The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Suzi Perry Headshot

Bursting the Biker Bubble

Posted: Updated:
Print Article

I have to admit, when I got up for work on Monday morning I didn't expect that I would have been wrapped up in bubble wrap and stood in the middle of a roundabout just a couple of hours later. Don't worry, I wasn't alone; Double World Superbike champion, James Toseland and legendary cricketer, Darren Gough, were wearing them too...

Working in the motorcycle industry for years, I've been lucky enough to interview all of the world class motorcycle racers on MotoGP, WSBK and BSB grids. I've travelled the world with great people and seen some truly spectacular things on my journeys.

Unfortunately though, there is a dangerous side to biking and not just on the track either. To a certain extent, it is inevitable that when racers are pushing the bikes to the limits on track that there will be the odd accident. But I have to admit, I couldn't believe it when I found out that there are nearly 28,000 accidents on the road involving motorcyclists in the UK every year, which my tremendous maths skills tell me works out at nearly 80 a day.

Now, I'm not saying that it's the fault of anyone in particular, as there are both motorcycle riders and car drivers who take unnecessary risks and, of course, there are some accidents that are purely accidents. But surely these can't count for 80 a day.

And while I'm not pointing the finger, trying to find someone to blame, and slapping their wrist, I do think these stats are something we have to take seriously and find a way to try and decrease this stupidly high number.

When you did your driving theory test were you asked about motorcyclists? Think back (for some it may be a long time!). I don't think I was asked anything about motorcyclists. I find it slightly unbelievable to think that car drivers can pass their test without having to answer one single question about us motorcyclists. No wonder there's such low awareness of us on the UK's roads, since we only make up 1% of traffic.

Surely it would make sense to make it so that everyone on the road was aware of everyone else using it? While some of you may think this is me on a rant, it's not just a bee in my bonnet, it is a whole beehive and motorcycling organisational bodies such as the MCIA, MAG and the BMF are supporting it too as well as motorcycle insurance company, Bennetts, which brings me back to why I was wearing bubble wrap on a roundabout in London this week!

I was there to support a campaign to petition the government into changing the driving test, by making it compulsory to answer at least one question about bikers.

Educating road users about the others on the road from the moment they pass their test, will hopefully cut down on the number of accidents involving bikers. Common sense surely?

Over 33,000 people have already signed the petition to make this happen, but we need 100,000 signatures to ensure that it gets raised in the House of Commons and gets onto the radar of the government. If you haven't got time to sign it now the link is really easy to remember, making it even easier for you to tell your friends! www.bikerpetition.co.uk

Slightly scary to think that if just three people who know someone who has had an accident on their motorcycle in the past year signed it now, we would reach the target.

Whether you are a motorcyclist, conscientious car driver or just a plain good citizen get your name on the petition!

So, to go back to my first point: what was the point of the roundabout? The Elephant and Castle North roundabout is London's biggest accident hotspot for motorcyclists and 5 April this week was the most dangerous day for UK bikers on the roads. So, if the stats aren't enough to spur you into action, sign up at www.bikerpetition.co.uk for no other reason than to make the embarrassment worthwhile for me, JT and Darren.

Around the Web

Suzi Perry becomes ambassador for Commando Spirit Appeal

Shopping: What to expect from The Gadget Show Live 2012

April 5 warning for motorcyclists

4G mobile broadband is 'not too far away', says expert

Let's Dance for Sport Relief: Fatima Whitbread goes for Farrah Fawcett style ...

Suzi Perry Interview

Presented by HomeSense