‘Distressed’ - a protective clothing campaign for young riders

A campaign by Highways England is highlighting the fact that what motorcyclists wear can make all the difference if they come off their bikes.

The campaign uses fashion to raise awareness of safety for young riders on two wheels and centres on the concept of a clothing range where each garment has a unique price tag – instead of monetary value the cost lists a range of injuries or hospital treatments that a young rider could face as a result of a motorcycling crash.

Stuart Lovatt, Strategic Road User Safety Lead at Highways England said:

 “The mental and physical cost of not wearing the right motorcycle gear can be far greater than the financial cost. Most young riders will come off their bikes at some point - whether you have popped round the corner for a pint of milk or you are riding further afield to see friends or get to college, you need to be prepared. 

“Our campaign is designed to encourage discussion around wearing protective clothing and parents can play their part too. As a parent of teenagers myself, I know how much they want to follow fashion but the unexpected can happen close to home and wearing protective gear as well as having the right skills to ride defensively could make all the difference.

“The consequences of coming off two wheels at any speed can be more severe than you would think - making sure they are wearing rip-proof clothing as well as the essentials like a helmet, sturdy gloves and footwear can help protect your loved one.”

Research carried out to understand the reasons behind the increased number collisions involving young riders shows that:

  • Young riders represent just 15% of motorcyclists in Great Britain but represent more than 38% of rider casualties – so a young rider is over 2.5 times more times likely to be injured than someone more experienced
  • The majority of riders of small bikes are aged 17-23 and are predominantly male
  • Most collisions involving motorcycles under 300cc are close to home 

The Highways England campaign features a video of people’s reactions to its ‘Distressed’ clothing range. Shoreditch provided the perfect backdrop for the launch of the range at a pop up shop with a twist - hidden cameras followed shoppers browsing the rails and captured their surprise on discovering the true cost of the garments.

Alongside the video, social media is being used to promote the campaign. You can follow Highways England on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018