Monday, 16 November 2009

Gwynedd motorists urged to drive safely

A new initiative to promote and encourage safe driving amonsgt Gwynedd motorcyclists and young drivers has been launched by Gwynedd Council and their partners in the emergency services.

With statistics showing that motorcyclists and young drivers are the most likely road user groups to be involved in road traffic collisions, Gwynedd Council in partnership with other key road safety practirioners in the area have launched a marketing campaign to encourage these group of motorists to take care on the roads.

As part of the new campaign, posters can now be seen on buses throughout the county promoting the “BikeSafe” programme which offers free motorcycling safety courses, as well as the new “Deadly Mates” initiative which educates young drivers of the dangers of driving irresponsibly.

Dafydd Wyn Williams, Gwynedd Council’s Senior Manager of Transportation and Street Care Service said: “We are working closely with our partners in the emergency services to reduce young driver casualties and motorcycle crashes. Analysis shows that as a group, young drivers and motorcyclists are amongst the highest risk as road users and we have witnessed a number of examples of young lives being lost because of risk taking and inexperience.

“It’s a sad fact that over 1,000 young lives are lost every year in the UK in road crashes, one in three crashes involve men under the age of 20. Drivers aged 17 – 19 are six times more likely to have a drink-drive crash than drivers aged 30 – 34 and one in five new drivers will be involved in a collision within the first 12 months of passing their driving test..

“That’s why Gwynedd Council is working with our partners in the emergency services to promote the “Deadly Mates” initiative and Free Bikesafe workshops with posters on buses throughout the county.”

The “Deadly Mates” initiative is a Wales-wide campaign targeting young drivers. With a third of all those killed or seriously injured in road accidents in Wales under the age of 25, the aim of the initiative is to encourage young people about the dangers they face as drivers and passengers.

Posters which can now be seen on buses in Gwynedd also draw attention to the innovative “Bikesafe” programme – which is run by the North Wales Bikesafe partnership with the support of Gwynedd Council’s Road Safety Service. It aims to encourage Gwynedd’s bikers to protect themselves and other road users by riding safely and responsibly. As part of the iniative, bikers are being encouraged to attend free local courses designed to enhance their riding skills and hazard perception.

Speaking after the launch, Colin Jones, Parking and Road Safety Manager for Gwynedd Council added: “Road safety interventions such as Bus Back advertising is about collision and danger reduction. Our aim is to make young drivers, their passengers and motorcyclists think about their driving and riding skills.

“The statistics relating to motorcycle crashes are stagerring, on average, 600 motorcyclists are killed on UK roads every year - that’s the equivalent of one person dying every 14 hours.

“On average, 12 motorcyclists are killed on Wales’ roads every year whilst the number of serious crashes involving motorcyclists in Wales is significantly higher than the UK average. It is staggering a fact that a motorcyclist in Wales is 45 times more likely to be killed on the road than someone travelling in a car.

“Young bikers are more likely to be involved in road traffic collisions than anyone else, with figures showing that they are involved in a fifth of all crashes where someone is killed or seriously injured. The aim of ‘Bikesafe’ is to promote safe motorcycling amongst bikers in general and young bikers in particular.”

Further details about the “Deadly Mates” campaign is available online at: and for information about BikeSafe courses in Gwynedd contact Gwynedd Council Road Safety Team on 01286 679753 or Paul Cheshire, North Wales Bikesafe Co-ordinator on 01492 804155 or email: or

Photograph: Sgt Emlyn Hughes (North Wales Police Road Policing Unit), Paul Scott (North Wales Fire & Rescue Services), Dermot O’Leary (Welsh Ambulance Service), Dafydd Wyn Williams (Gwynedd Council Chief Engineer Transportation and Street Care ), Steve Green (North Wales Police Bikesafe Officer), Colin Jones (Gwynedd Council’s Parking and Road Safety Manager)


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