Motorcycle accidents remain one of the highest causes of fatal casualties across the UK Armed Forces, despite the pace and intensity of operations over the last 15 years.
To help raise awareness and to teach vital skills, on Saturday the 10h August RAF Shawbury hosted a “Bike Safe” Motorcycle Safety Training event.
Some 70 motorcyclists from across Shropshire and the wider West Mercia area, including serving military, veterans and civilians, attended RAF Shawbury on a wide variety of motorcycles to take part.
The event run was by the West Mercia Police Safer Roads Partnership, with training delivered by personnel from the West Mercia Police, The West Midlands Ambulance Service, The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and the Shropshire Advanced Motorists and Motorcyclists (SAMM). This team of specialists all come together to deliver a mix of classroom theory and practical rider skills. The event was supported by RAF Shawbury, ASCENT Flight Training and Babcock International, with Mr Harry Palmer, Mr Chris Roadnight, Mr Greg Peck, Colonel Jon Dufton and Commander Mark Scott from the Defence Helicopter Flying School (DHFS) keeping things moving.
The full day event consisted of three hours of lectures during the morning, followed by an afternoon of practical slow-riding and machine control during the afternoon. The morning lectures covered skills such as the “Art of Observation”, Road Craft, Essential Road Side First Aid and Casualty Helmet Removal and were delivered by the West Mercia Motorcycle Training Team and West Mercia Ambulance Service, a number of whom were veterans themselves.
During the afternoon attendees were taught practical bike handling skills, with 20 IAM and SAMM Instructors delivering one-on-one rider tuition, using the aircraft parking dispersal and hangar areas to teach and fine tune critical handling skills.
The day was highly successful with lots being learnt, students commented on their improved appreciation and awareness of key skills at the end of the days training.