New “First of its Kind” Motorcycle Simulator Unveiled by Police

Devon & Cornwall Police’s new simulator is intended to improve the hazard perception and therefore safety of inexperienced motorcycle riders

Motorcycle simulator. - Devon & Cornwall Police

A new motorcycle simulator has been debuted by Devon and Cornwall Police, intended to improve the hazard perception and road safety of inexperienced motorcyclists.

A part of the national ‘Project Apex’ scheme, the simulator is described by Devon and Cornwall Police as “the first of its kind in the UK” and uses a Honda CB500X as effectively the controller of the simulator. According to Devon and Cornwall Police, “a huge range of road layouts, weather conditions and driving environments,” can be simulated, the simulation “enhanced by realistic vibration, surround sound and working wing mirrors.”

The basic objective of the simulator is to reduce the number of on-road deaths for motorcyclists, as Devon and Cornwall Police says that motorcyclists make up 21 per cent of the road deaths in the region, despite only making up one per cent of total road traffic.

In 2022, 16 motorcyclists were killed in Devon and Cornwall, and 187 were left seriously injured, resulting in the formation of a dedicated task force, the Road Casualty Reduction Team (RCRT), supported by the Vision Zero South West road safety group.

2023 saw a 56 per cent decrease in motorcycle road deaths compared to 2022 in Devon and Cornwall, which the region’s police force attributes to work done by the RCRT, including  working with motorcycle dealers to offer additional training and observed rides, and Operation Cosset which used drones to capture footage of what it calls “unsafe motorcycle riders”.

Motorcycle Casualty Reduction Officer, Ian Harvey, said: “Motorcyclists are one of the highest risk road users in Devon and Cornwall and across the UK, and we’re hoping the simulator will help us to provide vital skills to inexperienced riders in a safe environment.

“Every death and serious injury on our roads has a devastating impact. We’ll be using the simulator at every available opportunity to engage with riders about how they can hone their skills and help us to reduce the number of deaths or serious injuries on UK roads.”

Natalie Warr, partnership manager of Vision Zero South West, said: “Our collective aim is to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on Devon and Cornwall’s roads – and we are committed to supporting innovative and creative projects such as this.

“We know additional training is an effective way of improving road user skills and awareness, which is why the partnership was so keen to back this exciting project.

“As a partnership, we have supported Devon & Cornwall Police with a number of pioneering motorcycle safety projects - including Op Cosset and a targeted behaviour change campaign led by biker legend Henry Cole. The results so far have been really encouraging so we look forward to seeing the full impact of this work in the future.”

The simulator will be taken to colleges around Devon and Cornwall throughout 2024, as well as to a number of public events, such as Bideford Motorcycle Show, The Mega Ride Festival, Devon County Show, Royal Cornwall Show, Torbay Air Show and Plymouth Armed Forces Day.

Further, the simulator will make appearances at the F1 British Grand Prix, the MotoGP British Grand Prix, and rounds of the British Superbike Championship.

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