Some of our youngest and least experienced road users are not helping to protect themselves from harm.
Cambridgeshire County Council’s Road Safety Team joined forces with the Police and Cambridge Regional College as part of an initiative to improve safety among students who ride mopeds and scooters.
CRC organised an education morning as part of the college’s ongoing safeguarding programme, and the session found a number of faults and defects with machines – which will now be put right during a drop-in workshop for students that has been arranged by the college.
Twenty mopeds and scooters were checked and 90% of them failed the Police checks which disclosed faults including illegal tyres, no mirrors, riders not using eye protection and modifications which enabled the bikes to exceed the speed limit imposed according to the rider’s licence.
Lisa Pollitt, CRC’s Safeguarding Co-ordinator, said: “We are grateful to the road safety officers for highlighting scooter safety, which, like all safeguarding issues, is a priority for us.
“We do everything we can to keep our students safe, and as a result of the findings have arranged drop-in sessions at our vehicle workshops so that our student moped and scooter riders can get help in correcting the defects identified by officers and stay safe on the roads.”
In recent years overall road casualties in Cambridgeshire have steadily declined, while at the same time casualties among moped and motorcycle riders under the age of 25 have increased by 12% over the last decade, with the most vulnerable riders being aged between 16-17.
County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Access, Councillor Tony Orgee, said: “We recognise how important mopeds and scooters are to young people, enabling them to access important education and training and we are keen to work with all the colleges in Cambridgeshire to help ensure the safety of their students as they travel to and from college and I would like to thank CRC for the positive way in which they are helping their students stay safe on the roads.”
During the checks, riders of the faulty machines were warned of the penalties they would face if they were stopped again and the defects had not been rectified which can include a fine, penalty points on their licence and the risk their bikes could be seized and crushed for certain offences.
PC Steve Gedny, Casualty Reduction Officer for Cambridgeshire Police, said “The aim of this event was to educate the moped riders by pointing out the safety issues related to their mopeds, giving them the opportunity to rectify them, rather than face prosecution.”