Film ID: NEFA 21489 Video of SAFE RIDING GETS YOU THERE c.1979 Visitor TabsDescription A short promotional film by Derek Mathieson for the RAC / ACU motorcycle training scheme in Darlington. The film shows pupils learning to handle various types of motorbike at a training centre and out on the road around the town. Title: The producer wishes to thank Mr Bailey and staff of the RAC ACU training scheme for their advice and co-operation during the making of this fim. Credit: DM Credit: A film by Derek Mathieson Title: Safe Riding Gets You There The film begins with views from the central reservation of traffic on a motorway. Overhead shot of the lanes of traffic. A motorcyclist rides past on a country road. A point of view shot from a vehicle behind the motorcyclist documents his approach into a town. Close-up of the RAC/ACU Training Scheme emblem. Trainees are instructed in a classroom. The instructor writes on a blackboard. [dark footage] Outside, moving around an industrial area of town with warehousing in sight of an electricity pylon, learner drivers on motorcycles and scooters are trained in hand signals, clutch control and emergency stop. They complete an obstacle course testing them in bike control. Next, there's a phantom car ride through the streets of Darlington following a bike as it travels along Haughton Road, through the town centre along High Row, Crown Street and Tubwell Row. Various shots record the trainee motorcyclists riding around Darlington. Outside 'The Kart House' motorcycle shop two people window shop. Inside a few bikers are inspecting the bikes on sale. The learner drivers continue travelling around the Darlington roads. In the final low angle shot, a stationary motorcyclist without learner plate speeds off down a country road at the edge of town, riding into the distance. A shot from the roadside then captures him speeding past. End Credit: The End Context Approaches to Safer Motorcycling A promotional film to encourage motorcycle safety and training in Darlington. Throughout the 1970s, the mortality rate for motorcyclists on Britain’s increasingly congested roads had steadily grown, highlighting the need for better training and knowledge. This promotional film, produced by Derek Mathison, encouraged new riders in the Darlington area to take part in the eight-week RAC/ACU motorcycle training scheme and help cut deaths on the road. According to Department of Transport figures in 1978, the year before it is believed this film was made, 1163 people die in motorcycle accidents on Britain’s roads. Since 1947, the Royal Automobile Club (RAC) and the Auto-Cycle Union (ACU) had provided excellent training in both theory, practical road safety as well as motorcycle maintenance run entirely by volunteers. Sadly, these training courses ended in the 1980s, but much of what was learned became the precursor to the modern Compulsory Basic Training course still used today.