March 11 2013.

Drivers are being urged to "see the person behind the helmet" and take longer to look for motorcyclists in the latest THINK! motorcycle safety campaign, launched today by Stephen Hammond, road safety minister.

The £1.3m campaign, timed to coincide with the time of year when motorcycling increases, encourages drivers to take longer to look for bikers and to think about the biker; not just the bike.

The campaign will run from March to May with messages delivered through radio advertising and in petrol stations. Wider awareness will be generated through TV video on demand advertising, targeting younger drivers in particular.

Stephen Hammond said: "Motorcyclists account for just 1% of traffic but 19% of deaths on Britain's roads, and 30 bikers are killed or injured in accidents at junctions every day. I am determined to reduce this terrible toll.

"That is why we are funding this THINK! campaign to remind drivers to look out for motorcyclists - particularly at junctions - and to see the person behind the helmet, not just a motorbike."

The campaign was informed by statistics which show that motorists failing to look properly is a factor in half of all accidents where motorcyclists are killed or seriously injured at a junction; and wider research showing that drivers are more likely to notice motorcyclists on the roads if they know a biker themselves.

The THINK! campaign has been welcomed by the IAM.

Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said: "There are far too many SMIDSY (sorry mate, I didn't see you) accidents on our roads today, so we welcome the new THINK! awareness campaign for motorcyclists.

"'Failed to look' is the top reason for serious crashes and research shows that drivers often miss smaller vehicles when they scan the road before a turn. A few extra moments spent checking for motorcyclists means everyone gets home safely." 

To visit the THINK! website CLICK HERE.