When PC Graham Pierce rang me to talk about writing a regular column in the Digest, I saw the appeal immediately.
As laudable as his stated mission to cut down on motorcycling road fatalities is, Iâ€™m acutely aware that if the only interactions you ever have with traffic police are at the side of the road, after they have stopped you to point out a shortcoming in your riding, you are unlikely to be entirely well-disposed towards them â€“ particularly if they have just cautioned you.
At the time that I wrote the previous article (in 2000, for an audience of London couriers), roadside encounters were the only kind of exchanges Iâ€™d ever had with motorcycle police. However, I have attended a couple of Bikesafe days since then where I met a number of cops in a completely different context and on both occasions they have underlined my contention that the ones who choose to ride bikes, tend to do so for most of the same reasons that the rest of us do.
Like I said, I realise that in their determination to save us from ourselves, they can come across as right bastards at times â€“ i.e. the times when they nick you â€“ but given the intrinsic dangers that are part and parcel of riding a motorcycle and the fact that â€“ paramedics aside â€“ they have considerably more direct experience of motorcycling carnage than any of us, itâ€™s kind of difficult to blame them.
So please welcome Graham to the pages of TRD and letâ€™s see what we can do to build a bit of dialogue, because thereâ€™s nothing like good communication to foster better relations â€“ and you never know they might just help to save your life (not to mention wear and tear on
You know what your mum always told youâ€¦
Dave Gurman: To read Ask a policeman click here