Grieving mother warns of motorbike dangers

THE mother of Matthew Elliott wants to raise awareness of the dangers of allowing inexperienced riders to ride powerful motorbikes.

THE mother of Matthew Elliott wants to raise awareness of the dangers of allowing inexperienced riders to ride powerful motorbikes.

Alison Staff said that alerting other young riders to the risks could prevent other families suffering.

“It’s such a big jump going from riding a 50cc scooter to a 600cc motorbike, which is what Matthew did,” she said. “He had been riding a scooter for a year, but the difference from a motorbike is huge.

“It’s so much power for an inexperienced rider to step up like that.”


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After passing his test on Wednesday, Matthew went out for a ride on Friday to get used to the new bike. His parents believe he was doing the same on Saturday when he was involved in a collision with a car.

Mrs Staff said: “We don’t know where he was going on Saturday. We think he was just going for a ride to get used to the bike.

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“If we can use this to get the message out about 17-year-olds buying 600cc motorbikes, then we may help other families. We didn’t want Matthew to have such a powerful bike.

“I want to make sure this doesn’t happen again to anyone else, and that they don’t have to go through what we have.”

Nich Brown, general secretary of the Motorcycle Action Group, one of the UK’s leading bikers’ groups, said that intermediate steps were already in place to ensure riders progressed moved on to more powerful bikes gradually.

“At 16 years old people can ride a 50cc scooter, and at 17 they will train on a 125cc motorbike for their test. If they pass, their bikes are then limited to 33 horse power for the first two years,” he said.

He added that general inexperience of the road could often be a more telling factor than the power of the vehicle.

“Young road-users, regardless of vehicle, are often a safety concern. The lack of experience on the road can be more significant than the size of the bike.”

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