Safe Rider a great learning experience

With the new season of Suffolk police Safe Rider motorbike training workshops starting in March, Jason Cooper, one of our workshop technicians, says even experienced bikers can learn from it.

We’re delighted to help sponsor Safe Rider and have encouraged our team members to do one of the workshops.

Safe Rider, a joint initiative between Suffolk and Norfolk police, aims to reduce the number of motorbike casualties by helping riders to improve their riding skills and enhance their awareness and ability on the road.

Jason did the final workshop of the 2019 season and is encouraging more bikers to sign up this year.

Jason, who has been riding on the road for 35 years and has a Kawasaki Versys 650, said: “I think it’s £50 well spent. It was good. I would recommend it.

“They drum into you to ride your own ride. They’re not there to change your riding – it’s all about improving the way you do things. It makes you think differently when you ride.

“If you decide to do Safe Rider, go with an open mind and enjoy the day. You’ll come away having learned something,” he said.

Jason also suggested that a Safe Rider workshop could make a good gift idea.

Safe Rider co-ordinator PC Andy Masterson, from Suffolk Constabulary’s Road Casualty Reduction Team (RCRT), said: “The workshops give motorcyclists greater awareness of the hazards they may face, when out and about, to help them become better and safer riders. They’re designed to bridge the gap between passing the basic motorcycle test and taking an advanced test.

"The underlying message of the workshops will continue to be that education is key, not enforcement.

“I would still equally encourage experienced motorcyclists to attend as it is always good to refresh your skills. Indeed, all us police officers who are advanced-level riders are required to have refresher training every three to five years.”

The workshops, costing £50 per person, or £25 for those aged under 25, are held at Suffolk police headquarters at Martlesham Heath, Ipswich.

They start at 7pm on a Friday with classroom sessions on the system of road craft, with particular attention given to positioning and cornering.

The next morning, there will be an escorted ride out session with a Class 1 police motorcyclist. A maximum three to one ratio ensures an accurate and personalised assessment of riding performance.

First aid sessions take place on the Saturday afternoon provided by Suffolk Fire and Rescue.

Participants are provided with lunch on the Saturday and are also given a Safe Rider ‘bag for life’ containing useful items, including a flask, keyring and Parker pen.

The 2020 workshop dates are:

  • 27-28 March
  • 24-25 April
  • 15-16 May
  • 19-20 June
  • 10-11 July
  • 31 July - 1 August
  • 18-19 September
  • 2-3 October

For further information visit If you would like to register for a workshop, call the RCRT on 01473 613888, extension 3722 or email