Lock Chain and Cover Your Scooter

Reading time: 4 minutes.

That is the message of the Metropolitan police in London, after a rash of scooter thefts, and crimes committed by people riding those scooters. It is the message of the Met’s new “Be Safe” campaign.

The “Be Safe” Campaign urges riders of scooters, motorcycles and mopeds to use extra security on their vehicles to make it harder for thieves to steal them. This is advice which would benefit scooter riders the world over.

Poster for the Metropolitan Police's Be Safe Campaign The campaign, which includes a new video, urges the public to join the Met in the fight against crimes committed on scooters, by reducing the risk of their bike being stolen which could later be used by criminals to commit further offences.

Almost 23,500 crimes were committed in London last year, using over 14,000 stolen scooters, motorcycles and mopeds. Along with offences such as robberies, burglaries and theft-snatches, in some cases these stolen vehicles were also used in violent crimes, and to transport weapons and drugs to be used in further crimes. Policing activity is making a difference. In October 2017, the Met introduced new tactics including scrambler bikes, automatic tyre deflation devices and DNA sprays, to support ongoing concentrated policing operations. Since spring/summer 2017, there has been a significant reduction in these crimes. Scooter, motorcycle and moped theft has reduced by 52 per cent and there has been a 47 per cent reduction in crimes committed using these vehicles.

But by stopping these vehicles being stolen in the first place it is hoped that this, along with policing activity, will reduce further crimes being committed.

This new campaign builds on the success of the previous ‘Be Safe’ campaign, giving a specific method (‘LOCK, CHAIN, COVER’) which the public can use to secure their vehicle against theft. This time, Londoners will also see prevention advice in advertising across screens on petrol pumps, on the back of buses and online.

The ‘Be Safe’ campaign supports Operation Venice, the Met’s response to scooter, motorcycle and moped-related crime, and is particularly targeting the boroughs experiencing the highest amounts of scooter theft: Brent, Camden, Islington, Ealing, Haringey, Westminster, Wandsworth, Tower Hamlets, Lambeth, and Hammersmith and Fulham.

Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt, Territorial Policing, said: ‘We have put a huge amount of effort into stemming the rise in moped-enabled crime, and are now seeing reductions, which is great. However, we are not complacent. All the new tactics and technology we have introduced will be backed up by really proactive policing.

‘We will keep arresting offenders and running proactive intelligence led operations to make the streets more hostile for criminals to operate. Also, through focusing our efforts on dismantling markets for stolen goods we will make these crimes less financially beneficial.

‘Today, I’d like to ask all scooter or moped users in London to become a part of our effort to make life harder for these criminals. Lock, chain, and cover your bike when you leave it. It is simple, yet effective, and if it makes a thief think twice before stealing your bike then it’s worth it.’

Tony Campbell, CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Association, said: ‘The motorcycle industry is working closely with the Metropolitan Police and the Home Office to help tackle scooter theft and associated crimes, and spread the message that locking and covering a motorcycle or scooter will make it a less desirable target to opportunistic thieves. We are therefore calling on all owners of powered two wheelers and everyone working in the industry to get behind a culture of always using physical security.’

The advice we are giving through the campaign is:

  • Lock: use a disc lock to help secure the front brake disc, or a grip lock to secure the brake and throttle controls.
  • Chain: use a chain lock through the back wheel (the front wheel can be removed). Secure your bike, with the lock taut to an immovable object such as a ground anchor or street furniture.
  • Cover the bike as it makes it less attractive and harder for thieves to steal.

And here’s the type of people we’re dealing with!

The Anatomy of a Crash

Reading time: 8 minutes.

Officers of Singapore's Rapid Deplpyment Troops crash on a motorcycle When I first started this blog, one of the things that I always thought I would shy away from was being a “Monday morning quarterback”, as my American friends would say.

It’s all too easy to sit in the comfort of your home, and pass judgement on others’ riding, and what they could have done better. I don’t want to be “that guy”, and I know that we all make mistakes, and suffer lapses of judgement.

However, this has to be weighed against the learning opportunities that can be gained from the analysis of the many videos which abound thanks to the prevalence of dash cams and helmet cams.

Let’s not forget that us scooter riders are motorcyclists as well. Everything we can learn here applies equally well to us scooter riders.

Well, I just came across this video, which, in its mere twelve seconds, contains a wealth of learning opportunities. It also demonstrates my premise that crashes don’t often come about due to one single circumstance, but are almost always the result of a “perfect storm” of circumstances combining to set the field for the resultant crash. I feel this is too good an opportunity to miss those those learning opportunities, and am relieved to know that all riders and passengers sustained only minor injuries.

So, let’s delve into the details of this incident, and see what we can learn from it.

 Continue Reading...

London Fire Brigade Launches Biker Down Scheme

Reading time: 2 minutes.

Following on from Motorcycle Awareness Day, which was held on the 11th of this month at the Ace Cafe, London, the London Fire Brigade launched a new initiative and training scheme to help riders deal with a crash on two wheels.

What is Biker Down? Biker Down! is a free nationwide scheme that was devised to provide the tools to help bikers if they’re involved in a crash.

The scheme is in partnership with London Ambulance Service, Transport for London and the Metropolitan Police.

 Continue Reading...

BMW Eyeing Future in Ride Sharing Scooters

Reading time: 2 minutes.

BMW C Evolution BMW is tentatively eyeing the possibility of two-wheeled ride-sharing schemes. Specifically, they are looking into offering ride-sharing schemes—an UBER or LYFT like service—for bikes in major citites.

The biggest problem that has yet to be solved is that of the second helmet. How to provide get a “one size fits all” helmet? This does seem to be a knotty problem. Aside from the size issue, who will want to wear the lid which, just minutes before, adorned the sweaty pate of the last beer-swilling, chain-smoking passenger? Eww. I can smell it now.

 Continue Reading...

Scoot Safely Has Completely Changed — It's the Same

Reading time: 8 minutes.

Kicking the Wordpress Logo as if it were a football Take a look at the blog. Notice anything different? I bet not. Yet, I have spent the last month or so working feverishly to completely alter the way Scoot Safely is produced.

This is going to be a short departure from scooter-related material, and it’s going to be just slightly technical. However, I thought my readers may like to take a look into the world of producing blogs, and some of the technical issues involved.

 Continue Reading...

Study Shows Hearing Loss From Motorcycle Riding

Reading time: 2 minutes.

Hearing Loss in Motorcyclists Can you hear me? I said: CAN YOU HEAR ME?

I must admit to being on the wrong side of the fence with this particular issue. I never use earplugs when riding, and never have. It’s not because I have anything against them. I just never think about it.

I may have to rethink this after having looked over the unsettling figures that came out of a study recently conducted in Germany.

 Continue Reading...

Vespa’s First Electric Scooter is Coming this Year!

Reading time: 2 minutes.

Vespa Elettrica

Called the Vespa Elettricra, the new scooter retains the famous delectable lines of its “analogue” stable mates, but sports an electric motor capable of pushing the Italian lovely (and rider) sixty-two miles before needing to suckle at the electronic teat.

I wouldn’t expect sports bike performance out of this. Vespa claims it will have “superior performance” to a 50cc scooter. Still, we can at least expect that zero-revolution torque that makes electric motors so delicious. Vespa’s parent company, Piaggio, hints at its urban intent by saying that it will be “perfect for city environments”.

 Continue Reading...

CityScoot Raises $50 Million for its Electric Scooter Service

Reading time: 2 minutes.

CityScoot Scooter It’s no secret that in Europe, scooter riding is far more commonplace than, say, the United States. The Europeans are also at the forefront of on-street leasing schemes with their public bicycle rentals that have been on the streets of countries such as Denmark and Sweden for many years. It was only a matter of time, then, before somebody came up with the idea to rent scooters on a per-minute basis.

That company is called “CityScoot”, and they’re renting electric scooters, no less.

 Continue Reading...

A Full Moon Means More Fatal Motorcycle Crashes

Reading time: 2 minutes.

A motorcycle silhouetted against a full moon There are lies, damned lies, and statistics. That’s the quote famously attributed to Benjamin Disraeli.

However you interpret that phrase, a recent study published in the British Medical Journal claims to have statistical proof that more motorcyclists (and, presumably, scooter riders) die during a full moon than at other times.

Canadian researchers used the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, an official registry of fatal crashes in the US, to analyse all deaths caused my motorcycle crashes between 1975 and 2014. They then cross-referenced those data to dates when a full moon was present.

 Continue Reading...

80 Year Old Grandmother Thwarts Scooter-Jacking (Video)

Reading time: 2 minutes.

Picture of the incident

An 80 year old grandmother leapt into action on Friday to save a scooterist from being scooter-jacked.

Rosemary Bodger was shopping early on Friday morning when she witnessed two criminals trying to wrestle another Vespa from a rider in North London. They had already taken the keys from the rider, theatre worker Stefan Cooper, 47, and were trying to get the scooter away from him.

 Continue Reading...