Tony Rich receives the FIM Road safety award from FIM MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo
An AA patrol has received an international road safety award for a campaign he developed to remind drivers to do a ‘double-take’ for those on two wheels, as failure to look properly increasingly contributes to road accidents.
Tony Rich from Warrington, Cheshire, received the FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) Road Safety Award for the AA Think Bikes campaign at a star-studded event in Jerez, Spain, attended by FIM MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo.
The FIM Road Safety Award focuses on improving road safety for riders of motorcycles, scooters and mopeds.
The international judging panel appreciated the simplicity of the concept, which uses small stickers for the side mirrors of a vehicle to remind drivers to do a ‘double-take’ for those on two wheels. There is a bicycle sticker for the passenger side and a motorcycle one for the driver side.
Failure to look properly has increased significantly from being recorded in a third (32%) of road accidents in 2005 to 44 per cent last year.
Tony had the idea after the tragic death of a family friend, Jack Bellis, 19, in a motorbike accident in October 2012. The ‘Think Bikes’ campaign started out as a legacy to Jack Bellis before Tony approached the AA, his employer, for support.
The campaign launched last March, thanks to funding from the AA Charitable Trust, with the support of sporting legends Chris Boardman and John McGuinness. It has now gone global with support from the FIA and has been rolled out in 24 countries from Italy to Iran.
It was an amazing evening in Jerez and we really appreciated the support of Jorge Lorenzo and the other motorcycling world champions
Tony Rich, AA patrol
Tony Rich says: “It was an amazing evening in Jerez and we really appreciated the support of Jorge Lorenzo and the other motorcycling world champions.
“Motorcyclists are disproportionately represented in casualty stats but they don’t just appear from nowhere. It’s alarming that failure to look has increased significantly in the last ten years. Drivers need to ‘Think Bikes’ at all times; and the campaign helps reinforce awareness that the road is a shared space.
“It takes just a second to check your mirrors but the consequences of failing to do so can last a lifetime. If Jack’s legacy can save just one life, it will all be worthwhile.
“We would encourage all drivers to use the free stickers and do a ‘double-take’ in their mirrors for cyclists and motorcyclists.”
(2 December 2015)
* Source: Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: 2014 Annual Report