Posts filed under News

Aggressive driving around cyclists is on the rise, say drivers

Road safety campaigners are urging everyone to be more Bike Smart and calling on the Government to invest more in cycling safety, as new research indicates an increase in aggressive driving around cyclists over the past five years.

The research, taken from a survey of over 1,000 drivers commissioned by Brake and Direct Line and launched during Bike Week (8-16 June), found 4 in 10 think there has been an increase in dangerous or aggressive driving around cyclists over the past five years with just 1 in 10 believing there has been a decrease in this behaviour [1]. The latest Government statistics show that 101 cyclists were killed and 3,698 seriously injured on British roads in 2017, an average of more than ten cyclist deaths and serious injuries a day.

Posted on June 12, 2019 and filed under News.

One in four people feel it is safe to use a mobile phone when behind the wheel

One in four people feel it is safe to use a mobile phone when behind the wheel in stationary traffic, according to the latest National Travel Survey, published by the Department for Transport today. The survey also revealed that three quarters of respondents feel that the law on mobile phone use whilst driving is not being properly enforced.

Whilst most (62%) respondents acknowledge that the use of mobile phones whilst driving, including hands-free kits, is dangerous, road safety charity, Brake, wants to see action taken to further reinforce this message. They want to see a ban on all mobile phone use behind the wheel, including hands-free, and the police given the resources they need to enforce the law.

 
A car is a lethal weapon and it only takes a moments inattention to result in devastating consequences.
— Joshua Harris, Brake

Research has shown that hands-free phone use impairs drivers as much as the use of handheld phones, as the main danger arises from the distraction of the call, rather than from the holding of a device, and that the crash risk when using a mobile can be greater than someone who is drunk-driving.  Brake is calling for a ban on all mobile phone use behind the wheel to make the nature of the danger clear to drivers, as the charity believes that the current law, which permits hands-free use, gives a false impression that using a mobile behind the wheel is safe and can lead to dangerous behaviours.

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Commenting, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said:

“Using a phone when behind the wheel can impair you as much as driving drunk so it’s a real concern that one in four people think it’s safe to use their phone when behind the wheel in stationary traffic – a car is a lethal weapon and it only takes a moments inattention to result in devastating consequences. It’s equally worrying that three quarters of people feel that the law is not being properly enforced, a situation which may lead some to think they can get away with using their phone behind the wheel.

“Most drivers know that all phone use behind the wheel is dangerous, but we need the law to reflect this by banning the use of hands-free devices. The current law provides a dangerous false impression about the use of phones behind the wheel and must be changed. We also call on the Government to invest in roads policing as a priority so that the police have the resources they need to ensure there is a true deterrent to the menace of mobile phone use behind the wheel.”

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.

We do this through national campaigns, community education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Posted on June 5, 2019 and filed under News.

Advice for motorcyclists

Motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable road users and are disproportionately involved in crashes and casualties. Despite making up less than 1% of road traffic they account for 18% of deaths in collisions, and are 38 times more likely to die in a crash than drivers or passengers in cars. Those new to or returning to motorcycling need to be especially aware of the risks, and understand how these can be seriously reduced by getting the right training and wearing full protective clothing.

To help keep yourself and others safe on the roads, read our advice below on:

  • Protective gear

  • Slowing down and riding defensively

  • Riding safely in groups

  • Protecting your passengers

  • Training to be a better rider

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Wear the right protective gear

Wearing high-quality protective clothing, particularly when fitted with body armour, reduces the risk and severity of crash-related injury and hospitalisation. Before buying protective gear, check out the latest reviews, and buy the best that you can afford from a dealer you can trust.

Helmet

Helmets save lives, prevent or reduce the severity of brain and facial injuries, and protect your eyes from wind, dust, insects or flying gravel. Riders who do not wear helmets face a 40% higher risk of fatal injury and a 15% higher chance of other injuries including life-changing brain damage. For general advice on motorbike helmets, visors and goggles, see this Department for Transport information sheet.

Buy a full-face (not open-face) helmet with strong chin pieces and energy-absorbing liners to offer the most protection to your face and neck as well as head. Your helmet should meet the British Standard BS 6658:1985 standard and carry the BSI kitemark; or it should meet UNECE Regulation 22-05 – there should be stickers indicating this. Choose one that is brightly coloured and easily visible, with a clear non-tinted visor.

The Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme (SHARP) has tested hundreds of helmet models, rating each one according to how much protection it offers. You can use their website to find a helmet within your budget that meets high safety standards.

Do not buy a second-hand helmet. Buy your helmet from a reputable dealer, and make sure you try it on beforehand. A properly-fitting helmet is essential and dramatically increases your chances of surviving a crash. The SHARP programme also offers life-saving guidance on choosing the best helmet fit.

If you drop your helmet, replace it immediately even if it looks ok.

Clothing

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Protective clothing helps save your skin and helps keep you warm and dry every time you ride. More than a third of motorcyclists admitted to hospital suffer serious injuries to their arms or legs, and one in 20 later die from the injuries they sustained. Clothing should:

  • be made of good-quality leather, or a high-performance textile alternative, with good-quality seams and as few seams as possible. Ask your retailer for details of which safety standards they meet before buying, and whether the safety rating applies to the whole garment or just the body armour;

  • be fitted with body armour on the back, shoulders, elbows, knees and shins;

  • fit properly; it should be snug but with enough room for layers of warm clothing underneath and so your movement is not restricted; and

  • be fluorescent during the day and reflective at night to help other drivers spot you.

Make sure you combine your protective suit with strong, flexible, waterproof gloves and biker boots, made either of leather or a high-performance textile alternative, to offer you the best protection if you come off your bike. Gloves should cover high enough up your arms that they do not come off in a crash. Both gloves and boots should fit comfortably and snugly, allowing you to grip the handlebars properly and operate the controls easily.

For further information on protective clothing, see:
Essential Guide to Protective Gear for Bikers (Think!)
Motorcycle Clothing Advice (Begin Motorcycling)


Safer riding

Speed

The faster you go, the less time you have to react to and avoid hazards and people, and the harder you will hit in the event of a crash. Motorbikes don’t have air bags or side-impact bars, so if you are involved in a collision, you’re exposed to the full force of impact. By staying well within speed limits, and slowing down further for riskier situations and conditions, you will have more time to react.

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Stopping distances for motorbikes

Average stopping distances for motorbikes from the moment you realise you need to brake to the moment you stop are:

At 30mph – 23 metres (75 feet)
At 50mph – 53 metres (175 feet, or more than twice as far)
At 70mph – 96 metres (315 feet, or than four times as far)

Stay well within the speed limit at all times and maintain a two-second gap (four in the wet, much more in icy conditions) between you and the vehicle in front; it’s your braking space in a crisis.

More than two-thirds of motorcyclist deaths occur in rural areas. Even if you’re an experienced motorcyclist and know the road well, ride at a speed that would enable you to stop within the stretch of road you can see, slow right down for bends, and hang back and enjoy the ride rather than overtaking. People live, drive, walk, cycle and ride horses in the country, so don’t be tempted to think the road’s all yours. Presume that someone or something is round every bend and over every brow and slow down appropriately.

Like motorcyclists, people on foot or on bicycle are vulnerable road users. Help to protect them by going at 20mph or below in towns and villages.

Defensive riding techniques

In Europe, 69% of reported crashes involving motorbikes were found to have been at least partially caused by other road users not seeing the rider. Make sure you practise defensive riding techniques to safeguard yourself as much as possible against other drivers’ inattention. If you are a car driver, looking out for cyclists and motorcyclists, especially at junctions, will help reduce needless deaths and injuries.

Defensive riding techniques

  • slow down: give yourself time to react

  • make yourself visible

  • position yourself on the safest part of the road (this will vary depending on the circumstances)

  • look out over the handlebars and ‘read’ the road and its traffic far ahead

  • check mirrors and other views frequently

  • take a ‘lifesaver’ or ‘shoulder check’ glance behind you before carrying out a manoeuvre

  • stay alert to everything that is going on around you

  • try to make eye contact with other drivers, but don’t presume that they have seen you

  • stay vigilant for clues as to what other road users might do next, but never presume that they will do what they should do.

  • For more tips on defensive riding, see BikeSafe’s Advice Centre.

Hazards

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Listen to weather forecasts before riding, especially in winter. The best way to be safe is to avoid riding altogether in bad conditions. If you get caught out in bad weather, consider stopping overnight somewhere if you have a long way to go. Take breaks at least every two hours to stay alert and focused. You should do this at all times, but it’s especially important in cold weather, when you can become tired much more quickly. You can also become tired quickly if the weather is hot – again, take regular breaks, and make sure that you stay properly hydrated.

Be extra vigilant at junctions. A major killer of motorcyclists is drivers failing to spot them at junctions and pulling out. As you approach a junction, consider shifting your road position slightly, which can help drivers see you approach.

Many motorcycle collisions take place at bends in the road. Take bends slowly, and adjust your road position depending on whether it is a left or right-hand bend. You can read further advice on cornering on the BikeSafe website. Be particularly vigilant for any suspicious wet-looking patches or long dark lines on a dry road, or rainbow-coloured patches on a wet road – these are an indication of spilled diesel, which can be as lethal as black ice. Never ride close to the central white line on a right-hand bend; if you do, your head will be in the path of any oncoming vehicles.

Bike maintenance

Make sure your motorbike is fit for the road and won’t let you down. Keep your bike clean and carry out simple, regular maintenance checks – spotting a problem with a tyre or brake pad could save your life.

For maintenance tips, see:
Give your bike a health check (Think!)
Basic motorcycle maintenance (MotorCycle Direct)

Read Brake’s detailed advice for drivers on speed, fatigue, bad weather, and other topics, much of which is relevant for motorcyclists too.

Travelling in groups

Riding in groups carries risks; in particular, peer pressure can cause motorcyclists to go faster than they feel comfortable. In crashes involving people riding in groups, the victim is often a new biker or someone new to the group.

To reduce risks, keep your group size to as few riders as possible, and show the strength of character to ride well within speed limits and slow down further for risky situations and conditions. Use the two second rule to keep your distance from the rider in front; it’s your braking space in a crisis.

Plan a route ahead of time, arranging regular, safe stopping places so that if anyone falls behind they know where to meet. Agree on rules such as not overtaking each other and not speeding. If anyone else breaks the rules, or is driving too fast for the conditions, drop back and don’t feel pressured to keep up.

You might also consider putting more experienced riders at the back of the group, so that they can look out for the less experienced. It also means that newer motorcyclists are less likely to rush to catch up with the rest of the group.

For further advice on travelling in groups safely, visit: Bikesafe.

Carrying passengers

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Carrying a passenger affects the handling of a motorbike and the safest option is to not carry passengers at all. You can only carry a passenger if you have a full motorbike licence and the appropriate insurance, and should only consider doing so if you are a skilled, experienced rider.

If you do carry a pillion passenger, you should:

  • Only carry a passenger if your motorbike is designed to carry two people – by law, it needs to have suitable seat and foot supports for the pillion passenger;

  • Make sure the total weight on the bike does not exceed the manufacturer’s recommended maximum. You may also have to make minor adjustments to parts of your bike such as headlight direction, tyre pressure, suspension or chain – check your bike’s handbook;

  • Make sure your passenger is wearing a helmet and full, properly-fitting protective clothing;

  • Tell your passenger what they should do while on the bike; sit still, lean with the bike, keep feet on the foot rests; and

  • Remember that carrying a passenger will lengthen your braking distance, slow acceleration, make steering lighter, and affect cornering and balance.

Carrying children on motorbikes

Motorbikes are inherently much, much riskier than other modes of transport, and children are particularly vulnerable to serious injury or death in a crash.

If you are making a long journey, then the safest way to transport children is by train or bus. If you are making a short journey, the best way is on foot, holding your child’s hand.

If you are determined to carry a child on a motorbike (legally, parental permission is required, and the child needs to be able to reach the footrests), then ensure they wear the highest standard of protective clothing, including boots, gloves, trousers, jacket and helmet, all of which must fit them exactly. But remember that no amount of protective gear will protect you or your child in many kinds of crashes.

For more advice on carrying a passenger visit: 
UK law on carrying a passenger
Pillion Passenger Questions (Begin Motorcycling) 
Tips for drivers and passengers (The Lazy Motorbike)

Train up and be a better rider

Inexperience can leave younger riders at much higher risk of death or serious injury. In 2016, more than 1,000 riders aged 20-24 were killed or seriously hurt in collisions in Britain, far more than any other age group. At this age, young people are at a critical stage of brain development, which can lead to more impulsive and risk-taking behaviour. To reduce the risk of a crash, consider gaining more experience on bikes with smaller engines before progressing to more powerful ones, or taking additional post-test training such as the Government’s enhanced rider scheme.

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Whatever your age and experience, extra training can improve your safety. An advanced training course can help improve your skills, whether you have just passed your test, are returning to riding after a break, are considering buying a more powerful bike, or want to become a safer, smoother, more skillful rider.

One-to-one tuition is preferable, so that all the advice is aimed specifically at you. The Motor Cycle Industry Association recommends the ratio should be no more than two to one. Ensure the course you choose includes an assessment of your riding, to help you identify areas for improvement.

If you ride for work purposes, ask your employer if they’ll pay for a course; they have a responsibility to ensure you are safe on the road.

Some local authorities also offer riding assessments or subsidised courses – check with your local road safety officer, or see the BikeSafe website, which is particularly useful if you are returning to biking. The Motorcycle Industry Accreditation Centre (MCIAC) is also a useful resource to find your nearest MCIAC-accredited training school.

To find courses in your area, try:
Bikesafe
British Motorcycle Federation
Motor Cycle Industry Accreditation Centre
The Enhanced Rider Scheme (ERS)
The Institute of Advanced Motorists
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents

Article from Brake the road safety charity, see the article with references here.

Teach cycling proficiency in schools to reduce road injury, says lawyer

Louise Plant wants the government to make cycle training compulsory in all schools

A personal injury lawyer has called for cycling proficiency tests to be made compulsory in schools.

Louise Plant, head of personal injury at Prettys in Ipswich, has said that teaching cycling skills to children at an early age could help prevent the number and severity of injuries – both through teaching safe cycling, and encouraging mutual respect.

She’s suggested that Bikeablity – formerly the ‘Cycling Proficiency Test’ – be considered by the government as a compulsory requirement.

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“Children should be encouraged to get involved in cycling safety programmes to gain skills that will remain with them through to adulthood,” said Plant.

“Addressing awareness from an early age is the first step to a knowledgeable community of road users and cyclists, where the opportunity to preserve the popularity of cycling is extended,” she added.

Plant also believes that employers could be more proactive, though focused her comments on visibility and equipment for cyclists.

“Encouraging more employers to introduce cycling initiatives will ensure individuals are both more confident and likely to comply with safety suggestions which will prevent or reduce the extent of injuries.”

“These largely focus on carrying and using, when necessary, protective and visible clothing, lights and puncture repair kits, as well as having your bike regularly checked to ensure it is road worthy,” she said.

Plant’s comments come soon after a British Cycling Survey of over 15,000 riders found that 97 per cent of adult members had a full driving license, yet over two thirds are worried about their safety when cycling on the road.

The lawyer works with cyclists who have suffered serious injuries, including life changing and fatal collisions. She puts the onus on riders to protect themselves, as well as the authorities to improve conditions.

“Better networks should be a core focus within city and town centres as well as main roads as part of the Government’s green transport plan,” she commented.

“The government need to continue to increase cycling safety awareness to help tackle the severity of injuries we are seeing.”

“As vulnerable road users, cyclists need to ensure that they have taken sufficient steps to protect themselves from accidents and injuries – in a collision with a motor vehicle, it tends to be the case that it is the cyclist who will come off worse,” she said.

Original article: Cycling Weekly

Posted on May 24, 2019 and filed under News.

Insurance cuts proposed for drivers who pass cycle training

Breaking news today is that drivers who complete a cycling proficiency test could receive cheaper insurance, as part of a government plan to protect vulnerable road users.

The insurance cuts will be available to drivers or motorbike riders who pass the national cycle training system, Bikeability.

Posted on November 22, 2018 and filed under News.

Who Is Taggisar For?

Taggisar is an excellent companion for anyone who does sport or outdoor activities. But it's not just limited to those who pursue extreme sporting activities! 

We recommend Taggisar for:

  • Anyone with a specific medical condition such as diabetes, epilepsy, autism, etc.

  • The elderly, especially if living alone

  • Children who travel to school on the bus, who go on class trips or play out (we hope that's all children!)

  • Holidaymakers, whether at home or abroad

  • Those with pets who would require looking after if you were unable to get home as scheduled

  • Commuters, travelling to the office or even when away on business at home or abroad - the ICE symbol is recognised worldwide.

  • Students away from home

Taggisar is suitable for anyone and everyone who would like a little extra peace of mind!

Everything must be made as simple as possible. But not simpler.

Einstein hit the nail on the head when he said this, although he is the guy who wrote the theory of relativity telling you to keep things as simple as possible…

We all know life can feel pretty hectic and complicated at times, you’ve got to juggle so many responsibilities at work, home and in your social life that seemingly unimportant tasks naturally fall to the bottom of the pile, along with the washing up and the seemingly endless pile of clothes that need an appointment with the iron.

Posted on November 1, 2018 and filed under News.

A Case In Point

We were really sorry to hear that one of our users got hurt but so glad to see him and his friend were wearing Taggisar and so not only could the paramedics access the complex medical information instantly and easily but they also knew EXACTLY where the injured party was and could get there without delay.

Taggisar: Stickers That Save Lives

Posted on August 23, 2018 and filed under News.

Halloween Competition!

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Send us a photo of yours or your kids (or your pets) Halloween costume or carved pumpkin and be in with a chance of winning a free 5 pack of Taggisar stickers!

Reply to this mail or send it directly to info@taggisar.co.uk, the winner will be drawn on the 7th November and notified by email. The more cretive the better!

Posted on October 22, 2017 and filed under News.

Spooktacular Halloween Discount!

When you've troffed the last of the Fangtastics (if you haven't already finished them!), just about removed the eyeliner from your face (who knew it was so permanent when it wasn't on your eyes), cleared the fake, and maybe some not so fake, cobwebs from your house it's now an acceptable time of the year to start thinking about getting on with Christmas planning, right? 

Posted on October 22, 2017 and filed under News.

Taggisar Australia Partners With 2016 Alpine Audax Classic

Riders taking part in any of the courses will be issued with a Taggisar ICE Sticker 2-pack as part of their entry. Emergency Services staff will look for these stickers on your bike or your helmet first. You could also use the back of your mobile phone.  Register early to allow time for postal delivery, so you can upload your information.

Posted on December 10, 2015 and filed under News.

Taggisar UK are pleased to announce a strategic partnership with the inaugural Tour of Cambridgeshire

Taggisar UK are pleased to announce a strategic partnership with the inaugural Tour of Cambridgeshire that will allow all entrants in both the mass participation Gran Fondo and the time trial Chrono events access to simple, effective emergency medical tagging.

Posted on March 4, 2015 and filed under News.