THIS year's Think Bike campaign has been launched targetting both motorcyclists and car drivers in a bid to reduce deaths on the road.

The Safer Roads Partnership in Warwickshire and West Mercia is hoping to increase awareness of people on bikes and the people sharing the road with them, as well as offering additional training.

Vicki Bristow, communications manager for the partnership in West Mercia said: "Both Warwickshire and West Mercia are popular with bikers and many riders are attracted to the area, particularly at weekends and when the weather is good. This campaign aims to make motorcyclists and car users more aware of the risks that are present when they are out on the roads and to help us reduce the amount of collisions that take place."

Over the past three years in Warwickshire and West Mercia, there have been 49 fatalities and 463 serious injuries following collisions involving motorcycles, so roadside posters are being put up along key motorcycle routes where riders and drivers need to take care and be more aware.

Due to winter and bad weather, riders may have taken their bikes off the road for a number of months, so the partnership is urging they are checked to make sure they are in good working order and that there aren't any problems with such areas as the battery or electrics, tyres, chain, fluids, controls, brakes and chassis.

The partnership is also supporting a number of Rider Skills Days where riders have the chance to go out on a one-hour free ride with an instructor to assess their ability. These events will take place in Kidderminster on Saturday, April 12, in Bromyard on Sunday, April 27, and in Bromsgrove on Saturday, May 10. There is also the Bike4Life Fest on Sunday, April 27, at RAF Museum Cosford, and and skills enhancement courses .

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