‘Skill for life courses return

Scottish Borders Council logo

April 2009

Scottish Borders Council logo April 2009

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Following last year’s successful road safety initiative, Scottish Borders Council and the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), Borders Group of Advanced Motorcyclists are pleased to announce that they will once again be running Border Bikers Open day on Saturday 2nd April at Galashiels Fire station. 

On offer are 20 sponsored, IAM’s ‘Skill for life’ advanced rider training courses for local riders in the Scottish Borders.  

Last year all 20 of the available Skills for Life, funded by SBC and conducted by Borders Group of Advanced Motorcyclists, were taken on the day. Qualified observers from the bike group were on hand to take riders out for an assessed ride. This gave the prospective associates an opportunity to discuss their current skills with the observers, ways they could improve their riding and a flavour of what would be expected once they commenced the Skills for Life programme.

All those who attended received a warm welcome from the group and were blessed with good weather for their assessed ride based around Galashiels and Selkirk which included a variety of A and B class roads. Of the 20 riders who signed up, 15 have now passed their advanced test, 5 of whom received a First pass with 5 carrying over to the new season.

Once again, SBC and the Borders Group of Advanced Motorcyclists are offering riders the opportunity for a free 30 minute assessment ride which is ideal for preparing for the start of the biking season.

Skill for life courses for motorcyclists encourages bikers to ride defensively and sharpen their riding skills. Advanced riding is about taking that next step. Whether it’s about challenging your own standards or reassuring a loved one who struggles to share your enthusiasm, the Skill for Life programme can make you a better rider.

The programme teaches five phases of advanced riding; information, position, speed, gear and acceleration, so regardless of whether you’re navigating country lanes, busy roads or tackling the challenging British weather, you have the skills and knowledge to remain confident and in control.

Safety is part of the advanced riding programme, but it also encourages you to feel confident on the road, to make good progress, and to get even greater enjoyment from the experience.

The campaign will run throughout the peak riding season this spring and summer, when, historically, the number of motorcyclists killed and seriously injured on the roads sees an increase.

Motorcyclists make up just 1% of the traffic on our roads but over the last few years have accounted for more than 20% of deaths and serious injuries on Scottish Borders road.

Reducing the number of bikers killed on our roads is a key priority for Scottish Borders Council and its partners.  This initiative urges bikers to take advanced rider training in the Skills for life course.

Paul Richardson, Scottish Borders Community Safety Officer said, “any initiative that has the potential to reduce the number of tragedies on our roads involving motorcyclists and save lives is worth hammering home.”