Graduates of an on-road motorcycle training course will be recognised at an awards ceremony on Wednesday.
The public is invited to the ceremony at Prospect Primary School to find out more about the Bermuda Motorcycling Academy programme, which organisers hope will pave the way for safer roads in Bermuda.
The course is endorsed by The Royal Gazette’s Drive for Change campaign, as it could make up one segment of a fully graduated licensing programme, similar to those that reduced traffic-related death and injury in other jurisdictions.
Drive for Change is calling for a mandatory graduated licensing programme written into legislation as a matter of urgency.
During the B-Moto course, which lasts a minimum of ten hours, learner riders are given on-road and on-track training with an instructor communicating via radio to ensure that bad riding techniques get corrected before they become habits. It is being taught at the Berkeley Institute thanks to private funding.
Nearly 15,000 road-related injuries have occurred in the past ten years. According to statistics released by the Bermuda Hospitals Board, 16-year-old motorcyclists are most likely to be injured in a traffic incident.
Last week, The Royal Gazette reported how transport minister Walter Roban is committed to advancing the Project Ride programme to include on-road training as well as other safety-enhancing measures that make up a typical GLP.
Former professional motorcycle racer and B-Moto founder and chief instructor Antoine Richards said: “This is the most critical aspect of the training and it is what helps them stay safe in their first six months on the road.
“This on-road training course is the closest thing to the UK’s successful GLP available currently on-island. We are absolutely thrilled that the Government recognises the importance of on-road training and look forward to seeing how this can get incorporated into Project Ride.”
At the ceremony on Wednesday, the public will be able to listen to the testimony of graduates and hear details about proposals for new GLP legislation.
The Bermuda Road Safety Council has suggested that the on-road training segment be introduced to the books immediately while the rest of the GLP is considered.
The introduction of a GLP is also endorsed by Drive for Change’s official partners at A Piece of the Rock as well as the Bermuda Police Service, Cada, emergency physicians and technicians at the Bermuda Hospitals Board. Another advocate is road safety expert and orthopaedic surgeon Joseph Froncioni, former chairman of the BRSC.
Mr Richards said his students have been incident-free after six months on the roads.
He said: “This is an opportunity for us to acknowledge the individuals who made a commitment to raising the riding standard in 2017.
“Some of the graduates were high-school students new to the roads. Some were adults who had no clue how to ride or drive when they started.
“We’re very proud to say that all of our students have reported as being incident-free in their first six months on the road. That’s a good reason to celebrate.”
The event is also a celebration of B-Moto’s first year in business.
It takes place at Prospect’s auditorium from 6pm to 8pm. Light refreshments will be provided.