In This Issue:



Well done to the following members who have passed their advanced test / re-test:
  John Puddy (M)
  Mel Constantine (C)
  Warren Grant

A warm welcome to new group members:

  Mark Craven (M)
  Dylan Asena (M)
  Patricia Howarth (C)
  James Greathead (M)
  David Marsh (M)
  David Hoskins (M)
  Paul Gibson (M)
  Michael Meadows (M)
Diary Dates:
  Fri 21 Oct  BikerDown
  Sat 22 Oct  SkillShare 
  Sun 23 Oct  Group ride 
  Sun 6 Nov 
  Tutor refresher training
  Fri 11 Nov  BikerDown 
  Sun 27 Nov  
  Sat 21 Jan 
   Tutors' (all) 1st Aid course 
Articles needed

If you have interesting snippets or would like to write a short article for this newsletter then please let us know. 

All contributions welcome.

Wanted: Group Ride Leaders 

We need more volunteer Ride Leaders - No experience required, full training given.


Call Stephen Wilkinson-Carr on 07976 644485 for more details.



October 2022
Chair's Introduction
I will probably always remember where I was when I heard that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had died.

A truly sad day for the nation as the longest reign of any monarch in British history came to an end. 

I took the opportunity to say a few words in tribute at the start of the AGM and have reproduced RoSPA's eulogy below.

No newsletter was published in September. Your co-editors both experienced unforeseen, demanding and time-consuming personal circumstances which meant they had no time to produce an edition.
Such things happen to us all from time to time don't they?
We obviously need another co-editor who can produce just four editions annually.

Could that be you?
Let me know if you're keen - full training given.

We've continued running recruiting and training events, articles below, and we're regularly attracting new members. Good news. However, we're still desperate for new Car Tutors.
If you're interested then please let Mike Hall know at 

Stay safe all.

HM Queen Elizabeth II
We are deeply saddened at the loss of our monarch and patron, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Here is RoSPA's tribute:

As an organisation with an enduring tie to the British Monarchy, dating as far back as 1926, RoSPA has always worked passionately to build a world free from accdental injury, motivated by the privilege of being endorsed by royal patronage.

The beginnings of RoSPA's relationship with Her Majesty the Queen can be traced back to 1949, when the then Princess Elizabet visited a road safety training centre at RoSPA House, then based in London.

Soon after, in 1952, she ascended the throne and followed in the footsteps of her father, King George VI, by officially becoming RoSPA's Royal Patron.

At her coronation, the Queen commented: "My heart is too full for me to say more to you today than I shall always work as my father did throughout his reign, to advance the happiness and prosperity of my peoples, spread as they are all the world over." These lasting words were a fitting start for a Royal with safety at her heart.

RoSPA’s archive contains a wonderful array of records which highlight the early days of Her Majesty’s new Royal Household, and its involvements with RoSPA.

His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh was President of RoSPA’s World Congress on the Prevention of Occupational Accidents and Diseases in 1964 and then became President of RoSPA in 1965, a post which he held until 1968, overseeing our own Golden Jubilee year and campaign.

In 1966, when we celebrated our Golden Jubilee, both Her Majesty and Prince Philip visited our Golden Jubilee Transportable Exhibition. This was also the year in which HRH Princess Anne passed her cycling proficiency test, along with more than 150,000 other children.

We were deeply honoured to receive a yearly letter from the Queen, starting from RoSPA's 80th anniversary in 1996, which soon after became the highlight of our annual report.

More recently our Centenary Garden Party, which was hosted at Buckingham Palace in 2017, was a jubilant signifier that marked the charity's century of operations. The 100-year milestone was acknowledged by an invitation from the Royal Household to celebrate the occasion at their most renowned London residence. Enjoyed by nearly 3,500 guests from across the RoSPA family, it was noted by many as the pinnacle of what was an eventful centenary year.

Her Majesty’s strength of character was evident as far back as the outbreak of World War Two when she made her first radio broadcast before later serving as a mechanic in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. There were even rumours that a young Elizabeth and her sister Margaret celebrated with the British public on the streets of Whitehall during the initial VE Day, which she later confirmed. Her desire to help, protect and serve others is sewn into the fabric of RoSPA's ethos and her memory will be a perpetual reminder to RoSPA of its mission and objectives.

The task laid before the Royal Society now is to continue exercising its influence and promote evidence-backed protocols and advice that could prevent an accidental injury or fatality. Our Safer Stairs initiative that recently campaigned to change the Building Regulations to include British Standard 5395-1 on stair design, which aims to reduce stair falls by 60 per cent, will continue to be promoted as widely as possible. We will also continue to strengthen our partnerships and forge new enterprises with organisations that share our vision.

RoSPA will keep learning, keep moving and keep the fire burning that was lit over a hundred years ago in 1917 when wartime conditions necessitated a safety council. The wartime spirit – a stiff upper lip in the face of adversity alongside a desire to look out for one another in times of hardship – was very much shared by Her Majesty throughout her reign, and we will carry this forward as her legacy.

For over 70 years, Her Majesty was a constant presence, a devoted guardian and an emblem of Britain. As we close this new Elizabethan era, she will be sorely missed among her subjects but her memory and life's work will be immortalised by her words and our actions. We will continue our mission through our words and actions too.


Our AGM was held on Tuesday 13 September 2022 using Zoom online meeting software.

It was a very business-like event, as you might expect and, after a brief eulogy to Queen Elizabeth II, comprised an overview highlighting group activities in the last year followed by update reports from each section.
We're in a very healthy financial position and the hard work done by many volunteers over the last year has resulted in us again being ready to recruit new members and meet our main objective of improving road safety. Thank you to all involved.
A full set of minutes will be sent to every member before the end of October. 
The committee said farewell to Mike Ibbitson (M) who has worked hard in different roles (Secretary and Membership Secretary) for many years. Mike is staying with the group and intends to devote more time in his new role as an Advanced Tutor. He has agreed to co-lead the Tutor refresher training (6 November 2022 - more below). Mike is replaced by Duncan Keen (M).
Thank you for all your hard work Mike.  

I finally managed to hand over the role of Car Coordinator to another new committee member, Mike Hall (C). I'd like to thank all Car Tutors for being so patient and supportive during my period in office. Greatly appreciated.

See article below welcoming new committee members.
New Committee Members

Mike Hall - Car Coordinator
Mike joined Glos RoADAR 7 years ago, after the demise of Avon RoADAR, and was a Car Tutor for 3 of those years.

Mike is passionate about road safety and especially advanced driver training and driver education. He has repeatedly tested at RoSPA Gold.
He has a wealth of experience having recently completed a 3-year term of office as Chair of Bristol Advanced Motorists.

 Duncan Keen - Membership Secretary
 I'm delighted to be taking on the role of
 membership secretary for Glos RoADAR
 group and very much looking forward to
 injecting as much enthusiasm and passion
 into the group's activities, as my other
 committee colleagues do on a regular basis.

 It seems to me that 2022 has become the
 year of growth and resurgence for the
 group, after the Covid gloom of the
 previous 2 years, and it's a privilege to be
 part of the  team that pushes forward into
 an optimistic 2023.
When I'm not riding my motorbike (or working) I enjoy playing and listening to music, playing table tennis and creating amazing curries. 

Tutor Refresher Training - Sun 6 Nov 2022
We will be running Tutor Refresher Training on Sunday 6 November 2022.

Timings: 0915 for 0930-1600hrs

Venue: Witcombe and Bentham Village Hall, Pillcroft Road, Witcombe, Gloucester, GL3 4TB  N51 50.553 W02 08.379 
The training will be co-led by Mike Ibbitson (MC Adv Tutor), Paul Smith (MC Adv Tutor), Andrew Pegg (Car Adv Tutor) and Adam Slaughter (Car Diploma) with support from other Advanced Tutors.

A more detailed programme will be e-mailed to you before the end of October.

Separate arrangements are being made for those wishing to become Car or MC Approved Tutors. Your coordinator will tell you by e-mail what's planned.

Hope to see you there.

Technical Talk (SMIDSY)
After the AGM Stephen Wilkinson-Carr treated us to a technical talk about the causes of and remedies for Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You (SMIDSY) collisions. We were first shown some videos of near-misses filmed from the bars of bikes, helmet cams, or through car windscreens. In each case, a vehicle turned out in front of the camera. We were invited to speculate on the reasons the vehicles pulled out, but returned to these later.
We were then asked what the top causes of collisions might be. Most people correctly identified a common set of themes – looking but not seeing, lack of concentration, loss of control etc. Interestingly, recent research suggests show that impatience and road rage are increasingly figuring in collision statistics.
After that we heard about a number of physiological factors that come into play in the way the eye sees and how the brain interprets its images.
  • Motion camouflage. An object approaching may not appear to be moving, if it is head on, and blending with the background. Detection of movement is triggered by lateral motion, soemthing moving directly towards the eye is much harder to register.
  • Looming effect. Once the object gets closer, it grows very rapidly. This leads to the “they came from nowhere” comment by surprised drivers.
  • The way the brain processes images. Basically the eyes flicker from place to place, in the scene presented to us, and the brain fills in the rest. These quick movements and the images they build up are known as “saccades”. They stem from:
  • The way the eye focuses. Within the eye, the whole image viewed by the lens is focused on the retina, an area at the back of the eye. Within the retina, the macula, an area about 6mm in diameter, is responsible for central vision, and the fovea, a tiny pit only 0.5mm in diameter, is where central, sharp focus vision is concentrated. Because this area is so small, it must be moved from target to target to focus on them.
  • Saccadic Masking. The brain picks up images from the eye in two ways, fixed targets and moving ones. Only one of these can be processed at a time. For this reason, moving objects often go un-noticed because we are busy processing the fixed parts of the scene, before looking somewhere else.
  • Blind spots. Each eye has a blind spot, situated where the optic nerve enters the eye. Normally the brain builds up the missing part of the image from data received from the other eye, but if only one eye is focusing on a particular part of the scene, one area will be missing.
Many of these factors are covered in this entertaining and very informative video by Ryan Kluftinger of FortNine (a Canadian motorcycle retailer):

The Invisible Motorcyclist (click on picture)

Then there are also physical factors:
  • Light. Difficulties caused by poor light, or too much light (e.g. shadow or low sun).
  • Killer pillars. Impaired view caused by door pillars. Any pillar more than 65mm wide is likely to cause a significant blind spot. This leads to –
  • Blind spot tracking. Issues with two vehicles on converging paths, where the relative angle of the approach does not change – e.g. circumnavigating roundabouts, approaching through bends. If the other vehicle (particularly a motorcycle) is hidden behind a pillar and continues to approach at the same relative angle, it will remain hidden with potentially disastrous results.
What can we do about all this?
Tips for car drivers to counter SMISDY
  • Assume something's there
  • Look methodically
  • Look twice
  • Think: where's the sun?
  • Assume something is there - Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, your brain is also less likely to register something you are not expecting to see. Here we’re entering a scary territory referred to as ‘aviation psychology’. Suffice to say that if you think the road is empty, you are less likely to see a vehicle actually present.
  • Look methodically - When you look left and right at a junction, always deliberately focus on at least three different spots along the road in each direction - close, middle-distance and far. With practice, this can still be accomplished quickly, and each pause is only for a fraction of a second. It means you are overriding the natural limitations of the eye and brain. Fighter pilots call this a ‘lookout scan’ and it is vital to their survival.
  • Look twice - Always look right and left at least twice. If you repeat the same lookout scan, which you will with practice, any vehicle masked by a saccade on the first look is less likely to be missed on the second. This does not apply if you charge into a junction at a constant speed. Then a vehicle on a collision course will stay in the same relative position in your vision - if you miss it the first time, you will probably miss it the second time too.
  • Think: where is the sun? - It’s generally understood that low sun can make it difficult to see, but not why: driving into sun reduces contrast, especially when vehicles with a small profile fall into the shadow of larger objects. Even large vehicles, but especially smaller ones like motorbikes, can become hidden. This is why fighter pilots attack with the sun behind them. Remember it when riding with low sun. You must moderate your riding accordingly.
Tips for motorcyclists to counter SMISDY
  • Assume you're invisible
  • Look for driver's face
  • Assume the worst
  • Watch vehicle wheels
  • Assume you're invisible. Always be aware of the risk of not being seen and never forget that it will hurt if someone does manage to pull into your path. Don't assume that you have had eye contact with a driver from 20 feet away or more. It might look like eye contact but you STILL can't be sure they've seen you. 
  • Look for driver's face. If part of their face appears behind the screen pillar it's possible that you can't be seen. Don't assume that because you're wearing high visibility clothing and your headlight's on that you are visible - if there's a screen pillar in the way, visibility aids don't work.
  • Assume the worst. Assume that emerging vehicles may pull into your path and position yourself for maximum safety margin. Usually this means taking a position towards the crown of the road, or further if safe, if someone might emerge from the left.
  • Watch vehicle wheels. Watch the wheels of potentially conflicting stationary vehicles. You can recognise wheels starting to turn sooner than you can recognise other movements.
We then returned to the initial set of videos, armed with our new knowledge and were able to identify many of the effects mentioned above, as well as giving more informed opinions on how the situations could have been avoided.

Overall, a well-constructed, technical, thought-provoking and professional presentation, which had the entire audience thinking, participating and interacting. 

Low-speed Skills Event - 9th October 2022
We held a well-attended 'Train The Trainer' Low-Speed training day on Sun 4th September to help motorcycle Tutors refresh their skill in teaching low-speed techniques in readiness for the public event.
On Sunday 9th October we held our final low-speed event for the general public. We had a high turnout, and perfect weather, for this event with 47 riders (and one pillion) turning up to learn / improve low-speed riding.
Tony Dix, Chief Instructor (MC), briefing riders

Nine Tutors ran seven obstacles, including favourites such as the snowman, figure of 8, offset cone weave, the W, the big O and the intersection and people were given plenty of time to learn and practise each obstacle.
Thank you to all who gave up most of their Sunday to help set up and run the obstacles and collect all the cones afterwards.
There was also a slow race, over 16 meters, that was won by Dylan Asena who wins a free 1-year group membership. Well done Dylan.
If you're wondering what a slow race is all about, here's an example video from a USA Police Motoryclists' competition (Click on picture)
Amazing skill...
We were extremely lucky to have had a team from Motogymkhana UK (West Midlands Club), with expert riders Jo Noble Finch, Iain Suggett and others, showing us novices how to ride fast around obstacles (they even provided motorcycles to practise on).

Motogymkhana is a high energy, technical motorcycle sport that doesn’t take itself too seriously and is billed as the most fun you can have on a motorbike! Click the video below to see an expert showing how much fun it can be...
Click on picture
I'm sooooooo tempted...
Thank you Jo, Iain, Paul, Emma and others of MGWM for such a well-received event.
We will be running the low-speed event again next Spring and Autumn and will let you know dates once decided.

SkillShare - FREE Assessment Ride With a RoSPA Tutor