Firefighters ready to drive home bike safety

FIREFIGHTERS in Yorkshire are to be equipped with BMW motorcycles in a new attempt to reduce the number of road accidents involving bikers.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue has taken delivery of the machines and the brigade said they will be used to tour motorcycling events during the year.

A spokesman said: “Two firefighters are getting the BMW bikes, paid for by the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership, to engage with bikers at events across South Yorkshire.”

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No details were available about the cost of the motorcycles, but they are the latest high-performance machines to be bought by the partnership and used by firefighters to hammer home the road safety message.

Last November, the brigade also purchased, through the Safer Roads Partnership, a Subaru Impreza car, which fire chiefs said cost the taxpayer about £40,000.

The 158mph vehicle is fitted with a plasma screen where children and teenagers can watch a DVD covering issues such as speeding, drink or drug driving, mobile phones and the importance of wearing seatbelts.

The car is primarily used for visits to schools and colleges, but also taken to events where young drivers gather to “show off” their own modified vehicles.

When it was unveiled earlier this year Ken Wheat, from the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership, said: “17 to 24-year-olds are some four times more likely to be injured on our roads when compared with other age groups and road traffic collisions are the biggest cause of death amongst people of that age.

“We must continue to find innovative ways of getting our safety messages across.”