17/04/2014 - Permalink

Motorcycle campaign tells of ‘Mike’s last ride’

Related topics: Community / Partner organisations

News from our partners Safer Roads Partnership in West Mercia and Warwickshire

With the Easter weekend approaching, many motorcyclists will be hoping for good weather so they can get out on their bikes and enjoy the many popular biking routes across the region.  The Safer Roads Partnership in West Mercia and Warwickshire is encouraging bikers to take extra care on the roads this Easter and, in particular, take heed of a campaign launched recently by Lancashire Constabulary, which aims to raise awareness of the dangers of riding while tired.

“Mike’s Last Ride” has been launched by Inspector Dave Mangan, a road policing inspector from Lancashire Constabulary, who tragically lost his father in a motorbike collision last year.

Mike Mangan, 72, from Bolton, sadly died on 11 September 2013 in Wheddon Cross, Somerset when he was involved in a collision with an oncoming vehicle while overtaking. Mike, a retired electrical engineer, was on the last ten miles of a 320 mile journey and his family believes that tiredness was a contributory factor in his death.

Insp Mangan, 43, also from Bolton, was with his father at the time of the fatal collision. Mike was riding his BMW 1200RT, travelling from Lands End to Minehead.

“Mike’s Last Ride” is a short film which tells the story of the day of the fatal collision, and offers advice on how riders can stay safe on the roads.

Insp Mangan, who oversees road policing in the county’s East division, said:

“My family and I are still trying to come to terms with what happened.  We miss him every day.  My dad was a keen and experienced biker.  He was a trained advanced motorcycle observer and used to teach other motorcyclists how they could stay safe on the roads.

“We have decided to use this tragic incident to help educate other riders.  If it reminds just one biker of the dangers faced by riding while tired, then it will be a success.

“When bikers are making a long journey, towards the end they may start to feel tired and lose concentration.  It is really important that riders recognise this and adjust their riding to the conditions.  Even experienced riders can make errors of judgement which can result in serious consequences.  Please don’t make this mistake.”

Friends and colleagues joined Inspector Mangan last week on a ride from Lands End to Preston, in memory of Mike, and held a minute’s silence in the village of Wheddon Cross, about half a mile from where Mike was killed.

“Mike’s Last Ride” is available on YouTube, via the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wtijm9Sch-E&feature=youtu.be.

Anna Higgins, Communications Manager at the Safer Roads Partnership in West Mercia and Warwickshire, said:

“It is extremely admirable of Inspector Mangan to share his experience of this tragic event to help keep other riders safe and we are very keen to promote the campaign locally to help reduce casualties and deaths on our roads.  The message is extremely powerful and is relevant to every single biker, regardless of where they live or how much experience they’ve got on a bike.

“Unfortunately, motorcyclists continue to be over-represented in road collisions.  Over the past three years* in West Mercia and Warwickshire there have been 49 fatalities and 463 serious injuries following collisions involving motorcycles.

“With the motorcycle season now upon us, many bikers are taking to the roads, particularly during good weather.  We hope this campaign strikes a chord and reminds riders that it doesn’t matter how experienced you are – riding while tired can have serious or even fatal consequences.”

The partnership continues to identify ways to reduce collisions and casualties involving motorcyclists, and is supporting a number of local Rider Skills Days alongside local IAM motorcycling groups, where riders will have the opportunity to come along for a free one hour assessed ride-out with a qualified IAM observer.  Events are taking place in Bromyard on Sunday 27 April 2014 and Bromsgrove on Saturday 10 May 2014. Visit http://www.srpwestmercia.org.uk/events/ for more details.

The partnership is also helping to organise the Bike4Life Fest with RAF Museum Cosford and The Midlands Air Ambulance on Sunday 27 April.  Bikers are invited to join a ride-out which starts at Meole Brace, Shrewsbury and arrives at RAF Museum Cosford.  The main festival will be open from 10am-4pm and offers arena displays, trade stalls, live music and family fun.  For full details visit www.bike4lifefest.com.

The Safer Roads Partnership also offers a heavily subsidised ‘Take Control’ motorcycle skills enhancement course for bikers who want to brush up on their skills, gain more confidence on their bike or become a better rider in preparation for their full test.  For more information visit www.rmtnet.co.uk/takecontrol.

*Three year period relates to January 2011 – December 2013.

The Safer Roads Partnership is part of West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police, and  works in partnership with the four local highway authorities in West Mercia (Herefordshire Council, Shropshire Council, Telford & Wrekin Council and Worcestershire County Council); Warwickshire County Council, the Highways Agency; HM Courts Service – West Mercia; Fire & Rescue Services for Hereford & Worcester, Shropshire and Warwickshire; and West Mercia Cluster of Primary Care Trusts.

Follow us on twitter @ThinkSaferRoads.