Highways Agency
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Great Roads Great Rides 2 - new DVD takes bikers out to read the clues the road can give

Great Roads Great Rides 2 - new DVD takes bikers out to read the clues the road can give

HIGHWAYS AGENCY News Release (HA10-09) issued by COI News Distribution Service. 25 February 2009

The Highways Agency is following up on its highly successful Driver Information Programme for motorcyclists - Great Roads Great Rides - with a new interactive DVD-ROM.

"Great Roads Great Rides 2" is a new resource to help riders 'read the road' successfully and stay safe while enjoying their biking experience. It will be launched on Wednesday, February 25 at the annual RoSPA Road Safety Congress in Blackpool.

The package includes a DVD film and interactive package. With clever filming techniques, it puts the viewer on the bike, inside the helmet and close to the road, and features a 14-minute ride-out from motorway on to urban and countryside roads.

Riders can then use the second section offering an interactive challenge when the disc is used with a computer. Here the ride-out section freezes at specific points so the viewer can have a go at identifying the clues that they would use when reading the road ahead. When the viewer gets a highlighted clue right they score a point. There is also an option to display all useful hints and tips throughout the journey.

Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick welcomed the new DVD package in his address to the Congress.

Jim Fitzpatrick said:

"Motorcyclists are the single most vulnerable group on Britain's roads today - they account for just 1% of all road traffic, but for 20% of all those killed on the roads. With biking becoming increasingly popular we want to help riders to enjoy using the roads safely.

"The new 'Great Roads Great Rides 2' DVD is a valuable addition to the existing materials designed to improve the safety of motorcyclists. Filmed using helicopter views and cameras on the bike and helmet, it gives riders an invaluable view of the road, helping to sharpen up their observation skills and riding technique."

Stuart Lovatt, Safety Action Plan Co-ordinator for the Highways Agency, said:

"We were delighted with the response to the original 'Great Roads, Great Rides' DVD, with 600,000 copies distributed since its first release in 2006. When we were planning 'Great Roads Great Rides 2', we wanted to build on that success and listened to what the riders themselves said they wanted. They highlighted 'reading the road' as the area they were keen to know more about and that is what we have delivered.

The DVD film features rider Glenn Julian, a RoSPA Diploma holder, who takes the viewer on his journey and delivers on-going observations as he rides, helping viewers to spot the clues from the road environment ahead.

Glenn Julian said:

"I didn't set out to instruct or assess performance but to describe how I read the road and how this contributes to a safer and more enjoyable ride.

"The journey is filmed in high definition and delivered in real-time to create a sense of being involved in the action. We want the viewer to get actively involved with spotting clues on the road and that is what makes the DVD an essential and enjoyable tool for every biker."

Karen Cooke, Director of Motor Cycle Safety of the Motor Cycle Industry Association, said

"Great Roads Great Rides 2 is an informative and entertaining DVD providing useful hints which will really help riders read the road ahead, and consequently enjoy their riding more while staying safe."

A first run of 60,000 copies has been produced for the launch with further runs expected in the near future as requests are received. The DVD will be distributed at events organised or attended by the Highways Agency and its partners.

Notes to editors

1. The Highways Agency is an executive agency of the Department for Transport. We manage, maintain and improve England's motorways and major A roads on behalf of the Secretary of State.

2. Motorcyclists accounted for 4.9% of all casualties on the Highways Agency network of motorway and major A roads in 2007. They are 30 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured than car occupants. One in four accidents involved no other vehicle and almost half of the accidents involving a motorcycle occurred at a junction.

3. The total number of motorcycle casualties on the Highways Agency network in 2007 was 1,080; out of a total 21,951 casualties on all Trunk Roads in 2007.

4. The DVD-ROM and accompanying resources have been produced with the support from the Department for Transport; Driving Standards Agency; Association of Chief Police Officers; Chief Fire Officers Association; Motor Cycle Industry Association; the Ministry of Defence, the Police and County Councils of Lancashire and North Yorkshire, Cheshire Fire and Rescue & RoSPA.

Motorcyclist   1994-98(av)    2003  2004  2005 2006   2007
      Fatal          31             60    38    52   46     38
      Serious        303            396   322   342  325    347
      Slights        700            786   704   681  617    695
      Total                         1242  1064  1075 988    1080 

Issued by the Highways Agency Press Office. For further information please contact 0207 081 7443.

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