THE mother of a tragic teenager who died in a horror scooter crash is backing a campaign to include at least one motorbike-related question onto every driving theory test.
Paula Burrows’ son Damen, 17, suffered fatal injuries after the moped he was riding collided with a car along Grange Park Road on September 30, 2006.
Now, after successfully campaigning for a special road safety DVD to be aired in schools, she is urging people in St Helens to sign a new online petition on the issue - which could spark a House of Commons debate.
Mrs Burrows said: “A lot of accidents involving motorbikes are down to a lack of understanding about the differences between cars and motorbikes. It’s about motorists’ attitude towards motorcyclists but it’s about knowledge too.
“For example, I can remember driving behind Damen and seeing him swerve to avoid a pothole. But, as a car driver, that’s not something you ever really think about.
“I always see car drivers going too close to motorcyclists too, particularly when they’re overtaking. More care needs to be taken because motorists can easily misread a situation when a bike is involved.
“I don’t want other people to have to go through the same as me and my family, so if I can help to save even one life then it will all be worth it.”
Mrs Burrows added: “There are already a few motorbike-related questions used on driving theory tests but, at the moment, it’s pot luck whether you get asked one or not.
“A lot of people aren’t interested in riding a motorbike so might skip that section of the theory book, but, if motorbike-related questions were compulsory, they wouldn’t be able to.”
An online petition launched on the subject has already reached more than 25,000 signatures. If it breaks the 100,000-signature barrier, it will spark a debate on the issue in the House of Commons.
Hannah Squirrell, of bike insurance specialists Bennetts, said: “With the casualty rate of motorcyclists currently a staggering 61 times greater than that of other motorists something must be done to increase awareness of bikers on our roads.
“Bikers are an important group of road users and it’s essential that they are recognised in the driving test.”
To find out more information about the Motorcyclists Matter campaign, and sign up, log onto www.bennetts.co.uk or http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/26272