Graphic image which could save a life

THIS is the shocking image that should make motorcyclists think twice before getting on their bikes without protective clothing.

THIS is the shocking image that should make motorcyclists think twice before getting on their bikes without protective clothing.

The Evening Star today makes no apology for reproducing such a graphic image if it will save just one more person from being killed or seriously injured on our county's roads.

We have printed the picture, commissioned by Suffolk County Council, as part of our Save a Life campaign, which incorporates improving the safety of motorcyclists.

With 20,000 motorcycle licence holders in Suffolk, there is a real need to ensure riders know how to drive safely and are aware of the dangers.

The importance of the message was emphasised this week when a motorcyclist had to be airlifted to hospital after crashing in Dennington, near Framlingham.

As part of the campaign, the Star has joined forces with the council to launch a competition to give away a full set of protective gear for motorcyclists.

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Suffolk Ride Network (www.suffolkride.net) was set up by the county council in 2005 to provide a forum for motorcyclists to get advice and information about road safety. Various organisations and bikers attend a quarterly meeting where they can share their knowledge and experiences.

John Goodwin, chairman of Suffolk Ride Network, who has been riding a motorbike since he was 16, said: “We train people up to advanced motorcycle test standard.

“We want to get as many people as possible involved in Suffolk Ride Network. We have got the backing from the county council, police, and motorcycle dealers to push the message across about road safety in order to stop people getting killed or seriously injured.

“It is an absolute must to wear the right protective gear. Any fool can go 100mph down the A14 but if you come off without protective gear on, it doesn't bear thinking about.

“You can ride a motorcycle with far more enjoyment if you ride it properly.”

Daniel Williams, a staff member at Orwell Motorcycles in Ranelagh Road, added: “Wearing protective gear is like putting on a seatbelt. You wear it just in case you have an accident. It would be horrific if you had an accident and fell on to your bare skin or were wearing thin clothing. It can be a difference of you getting up and being ok, to being taken away in an ambulance.”

Are you a motorcyclist who has a strong view on road safety? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Suffolk County Council is giving away a complete motorcyclist outfit. The gear, consisting of a jacket, trousers, boots, helmet and gloves, is worth £250.

For a chance of winning, send your top motorcycling tip to Motorcycling Competition, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

The Evening Star, alongside Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Constabulary, Suffolk Safecam, the Highways Agency and the East of England Ambulance Service, has launched a ten-week Save a Life campaign to reduce the numbers of those getting killed or seriously injured on our county's roads.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the shocking statistics surrounding the amount of accidents on Suffolk's roads, which could be so easily avoided by just thinking before getting behind the wheel.

Among the core areas to be tackled throughout the campaign are speeding, using mobile phones while driving, drink and drug driving, not wearing seatbelts and road safety for motorcyclists.

The number of those killed or seriously injured between January and May 2008 who were riders or passengers on a motorbike rose by more than 44 per cent against the same period in 2007.