[A] new motorcycle safety initiative ‘Are you on the right track?’ is being launched this Easter to encourage bikers to ride safely on Lancashire’s roads.
The motorbike of a biker who died following a collision in 2015 has been mounted to a display trailer and officers will be taking it to Dick Turpin’s on the A59, Bull Beck picnic site at Caton, Rivington Barn and Devils Bridge at Kirkby Lonsdale over the Easter weekend. These are all popular meeting places for motorcyclists and officers will use the bike as a talking point for safety advice.
The bike is also set to be the centre piece at this year’s Isle of Man TT in June where officers will be attending to speak to some of the 30,000 riders who make the trip each year.
On a warm and sunny day at the beginning of July 2015, Ian Entwistle, a keen and experienced rider was making a familiar journey from his home in Newton, Preston to his father’s house in Freckleton.
The 34-year-old Aircraft Technician had just returned from a two-day superbike riding school and was riding his dream bike, a blue and white Suzuki GSX-R 600, along the short rural route.
As Ian approached a left hand bend, he moved his bike tight into the left hand side of the road towards the nearside kerb, and as he exited the corner he came across a slow moving car indicating to turn right.
Ian’s position would have been more suited to a racetrack where the visibility and track layouts are very different. Due to Ian’s position as he approached the bend on this stretch of road, he wouldn’t have been able to see the junction ahead or the car on his side of the road waiting to turn.
Ian didn’t have enough time to brake and avoid a collision. The front tyre on his bike locked as he braked, throwing Ian from it and pushing him along the road into the bumper of the car.
He suffered serious head and chest injuries and died at hospital later that day.
The Road Death Investigation Team and Lancashire Road Safety Partnership with the permission of Ian’s family, have had his Suzuki motorbike mounted to a display trailer so that it can be used at events across the county and beyond. It will be used to help educate bikers about riding safely, keeping them on the right track, with the ultimate aim of reducing the numbers of motorcyclists killed or seriously injured on our roads.
PS Finn Quainton, who attended the collision and works in roads policing, said: “The tragic and needless death of Ian Entwistle has devastated his family and nearly two years on, they want to prevent any other bikers losing their lives in this way.
“Ian was very comfortable around bikes and they were one of his true passions in life. He was a very competent rider and this road was well known to him. However, familiarity with a route can lead to complacency and just because you think you know the road, doesn’t mean you do. Potential hazards are everywhere.
“If Ian had positioned himself towards the centre line of the road on his approach to the bend, he would have had a much earlier view of the car giving him more braking distance and the outcome of the collision might have been different.
“Now that the clocks have gone forward we’re all enjoying lighter evenings and better weather. This is the time of year when many motorcyclists begin to take their first trips out and we want to do everything we can to ensure that they all return home safely from those journeys. Your riding should always be influenced by the weather, the time of day, the roads and by you. Don’t be complacent and always position for safety and for view.”
Inspector Andy Trotter, Road Policing Unit, said: “Easter marks the start of the biking season. By engaging with bikers early on, we hope to educate riders on hazard awareness and rider errors that contribute towards collisions, which include wrong positioning around bends or at junctions and poorly planned overtaking.
“Around a quarter of all collisions that result in death or serious injury in Lancashire involve motorcycles and approximately 60% of all serious collisions involving motorbikes have some contributory factors relating to rider error.”
Officers are also urging bikers to sign up for this year’s remaining BikeSafe workshops at Accrington, Garstang and Chorley fire stations. The one-day sessions encompass classroom presentations, observed rides and first aid inputs to improve skills and make riding safer. For dates and to book your place, visit www.bikesafe.co.uk
For more information about road safety have a look on the Lancashire Constabulary website: https://www.lancashire.police.uk/help-advice/road-safety/road-safety-campaigns/