April 18 2013.

A new THINK! initiative to encourage motorcyclists to improve their defensive riding skills has been launched today by Stephen Hammond, road safety minister.

The 'Stay In Control' campaign - which has been developed with partners from the motorcycle industry including the Motorcycle Industry Association, Motor Cycle Monthly magazine, Devitt Insurance and Yamaha - advises motorcyclists to ride defensively and seek further training to sharpen their skills.

The campaign will run throughout the spring and summer peak riding season, when the number of motorcyclists killed and seriously injured traditionally increases. Posters, leaflets and other promotional material will be cascaded to hundreds of motorcycle dealerships and retailers across the UK for distribution to customers.

Stephen Hammond said: "Motorcyclists make up just 1% of the traffic on our roads but last year accounted for 19% of deaths, so reducing the number of bikers killed on our roads is a key priority for the Government.

"This latest campaign urges bikers to ride defensively - this includes taking a 'lifesaver glance' around before manoeuvring and giving yourself time to react to potential hazards.

"In parallel with this initiative, we are also running a THINK! BIKER campaign encouraging car drivers to take longer to look for motorcyclists."

The THINK! campaign team is encouraging other organisations that may be able to promote the message to their customers and members to get in touch.

The THINK! contact for more information is Juliet Owen on 020 7944 3399

To visit the THINK! Motorcycle website CLICK HERE.