Take Another Look

underneath-poster-smallA  poster on the Northern Ireland Ride It Right – motorcycle safety initiative – Facebook page, has been a huge success with the people who have viewed and shared the picture.

At Right To Ride we noticed the posters appearing in bus shelters on the Upper Newtownards Road a major route into and out of Belfast.

The poster is from the original DOE (Department Of the Environment) “Take Another Look” road safety campaign from 2009.

The campaign was to prompt other vehicle drivers to ask themselves who’s underneath and features a child looking up to a motorcyclists who graphically is shown half dressed in motorcycle gear with the other half in ordinary clothes.

The text on the poster says, “he’s a brother – he’s a son – he’s an uncle – he’s a best mate – he’s my dad” the campaign was also accompanied by an excellent video which was shown on TV and has been re run since 2009.

The video is also featured on the nidirect government website with the message of the campaign to other vehicle users

Drivers – take another look

Half of motorcyclist deaths and serious injuries are due to drivers – so take another look for motorcyclists:

  • coming from behind
  • when you’re turning right
  • when you’re coming out of a side road

There is also a message to “bikers”:

Bikers – it’s not just you who crashes

  • get professional training
  • ride defensively
  • think ahead
  • use your lights

As we know motorcycle manufacturers have been hardwiring motorcycles (AHO – Automatic Headlights On) from 2001, so the majority of motorcycles since then than have their headlights on permanently.  Most would agree that a rider would not depend on drivers seeing a motorcycle and rider even with headlights on, but the message is still the same – Drivers – take another look.

We asked the necessary questions about the appearance of the posters and from what we have been told, the posters have been up for a few weeks and they are across the whole of Northern Ireland – urban and rural – They are also on bus rears which just started this week and will run for a few weeks across Northern Ireland.

The DOE took the decision to do this extra activity due to the rise in casualties last year, not just motorcycle fatalities increased last year,  and with a PSNI financial contribution the posters were placed in the bus shelters.

The decision for this campaign was made in 2009 and while the overwhelming majority of riders approve this advertisement, there are some female riders who have enquired as to why a woman was not considered with an equivalent text.

Snap Shot Of The Research

nigovunderneathProviding a little more insight from the DOE is a snap shot of the research at the time (2007) before the development of the campaign.

“The Department works very hard at continuing to reduce deaths and serious injuries on Northern Ireland’s roads but, with limited resources, there are often difficult decisions to make. The advertising strategy is based on intensive research, addressing the main causation factors of collisions on our roads.

When this particular campaign was made in 2009, the research showed what group were most at risk and what behaviours led to collisions. This research was carried out just before the advertisement was developed and so is dated 2007. I understand while some of the statistics may vary slightly today, the broad picture remains similar.

In the five years between 2003 and 2007, there were just over 5,000 fatal or seriously injury collisions in which 671 people died and 5,852 were seriously injured.

The main causes of death and serious injury in these cases were;

  • excessive speed for the conditions (20% of casualties),
  • alcohol/drugs driving (11% of casualties) and
  • driver carelessness and inattention (48% of casualties).

Therefore, the advertising strategy focuses on targeting these particular road user behaviours.

Furthermore, during this same period, 32% of fatal and serious injury collisions involved someone aged between 17 and 24 and this age group accounted for 27% of all road traffic deaths and serious injuries. In fact, this age group accounts for only 11% of licensed drivers. Hence, the advertising strategy concentrates heavily on targeting this age group.

When we look further at the group most likely to be at risk on the roads, again the statistics from the 2003-2007 period show that males accounted for:

  • 75% of all fatalities;
  • 67% of all deaths and serious injuries; and
  • 97% of all motorcyclists killed or seriously injured.

Therefore, with limited resources, the Department took all these factors into consideration before deciding how to proceed. It was considered more effective to target 97% (Male motorcyclist casualties) of the motorcyclist population than it would be to target 3% (Female Motorcyclist casualties).”

What is being said now about the current campaign is that it is hoped that the positive image portrayed by motorcyclists in the current advert would also have a positive effect for all motorcyclists, including females.


rideitrightseeusfullpagefront250 At Ride It Right we have our own advice both for other vehicle users and riders

Ride It Right’s message for other vehicle drivers is to, “Use your head – Not just your eyes!”, Ride It Right’s, Trevor Baird says, “With a little thought other vehicle drivers can get it right and see us, motorcyclists should be a first thought, not just a second thought!”

Some advice for other vehicle drivers:

  • Motorcycles can be more difficult to detect because they are narrower than a car, even if the motorcycle has its lights on, or the rider is wearing reflective or bright clothing.
  • Research has demonstrated that drivers find it harder to analyse the outline of the oncoming motorcycle as well as calculating the distance and speed of movement.
  • Believe it or not, a motorcycle and its rider can be hidden from your view at junctions by very narrow objects such as lamp posts – road signs – the A-Pillar of your vehicle and also overgrown road side vegetation.
  • Watch your mirrors – riders can be in your blind spot missing from your view between interior and door mirror.
  • Judge the distance and judge the speed – don’t rush junctions.
  • Listen for motorcyclists at junctions – especially in rural areas – wind down your window – turn down your radio.

Please take time at junctions – whether turning out of or turning into a junction – or a petrol station – or your own driveway, the last thing a motorcyclist wants to hear is, I didn’t see him/her or, are you all right!


Riders, “Don’t be an eejit” out there:

  • Be aware of slow moving traffic – Tractors – Camper Vans – Caravans – Cyclists – Pedestrians crossing the road.
  • They may not be aware of you and they may not react as you expect!
  • As a rider take responsibility and be prepared to compensate for drivers errors.
  • You should learn to recognize potentially dangerous situations and have sufficient riding techniques to react when possible!

In conclusion,  published in December 2009 the “Motorcycle casualties in NI Statistical Analysis, Causes and Influencing Factors” stated that the top three causes for all KSI (Killed Seriously Injured) motorcycle collisions (irrespective of responsibility) were:

  • Emerging from a minor road without care; excessive speed having regard to conditions; and turning right without care.
  • More than two-thirds (65%) of collisions happened ‘at or within 20 meters of a junction’.
  • Of those collisions occurring at T-junctions, more than 45% occurred at a T-junction with give way signs or markings, followed by 36% at ‘uncontrolled’ junctions, and almost 13% at junctions with a stop sign.
  • Half of all motorcyclist casualties are caused by other drivers.

We don’t think much has changed out there on the roads since then but maybe the relaunch of this campaign will go somewhere to break this particular circle of killed and seriously injured riders?

Links & Information

Ride It Right – On Facebook
To date 16,744 views on Facebook.
nidirect government website – Click Here

DOE Road Safety – Motorcyclists Safety


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  1. From the folks at Helmet Heads on Facebook spotted at the side of the Abbeycentre.
    “To spread the awareness, if any of you guys spot this poster, could you take a pic, providing you can do safely, share it on your preferred social network with the location of it & tag it #takeanotherlookni

  2. Here is the message on the back of buses – It’s Not Just You Who Crashes – focusing on the rider this one!

    Running on TV on UTV, C4 and C5 during March will be the underneath motorcycle safety message and the Thinking Ahead motorcycle safety advert.
    DOE – “Thinking Ahead” Motorcycle Safety advert

    However from an educational view point on motorcycle safety we still prefer the Perfect day advert.
    What are your thoughts on the DOE “Thinking Ahead” motorcycle safety advert?

  3. The DOE’s Take Another Look Campaign, for motorcyclists to other vehicle drivers.
    This time on the back of a bus just outside Belfast in Northern Ireland @ Holywood Exchange
    The campaign as previously mentioned is posted up on Bus Shelters video on TV and soundtrack on Radio, combined with the It’s Not Just You Who Crashes!
    If you can’t see this on the back of a bus then there is no hope for seeing riders!

  4. bob craven says

    I like what i see. The content is good and straightforward. No messing about. Would love it if it can be shown to be of value and then it can be publicised nationwide.
    Have always believed in the saying “LINGER LONGER, LOOK LONGER AND THEN I WILL LIVE LONGER.”
    I hope it works well.

  5. This is the most ridiculous advert on television. Motorcyclists need to slow down. The vast majority are speeding with no consideration for other vehicles. They think they rule the roads. Accidents involving motor bikes are caused by their own speed. SLOW DOWN and reduce the selfishness.

    • Thanks for your input LM.
      However it is quite clear that your thoughts are not based on any relation of facts.
      You obviously have had a bad experience or two and it would be stupid to say that a vast majority or riders speed with no consideration for other vehicles.

      • bob craven says

        Unfortunately LMs comments might be right and the way that a lot of non motorcyclists view us.
        Lets face is there are riders out there that are idiots on the road but its wrong calling everyone for the mistakes or stupid actions of a few. just like car drivers and others dont like boy racers so we as motorcyclists dont like stupid two wheelers… and there are some. LM may have experience of them
        I would ask LM to please take another look at any motorcyclist that come into view and view us as a whole and not in parts. You may find that many are just like yourself, normal people like your friends or family that are going about their daily lives without causing problems or concern to any other road users.
        As a bye the bye many motorcyclists come together to raise funds and gifts for charitable purposes. such as easter eggs for kids in Hospices and Hospitals at easter or Father Christmas,s attending same or childrens homes. Plus many other organisations like Air Ambulance. Motorcyclists do a lot of charitable work. throughout the year. Not all are idiots and morons. just some.! Unfortunately.

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