New signs aim to cut motorbike crashes in Dorset this spring

NEW signs are being put up around Dorset in a bid to cut the number of motorbike crashes in spring.

More than 2,400 members of the biker community have been involved in designing the warnings, which have now been produced by DocBike and Dorset Council, with support from Dorset Police, BCP Council, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service and Public Health Dorset – making up the Dorset Road Safe Partnership.

They are now being placed at key locations where motorcyclists have been injured in Dorset.

Studies show the spring is the most dangerous time for motorcycle collisions, with a peak in serious injuries and fatalities being seen as motorcyclists make their way back onto the roads after the winter break.

The partnership says it could be because bikers are a bit rusty after not riding much over the winter period, because other road users are not used to seeing bikes out on the roads, or most likely a combination of both.

From January to November last year, there were 235 motorcycle crashes in Dorset.

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While it was a drop compared to 2022, the partnership said more needs to be done to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on county roads.

The first road sign, “THINK BIKE”, reminds all road users to take that extra moment to look for a bike, especially at junctions, where the brain finds it difficult to see motorcyclists travelling towards them at speed.

The second, “HAVE YOU BEEN SEEN?”, reminds bikers they might not have been seen by other road users and that even though they have the right of way, being able to stop if a vehicle pulls out in their path might save their life.

A 'Have you been seen' sign in Dorset. Picture: Dorset Council

A ‘Have you been seen’ sign in Dorset. Picture: Dorset Council

Dr Ian Mew, intensive care consultant and co-founder of the DocBike charity, said: “We are concerned that there could be a spike in motorcycle collisions.

“The human brain isn’t designed to see small objects travelling towards it at speed, which puts motorcyclists at risk when other vehicles pull out unexpectedly in front of them at junctions.

“If you combine this with other road users not being used to looking out for other motorcyclists after the winter period, we can understand why this is such a dangerous time for motorcyclists.

“A lot of time goes into reviewing data from previous motorcycle collisions to identify the areas of greatest risk. That is why you will only see our unique road signs placed in areas where we see repeated motorcycle collisions in Dorset.

“If you are a motorcyclist and you see one of our road signs, just back off the throttle, let your speed drop off a little and be aware that someone might be about to pull out in front of your path.

“If you drive, take some extra time to look out for motorcyclists and give them plenty of space, accepting that this will be the first time that they will have ridden for some months.”

A 'Think bike' sign in Dorset. Picture: Dorset Council

A ‘Think bike’ sign in Dorset. Picture: Dorset Council

Tony Burden, road safety manager at Dorset Council, said: “Riding a motorcycle is a fabulous way to enjoy Dorset, but sadly the risks do increase during the spring, so these signs are a reminder to drivers to take extra time to look out for bikes and to motorcyclists to be aware they aren’t always visible.

“Please always take your time and be vigilant.

“It’s a great time to give your bike a good spring clean and enjoy the outdoors after a long winter. We also encourage all riders to check the DocBike website for more advice on avoiding motorcycle collisions.

“If you want to improve your skills or become more confident on the road, see what the Dorchester and West Dorset Advanced Motorcyclists offer at”

More information about the road signs and how to avoid being involved in a motorcycle collision can be found on DocBike’s website at

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I am the editor in chief of Blackmore Vale media, which includes the New Blackmore Vale, New Stour & Avon, Salisbury & Avon Gazette and the Purbeck Gazette, having been a reporter for some 20 years. In my spare time, I am a festival lover, with a particular focus on Glastonbury. I live in Somerset with my wife and two children.