WHEN I say ‘road safety’ what do you think of? Hi-viz, clipboards and a stiff sense of humour? You see exactly what stereotype the UpRight team in Derbyshire is working to dispel; that slight by-the-book nature of a road safety campaign.
An attitude that doesn’t do much to encourage a quick friendly natter at an event!
Regularly seen with the local riding communities, UpRight Derbyshire was set up around 3 years ago by Tom Rowlands, a PC with 17+ years of experience in the police force.
Consisting of a team of avid bikers, Tom recognised that crash statistics in the area were ever-rising and wanted to encourage local riders to safely enjoy the stunning roads in the Derbyshire & the midlands area.
Starting simply as a campaign to address these worrying statistics, UpRight became a self-standing arm of the biking community by its own merit – and in a time where representation for bikers can leave a bit to be desired, that’s a fantastic thing.
By initially making the decision to partner and work with the local Biker Down course, the aim was to promote the correct ‘Gear, Training & Attitude’ to riders, both in person and on social media. It’s a tune that started to resonate & hit a chord with the local community, their laid back approach taking a step away from the serious nature these chats may fall victim of.
Ultimately, the goal for UpRight is to encourage us riders to better ourselves, be it through further training, increasing our knowledge in donning appropriate clothing, and ensuring our attitude is right for the road.
When I spoke with Tom, he recognised that a ‘PC’ stigma can circulate around the biker safety campaigns, perhaps even seeming to penalise rather than educate.
It’s a different take with the team here, the goal is the same, but the approach is far more accessible – and due to this they’re regularly at events and places where other rider groups may not be seen.
You’ll find the UpRight Derby team at a local dealership, biker ride out, or even the local chippy in Matlock Bath, encouraging riders to consider their “right attitude, right knowledge, right kit” message.
Chances are you’ll also find with them their attention-grabbing Zero DS electric motorcycle, part of the 2021 UpRight fleet as their campaign vehicle. This conversation starter travels around with the team to the events they attend, and may also be seen out and about on an afternoon ride…
A RoSPA or IAM type of group may do similar things, but let’s be honest, sometimes that can feel a little too PC for a quick chat at an event. Since UpRight is all riders with no hi-viz in sight, the whole thing allows for a much more casual setting for some important topics.
They’re bikers, they get it. They want to enjoy the roads with everyone! And if you were wondering, some of the bikes in the team include a BMW S1000R, Kawasaki ZZR1100, Honda CB1300 & a Triumph Explorer. Tasty.
Yes, it’s a Police road safety group – and the word ‘police’ may scare some people away. But at the end of the day, we all need to be the best riders we can be out there, so we fully back the stuff that the UpRight team are doing.
Well done guys & girls, we’ll no doubt see you at an event in the near future – speaking of, they’ve got a bikers breakfast coming up in September if you’re in the area. Info on their Facebook Event page. Or you can head to their site for more info.