A Derry motorcyclist is pioneering a potentially life saving safety scheme which will help bikers get rapid roadside assistance should they crash.
John McDaid says the CRASH Card scheme - successful in England and in the USA - could save countless lives as he prepares to launch the initiative for the first time in the north.
Under the initiative, which is being launched after consultation and with the full support of the north’s emergency services, bikers are encouraged to fill in the CRASH card with vital, life-saving information about themselves, next of kin and any medical history, which can help doctors and paramedics treating them at the roadside.
Motorcyclists can place the card securely in their helmets.
A sticker on the outside of the helmet alerts emergency services to the presence of the card.
John says the scheme has been tweaked slightly ahead of its launch in the north.
“I first came across the scheme in England where it was run by the Ambulance Motorcycle Club and had no doubt that it is saving biker’s lives.
“After speaking with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and the Fire and Rescue Service there was some concern about removing a biker’s helmet because of the damage that can do to the neck and spine.
“So we have made a change to the design of the sticker on the outside of the helmet, added a small cross and added a ‘do not remove helmet’ message if a biker is unconscious.”
A crash card will also be stored inside the biker’s tax disc if the helmet can not be removed.
John says the card “saves valuable time” should a biker crash.
As well as support form the emergency services and from the Institute of Advanced Motorists and the PSNI’s Bike Safe team, John is also awaiting confirmation of funding from a number of organisations.
Every motorbike dealer in the north will distribute the CRASH card, and they will also be available from police.
John says every biker in the country should sign up to the scheme.
“It’s very simple, it could save your life,” he says.
“If you are going to spend all that cash on a new bike, I would urge you to pick up a card.
“It’s free and could save your life.”
Bikers interested in signing up to the CRASH card scheme can get more information, and can contact John, online at http://motorbikecrashcardsforni.weebly.com or on Facebook - search for Motorbike Crash Cards for Northern Ireland