We recently caught up with Andy Smith of 1st Class Rider Training, one of the training bodies involved in the delivery of a motorcycle safety scheme called 'Commuter Safe and ScooterSmart'. The FREE scheme is currently being offered to riders based in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.
Made available thanks to funding from the Welsh Government via local authorities, the initiative is aimed at riders on smaller capacity bikes and has attracted riders of all levels of experience. These shared experiences have proven to be a valuable learning tool for all those involved.
The purpose of the scheme is to improve the safety of riders who use their motorcycles or scooters for commuting or work purposes. The day starts with a mixed group classroom based discussion session, to share riders’ experiences and covers topics such as filtering, use of bus lanes, observation skills, junctions and the phenomena known as SMIDSYs - 'Sorry Mate I Didn't See You'.
The course is suitable for any rider who has completed Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) and includes those that have gone on to pass their bike tests and hold a full licence.
Following the discussion session riders are split into matched pairs, teamed up with an instructor who is in radio contact with the candidates before setting out on the road.
The on-road session is tailored to each pair of students. If for example they have a particular problem on their commuting route that is given attention by the instructor to assist with any issues. The ride takes in periods of city riding, using the bus lanes, filtering in town traffic and much more and may include rural riding in the Vale of Glamorgan or surrounding areas.
Using their own bikes, candidates receive a full day of training - a minimum of 7 hours.
In 2016, over 200 riders benefited from the scheme in the Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan area and the scheme has drawn a good deal of positive feedback from participants.
For further detail, or to book a place, please contact Paul Griffiths Road Safety Training Officer for Cardiff, on 029 2078 8528.