Drivers urged to ‘look closer’ for motorbikes

Drivers in Greater Manchester are being urged to ‘look closer’ to help keep cyclists and motorcyclists safe, especially at junctions.

More than 1,200 motorcyclists and cyclists were killed or seriously injured on Greater Manchester’s roads between 2017 and 2021 – a third of them as a result of a collision involving a vehicle that was turning right.

A new campaign by Safer Roads Greater Manchester aims to equip motorists with the information they need to drive safely in and around junctions.

When driving and turning at junctions, drivers should look three times – firstly all the way down the road, then halfway down, and then closer to the vehicle.

By pausing to ‘Look Far, Look Near and Look Closer’, drivers are more likely to see motorcyclists, cyclists and other road users who can be harder to see, the campaign says.

Gary Hale, an engineer from Wigan who has over 20 years’ experience of riding motorbikes, has only ever had two collisions – but both involved a vehicle pulling in front of him at junctions.

He said: “I would say to people driving vehicles to take the time to look carefully for that small detail of movement.

“They can be more attentive when it’s another vehicle coming towards them but if it’s something small like a bike or a motorcycle, they can be easily missed and that’s why they don’t see them.”

Dame Sarah Storey, Active Travel Commissioner for Greater Manchester, said: “We use the 3-2-1 countdown in life so often, so adopting this whilst turning as a driver makes a lot of sense. 

“By looking far first you are checking the speed of something that may end up arriving at your location far sooner than you might expect. People on motorbikes or road bikes are just as likely to be travelling the speed of a vehicle, so never assume there is time to turn if you notice a motorcyclist or cyclist at the first check.

“Checking close and then closer also gives you the chance to properly assess the safety of the turn you are about to make. 

“Please be patient when other drivers are making these checks in front of you too and please don’t tailgate someone on a turn because the vehicle in front is likely to be masking something you will need to be aware of before making the turn yourself.”

13 March 2023

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