopilot when on very familiar roads.
TfL’s motorcycle safety adverts can be seen on ITV, C4 and Five, and heard on radio stations throughout the Capital, until 31 October 2009. BikeSafe-London and ScooterSafe-London are rider skills day that aims to educate riders to become safer road users. BikeSafe-London is a partnership between TfL, the Metropolitan Police Service and the City of London Police. 
BikeSafe-London & ScooterSafe-London offers Rider Skill Days which combine observed rides with interactive presentations, discussions and advice on rider safety.  The skills days are run by highly qualified traffic police officers.
The rider skills days run from the Ace Cafe Wembley or The Warren in Bromley, costing £30 for the whole day including refreshment and lunch.

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