Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency
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ERS champions safer riding

ERS champions safer riding

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 23 July 2009

A new online campaign highlighting the benefits of enhanced training for motorcyclists has been launched today by the Driving Standards Agency.

* New online campaign to support the Enhanced Rider Scheme

* Four ‘champions’ will talk about their experiences through interactive microsite, video and social media

* Insurance discounts for riders who complete Enhanced Rider Scheme course

DSA has set up a dedicated microsite and is using popular social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to promote the Enhanced Rider Scheme (ERS).

ERS is a joint DSA and Motorcycle Industry Association road safety initiative, designed to encourage riders, regardless of ability, to continually develop their skills. Every rider who completes the programme could be entitled to an insurance discount.

Trevor Wedge, Chief Driving Examiner and Director for Safer Driving at DSA, said:

“Motorcyclists represent one in five deaths or serious injuries on the road, even though they make up only one percent of all road traffic.

“This is a terrible statistic: but we believe that further training can help to reduce this casualty rate by giving riders more knowledge about how to protect themselves on the roads.

“I am pleased that major insurance companies are supporting the scheme by offering discounts to those riders who have taken part in ERS. We are confident that this will encourage more riders to take part in this important and worthwhile scheme.”

The ERS microsite, at www.direct.gov.uk/ERS, features tips and advice from four ‘ERS champions’ – bikers who have benefited from ERS themselves.

Each biker has their own video and profile and they will be available to answer the public’s questions through online forums. Their videos are also being streamed on Facebook and YouTube, and up-to-date information will be available to followers of Twitter.

ERS champion Ben Byatt, 28, from Peterborough, has had two accidents in the 12 years he has been riding.

“I came off my bike about two years ago, it wasn’t a major accident, rider error really,” he said.

“People can get complacent when they’ve been riding for a while, but there’s always something we can do to improve our skills, and ERS is a great way to do that. I’ve not had any incidents since I did ERS and it really helped me to sharpen my cornering and observation skills.

“You never stop learning, and further training is a great idea, it could help save your life, or make riding more enjoyable. It’s a really good way to boost your confidence, and enjoyment, in riding.”

ERS is designed to benefit all riders, whether they are new to motorcycling, upgrading to a larger machine or returning to riding after a break. It can help improve key riding techniques such as balance, co-ordination and cornering.

Under the scheme, riders go through an assessment with a qualified trainer, who can then take them through a tailored training course to improve their skills.

After completing ERS, riders receive the DSA Certificate of Competence – Enhanced Rider Bonus, which qualifies them for a discount from any of the motorcycle insurance companies which endorse the scheme.

There are now more than 300 expert riding instructors on DSA’s Register of Post-Test Motorcycle Trainers (RPMT). Fees vary depending on the individual trainer’s rates, and the amount of post-assessment training needed. A full list of registered post-test trainers can be found at www.direct.gov.uk/ERS or by calling 0115 926 6546.

* For further information, images or to request an interview, please contact Alistair Harris, Deputy Press Office Manager, on 0115 936 6136, or email: Alistair.Harris@dsa.gsi.gov.uk

dsa.gov.uk | direct.gov.uk/motoring | businesslink.gov.uk/transport

twitter.com/DSAgov

Notes to Editors:

1. The insurers offering ERS discounts are: AA Insurance, Bennett’s Insurance, Bikesure, Carole Nash, Chandler Direct, CIA insurance, Devitt, Direct Choice Insurance, E Bike, Hastings Direct, MCE Insurance, Lexham, Motorcycle Direct, Norwich Union Direct, Express Insurance, Rampdale, Premium Choice, Swinton Insurance

2. The ERS microsite is available online at www.direct.gov.uk/ERS. The YouTube channel is available at http://www.youtube.com/EnhancedRiderScheme. To follow ERS on Twitter, visit https://twitter.com/EnhancedRiderS

3. The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) is one of the Executive Agencies that forms the Motoring and Freight Services (MFS) group, within the Department for Transport.

4. DSA’s vision is “Safe Driving for Life” with a mission to contribute towards the Government target of a 40% reduction in riders and drivers killed or seriously injured in road crashes, in the age group up to 24 years, by 2010.

5. Information on road casualties is available from dft.gov.uk

6. DSA promotes road safety through setting standards for drivers, riders and trainers, testing drivers and riders fairly and efficiently, maintaining the registers of Approved Driving Instructors; Large Goods Vehicle Instructors; Fleet Trainers; Driving Instructor Trainers and Post Test Motorcycle Trainers; supervising Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) for learner motorcyclists; and driver education and the provision of learning resources.

7. DSA is a trading fund with planned turnover of £199 million in 2009/10, largely funded through fees and revenue from other road safety initiatives. It delivers tests from over 400 practical driving test centres and 158 theory test centres.

8. DSA employs over 2,700 staff, of which some 2,000 are driving examiners. In 2008/09 DSA conducted 1.72 million practical car tests, 84,000 vocational tests and 105,000 motorcycle tests. A total of 1.5 million theory tests were carried out. At the end of the year there were around 44,768 people on the Register of Approved Driving Instructors.

9. DSA was one of the first Government agencies to introduce an online booking service at direct.gov.uk/drivingtest

Contacts:

DSA Press office
nds.dsa@coi.gsi.gov.uk

Alistair Harris
Phone: 0115 936 6136
alistair.harris@dsa.gsi.gov.uk

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