Press Release: Prestigious road safety award goes to scheme that makes drivers relate to motorcyclists


Humanising motorcyclists is the key to making roads safer for them – a fact recognised by a prestigious Prince Michael International Road Safety Award – sponsored by the MCI.

The recipient of the award is ‘Someone’s Son’ - a campaign which aims to humanise and personalise the motorcyclist/driver relationship,  run by the Safer Roads Partnerships of West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and Humber. Research has identified that drivers who are, or who know, a motorcyclist, are less likely to be involved in a collision with one.*  Statistically, the vast majority of rider casualties are male, who will by definition be someone’s son (or husband or dad...) – hence the name of the campaign, though women motorcyclists feature too.  32,000 riders have received information leaflets via a popular biking magazine and a thousand high visibility vests have been distributed, with slogans representing all manner of human relationships, chosen by the riders: ‘Someone’s Son’, ‘Someone’s Mother’, ‘Someone’s best mate’.     The campaign combines radio adverts with a ‘living’ reminder of on-road riders in their personalised hi-viz vests. Urban junctions are the most common place for accidents between drivers and riders to occur, often in 30 mph zones.  It is sometimes difficult to work out who is to ‘blame’ in these types of crashes, so the ‘Someone’s Son’ campaign has been developed to raise awareness and encourage drivers and riders to look out for each other.  Drivers are encouraged to be especially careful at junctions and roundabouts and riders are urged to give drivers the chance to see them through good road positioning, appropriate speed and by wearing high visibility gear. The awards and MCI involvement The Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards are the equivalent of the Oscars in road safety communities.  Each year outstanding examples of international road safety initiatives are given public recognition through the scheme. The MCI has been involved with the awards for a number of years.  Karen Cole, Safety and Training Director of the MCI is a member of the board that choose the winners and recommended ‘Someone’s Son’, which she explained is ‘A brilliant way of making sure drivers see motorcyclists’.  She explained further, ‘Personalising motorcyclists in this way is much more effective than issuing generic messages.  The campaign is continually reinforced by the presence of those riders in the Yorkshire and Humber areas wearing their high- viz vests with slogans’. This is a very cost efficient way of delivering an effective road safety message, according to David Glanville of Safer Roads West Yorkshire who explained, ‘We recognise that we all share a common problem and by pooling our resources we were able to deliver a bigger campaign across a wide area at the lowest possible cost’. Further Comment: Steve Kenward, CEO of the MCI says, ‘We want people to be able to benefit from lower fuel costs, easy parking and a quicker commute and we want them to be able to do so safely.  The big challenge – to get drivers to think about people on two wheels – is proving to be much more effective when drivers are immediately aware that the biker sharing the next junction is somebody’s someone’. Editor’s Notes ‘Someone’s Son’ campaign has regularly featured on radio for the last three years, with the adverts targeting the main times when crashes occur. The website is The Someone’s Son campaign is a joint campaign between the following road safety partnerships:-
  • Safer Roads Humber
  • South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership
  • Safer Roads West Yorkshire 
Each partnership comprises of local councils, police and fire services who all work together to reduce casualties on their roads. In-depth analysis of casualty and collision data for the Yorkshire and Humber region shows that 75% of collisions occur in urban areas whilst 25% occur in rural areas. Whilst the numbers of motorcyclist and their passengers being killed or seriously injured increased slightly in 2011, there has been a 25% reduction in the overall trend since 2004. *Research comes from The Department for Transport’s Road Safety Research Report 85 Car Drivers’ Skills and Attitudes to Motorcycle Safety: A Review, 2008, (p38). For Further information/pictures contact Stevie Muir or phone 07989 378597