By Bill Heaney
Motor cycling isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but BBC investigative reporter Samantha Poling just loves it.
So much so that she has treated herself to this little red devil to get her around when she is not pursuing major stories for the likes of Panorama or BBC Scotland’s new Disclosure programme.
Award-winning Sam cut her journalistic teeth with the Lennox Herald and was brought up and went to school in Helensburgh.
Her father, Peter, a former Navyman, was for a time a businessman in Dumbarton at Broadmeadow industrial estate.
It’s just a coincidence that we came across her photographs at the very moment when Police Scotland were launching their annual campaign to ensure the safety of motorcyclists with a weekend of action across the country.
Safety is a top priority for Sam, who just loves her roary red bike.
Motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable road users and while they make up just one per cent of the traffic on our roads they account for around 13 per cent of fatalities.
Police Scotland is committed to improving road safety through targeted campaign activity to raise awareness of the risks to vulnerable road users.
During the summer months, increased focus is given to motorcycle safety as larger numbers of motorcyclists take their bikes out to take advantage of the good weather.
As such, Road Policing Officers are urging motorists to be extra vigilant for motorcycles during their journeys and ensure they give sufficient room when following or overtaking bikers.
Similarly, drivers are reminded to continually check for motorcycles when moving off, or emerging from junctions.
Riders also have an important role to play in ensuring their own safety by travelling at an appropriate speed for the road, weather and traffic conditions, wearing high-visibility clothing and always wearing a helmet and other appropriate attire.
In previous years, officers would hold engagement events at various locations for motorcycle riders. However, due to the current physical distancing guidelines, such large-scale events are not possible at this time.
Anyone wishing to obtain information on how they can stay safe on Scotland’s roads should access the road safety information and guidance available on the Police Scotland or Road Safety Scotland websites.
Superintendent Simon Bradshaw from Police Scotland’s Road Policing Division, said: “As we have seen in the past few weeks, Scotland has experienced some glorious weather, and similar dry and sunny spells are expected throughout the rest of the summer.
“This means that increased traffic on our roads is likely, including a larger number of motorcyclists.
“With that in mind, it is essential that all drivers are mindful of other road users and pay particular attention for motorbikes. Likewise, they must ensure their behaviour behind the wheel does not put riders, or anyone else, at risk.
“Motorcyclists must also play their part in keeping themselves safe and I would urge motorcyclists to always ride responsibly, ensuring they wear all the necessary safety clothing and travel at safe speeds, appropriate to the conditions they face.
“Road Policing Officers will continue to monitor the road network across the country and any offences we observe will be dealt with appropriately, be it educating drivers and riders or taking enforcement action.
“Please help us in our efforts to reduce road casualties and fatalities by taking all relevant safety precautions when driving or riding. If you would like advice and guidance on how to stay safe on Scotland’s roads then please visit our website at www.scotland.police.uk or Road Safety Scotland at https://roadsafety.scot.”