This week a driver was convicted of causing death by careless driving. So many have commented on the case expressing sympathy to the rider’s widow, Tracey. We are all part of the motorcycle community and that’s what makes any loss so difficult to bear or even comprehend.

However, it’s too late to call for tougher sentences. It’s too late when vitriolic comments are made towards the driver and her sentence. Neither of these actions will address the problem or achieve anything. 

Instead, we must change the narrative. We need to understand that lives are shattered and will continue to be unless a voice of reason is heard above the calls of outrage. This driver did not leave home that morning ever believing that she would take another’s life. She too has suffered.

Listen to Tracey, she is calling for changes that will make a difference. It’s not for custodial sentencing but for education which will lead to prevention.

We need help from the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland who, for too long, have concentrated road safety messages on what more the motorcyclist can do. Despite those messages, riders are still dying and are still being injured. The safety campaigns aimed at motorcyclists create a public perception that motorcycling is dangerous. It’s not; drivers are a source of danger to motorcyclists.

Drivers need to ‘take another look’. If Tracey has been brave enough to ask for that, then follow her lead. Don’t vilify a driver who made a mistake with disastrous consequences. Do join Tracey and call on the government to tackle the increasing number of road deaths and serious injuries across the motorcycling community. Tackle it before convictions. Prevent needless deaths through education.

It’s time we had a hard-hitting safety message just like the powerful 1970’s campaign; “Think once, Think twice, Think bike!”.

I urge all drivers to ‘take another look’. Respect vulnerable road users and protect our motorcycle community.

The best comment I have seen posted on social media this week is the following. It comes from a vastly experienced driver and motorcyclist. We need say no more:-

Drivers, please take that extra moment to make sure your exit is safe, think, ‘what if I have not seen the bike?’ Two or three seconds, that’s all it takes; search for it.

Brenda Mitchell

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