New campaign to make them more human and more safe

Motorcyclists represent about 20% of all road deaths

Television advertisements showing motorcycles with huge illuminated "peacock's tails" giving their names and some information about the person under the helmet may seem a strange way to make drivers think about motorcycle safety, but it is all based on research into how drivers think of motorcycles and motorcyclists.

Perceptions of motorcyclists

Perhaps because of the helmet and the protective gear the motorcyclist is perceived as having no personality.

 motorcyclists are real people, living real lives just like everyone else Most people can conjure a picture of any other driver through what they drive – a white van man, a tanker driver, a boy racer, a BMW driver, an MPV driver and so on – but a motorcyclist is just a motorcyclist.

This advertisement – backed by research – may bring home the message that motorcyclists are real people, living real lives just like everyone else, and make drivers look out for them just that little bit harder.

Too many collisions

Only about 1% of the miles travelled on Britain's roads are by motorcycles, yet motorcyclists represent about 20% of all road deaths.

Only a quarter of motorcycle collisions are single vehicle accidents – three quarters of their collisions involve another vehicle – usually a car, so that 'harder look' by car drivers is important.

The majority of the accidents involving a motorcycle and another vehicle occur at junctions, and drivers either not looking, or not seeing is an important factor.


This latest TV campaign has moved on a long way from the almost traditional "driver doesn't look, hits motorcyclist" format.

It makes an interesting change and one that just might lodge in a drivers mind to make him make that vital extra glance.

Meanwhile the radio advertisement describes a rider as a person, gives details of his ride to work and finishes with the words "look out for me".

The television advertisement, and all the variants of the radio advertisement, which are geared to the part of the country where they are broadcast are available on the Department for Transport 'Think!' website.

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4 March 2010