January 5 2004. Leading motorcycle insurance provider, Bikesure, is launching a campaign, which aims to save the lives of bikers by calling on the government to clean up its act on diesel spillage.

Diesel spilt on the roads is a major threat to motorcyclists and it is reported that 12 per cent of accidents are due to the problem, which is why Bikesure is campaigning for the government to put measures in place, to prevent further fatalities caused by diesel spills.

Diesel spills affect all road users, with motorcyclists being the most vulnerable group. Current legislation* require that fuel tanks must be constructed and maintained in such a manner that neither liquid nor vapour can escape from them. Anyone failing to comply may be liable to a maximum fine of £2,500.

However, overfilling tanks, a failure to close the tank cap properly, driving without a filler cap, or having a deficient seal remains the major cause of diesel spillage, with many truckers and operators still clearly unaware of the life threatening dangers of diesel spills.

The major spillage of diesel from overfilled tanks is a safety threat for bikers, but the lurking danger is the steady build up of diesel as it evaporates little and leaves slicks on the roads. Such slicks are deadly for riders, being colourless and providing almost no grip for the bike¹s tyres.

Bikesure¹s campaign, entitled 'Van Diesel ­ Give It A Triple X!' is eliciting biker support to help combat the life threatening dangers of diesel spillage. Bikers are being urged to give their backing to the petition by giving the three Van Diesel statements the Triple X of approval:

1. I support a move to make it compulsory for all UK companies/operators to educate their drivers about the dangers they pose to other road users when spilling diesel.

2. I support a call for stricter enforcement measures for individuals and operators who fail to fit, close or maintain their filler caps.

3. I support a move for heavier fines to be levied on individuals and operators who wantonly spill diesel.

BMF spokesman Jeff Stone, said: "We¹ve done a lot of work on diesel spills and were instrumental in getting new vehicle standards improved, but educating users is vitally important and that¹s what this campaign will hopefully do."

Bikesure¹s operations manager, Robert Balls, says: "We are calling on the Government to make the roads safer for vulnerable road users, such as motorcyclists. The petition is part of our ongoing campaign to increase biker safety. We believe the petition will go a long way towards highlighting this serious issue and bringing it to the full attention of the government.

If you wish to support the campaign by giving the three Van Diesel campaign statements a triple X, please send your name and address to:

Van Diesel ­Give It A Triple X, c/o Catapult PR, 19a-20a Marsh Mill Village, Thornton Cleveleys, Lancashire, FY5 4JZ.