Road safety charity Brake has a direct message to the UK’s biking community at this year’s Road Safety Week: ‘Let’s talk about speed’.
The event, which runs from 19th-25th November, aims to bring communities and professionals together to talk about speed on the road, the consequences of going too fast and ways we can encourage each other to drop the revs and ride slower.
The week will be centred around ‘conversations’: why some bikers think it is acceptable in some situations to ride too fast, what happens when riders speed and how even small reductions in speed can make a difference between life and death. There will also be advice on how to talk to a mate who you think rides too fast and is putting themselves at risk.
Ross Moorlock, interim CEO at Brake, said:
“Every time we ride faster than the speed limit, or too fast for the road conditions, we increase the risk of a crash – and we increase the chance that someone will be killed or hurt on the road. The faster you go, the longer the stopping distance and the harder you will hit something.
“Whoever you are, and however you travel – this year we are challenging everyone to start talking about speed with your friends, families and colleagues.”
Speed remains one of the biggest factors in why people die on our roads. Police statistics reveal that travelling too fast or exceeding the speed limit was a contributory factor in 25% of all deaths on the road, where an officer attended the scene of a collision. That is about 80 of the 310+ bikers who die each year on the road. The harsh truth of each of these deaths is that riding slower may have reduced that terrible figure.
Do you ride too fast? Are you one of those riders who takes the bike out into the countryside and ‘let’s rip’ at the weekend, or thinks it’s okay to go ‘just a little’ over the speed limit?
Well, here’s a sobering stat: 66% of motorcycle fatalities occurred on rural roads – not in the city, or on a motorway, but on rural roads. Many of those deaths are one vehicle crashes where the rider lost control. Why? Was speed a factor?
Here’s another curious fact: When is the worst time to be out riding a bike, as far as fatalities are concerned? On the commute, Monday morning, do you think… ? No, it’s Sunday, early afternoon… when you’re out on a pleasure ride, perhaps, opening up the throttle and seeing what your bike can do.
Finally, to wrap up the facts, in 2022 over 2,000 bikers were involved in crashes where someone was either killed or seriously injured, and exceeding the speed limit was put down as a main contributory factor.
So let’s talk about speed. Cutting the throttle and slowing down gives you more time to respond to other road users, avoid obstacles in the road and react to problems put in your path. Going flat out only leaves you vulnerable.
If you want to catch up with Brake’s road safety week, where you’ll find some great articles and insights into how we all as a riding community can work together to reduce two-wheel casualties, then check out