Secondly, that a positive correlation exists between the instruments CNSVS and the PMRC-Q and therefore improve road craft awareness. The alternative null research hypotheses are that: Firstly the intervention program did not produce any significant difference in the concentration levels of Police motorbike riders, and secondly that no positive correlation exists between the instruments CNSVS and the PMRC-Q. Therefore there is credence to suggest that a program of cognitive training should be implemented to improve the Police motorbike riders' concentration levels.
As this study is a pioneering study there is a great importance placed upon conducting a pilot study prior to the main study. Thomas & Nelson (2001) report that 75% of research papers are not publishable and make no contribution to theory or practice because of crucial methodological blemishes that could have easily been eradicated if a pilot study had been conducted first. A pilot study helps to develop a reliable and valid procedure; determines such matters as whether the instructions are clear, reasonable, and justifiable; whether the tasks can be executed within time constraints; and helps develop a workable, precise, reliable scoring procedure. It also allows an experimenter to iron out any discrepancies in the procedure or the equipment used, so that the study operates effortlessly and consistently.
Motorcycling for Leisure
Motorcycling has become extremely popular in the United Kingdom and Europe. A book entitled,
Bikers: Culture, Politics and Power asserts that biking is more than just a convenient way of traveling, it has also become a way of life (Mcdonald-Walker 2000). The author asserts that while motorcycling was once reserved for those of higher social class in Britain, it is now available and economical for a wide range of riders (Mcdonald-Walker 2000). The book explains
In the '20s, I think, King George VI, who was then the Prince of Wales, was a Douglas rider when he was at Cambridge University. Well, you know, nowadays, I can't see the Prince of Wales riding a motorbike. There's been a change in emphasis. Once upon a time, motorcycling, because it would cost money, was the prerogative of the professional classes.... I can never remember being, in my younger days, until the '60s possibly, motorcyclists being banned. Because, of course, you've got to change the culture. When, in the '20s, a motorcyclist was bound to be a gentleman or a solicitor or somebody like that, they were welcome anywhere (Mcdonald-Walker 2000)."
Mcdonald-Walker (2000), also report that most motorcyclists in Great Britain also own cars. The authors contend that most motorcyclists do not own motorbikes out of necessity but rather for purposes of leisure (Mcdonald-Walker 2000). The book contends that amongst the most experienced riders, pleasure was the main reason they chose to ride motorbikes (Mcdonald-Walker 2000).
Increases in Motor Cycle Ownership and fatalities
Indeed the increased availability of motorcycles has made them attractive to many people. However, this attraction has created consequences that concern some in the United Kingdom. According to the DfT, motorcycling is on the increase. The agency reports that between the years of 2002 and 2003, motorcycle traffic increased by greater than 10% (Saving private and professional motorcyclists, 2004). In addition, in the 8 years spanning 1993 to 2001 motorcycle traffic rose by 28%, while all other traffic only rose by 15% (Saving private and professional motorcyclists, 2004). With this increase in motorcycle traffic, there has also been an increase in fatalities related to motorcycles. The DFT maintains, "Motorcyclists represent 1% of all motor traffic but account for 18% of road fatalities and serious injuries - the Government is taking action to tackle this (Saving private and professional motorcyclists, 2004)."
In the report entitled Saving private and professional motorcyclists, the DfT asserts that while fatalities involving most other motor vehicles has decreased fatalities involving motorcycles have increased. The report also explains that individuals on motorbikes are 30 times more like to have a fatal accident than individuals driving a car (Saving private and professional motorcyclists, 2004). In the year 2003, the number of people killed in motorcycle crashes increased by 14% in a single year (Saving private and professional motorcyclists, 2004). The report asserts that 693 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2003 (Saving private and professional motorcyclists, 2004).
The report also asserts that the agency has been diligently attempting to improve motor cycle safety. The report explains that the DfT has been working with various groups to deliver motorcycling that is safer for riders (Saving private and professional motorcyclists, 2004). The road safety minister David Jamieson was pleased with the final report of the 'Advisory Group on Motorcycling (Saving private and professional motorcyclists, 2004). The safety minister asserted
Even if you've been riding for years - you can and still need to improve your road skills...Riding a powerful motorcycle can be a very exhilarating experience. But it's an experience that the Department for Transport wants to be safe as well as enjoyable. Motorcycling is an important part of the transport mix and we will consider the report's recommendations closely as we further develop our motorcycling strategy (Saving private and professional motorcyclists, 2004)."
In their research, the Transport Research Laboratory examined the 3,531 motorcycle fatalities that occurred between 1997 and 2002 (Saving private and professional motorcyclists, 2004). The research discovered that fatalities with motorcycles in the 501-1000cc range increased by 40%, with only a slight change for smaller motorcycles. In addition, they discovered that the average ages for motorcycle fatalities were 30-34 years (Saving private and professional motorcyclists, 2004). In association with this statistic the research revealed that the larger increase in fatalities were between 30 and 49 years of age (Saving private and professional motorcyclists, 2004). The study also revealed that "60% of motorcyclists died on non-built up roads, with motorcyclists on 1000cc-plus bikes most at risk, and 28% of accidents did not involve any other vehicle (Saving private and professional motorcyclists, 2004)."
An article found in the Journal of Sociology reviews the risk and hazards that motor cyclists face. The article argues that motorbike riders endure great risks when they take the roads. The author explains that throughout the developed world. Motorbike fatalities are highest amongst young males. For instance, in Australia fatalities involving motorbikes per 10,000 registered vehicles were higher than for other vehicles (Natalier 2001; Federal Office of Road Safety, 1995: 33).. Additionally, the article reports "When they survive an accident, their injuries are responsible for a greater number of hospital admissions than falls, self-inflicted injuries or assaults (Reeder et al., 1997: 1357). They raise health care costs and may contribute to a reduced quality of life for the young people who constitute the majority of motorcycle related hospital admissions (Natalier 2001; Dolinis et al., 1995: 1)."
The purpose of the study conducted by Natalier (2001) was to investigate motorcyclists understanding of risks. The author hypothesized that most motorcyclists do not necessarily have access to statistics that point out the dangers of motorcycles (Natalier 2001). In addition the researcher argues that the motorcyclists unaware the risk, and therefore tent to marginalize its significance. Motorcyclists are able to do this by relying upon their experiences to undermine the risk (Natalier 2001). In addition, they believe that their experiences as riders are more significant than the knowledge provided by expert researchers (Natalier 2001). Thus the "re-interpretation of expert knowledge is accompanied by classical and quasi-traditional approaches to risk. Speeding provides an example of these sense-making processes, and the ways in which motorcyclists can appropriate and reject expert systems of knowledge (Giddens, 1991: 27) in the identification of hazard and risk (Natalier, 2001)."
Natalier (2001) reports that research involving high-risk sport cultures indicate that participants lessen the threat of injury or death by focusing on the possibility that they can control the situation (Natalier, 2001; Celsi et al., 1993: 16-17; Doka et al., 1990: 218). The author explains that such control is defined as required and probable means that the incidence of injury and death can be blamed on the failures of the victim (Natalier, 2001). In defining control in this manner, "others need not face the possibility that danger is inherent in the activity or institutionalized in its management (Natalier, 2001)."
In addition, the author insists that the attitudes of bikers can be further examined with phenomenological literature on risk (Natalier, 2001). In these works the words edgework and flow are used to explain the lived experience of action in high-risk behaviors (Natalier, 2001). The author asserts that such words describe a state in which a person becomes involved in an activity that is meaningful to them, transcending the social me and experiencing a sense of 'at one-ness' with the environment and their equipment (Csikszentmihayli, 1988: 30; Mitchell, 1988: 55). The experience of flow need not be pursued in dangerous conditions, however, to maintain a sense of flow participants seek out situations where their limits are tested but their control is maintained (Natalier, 2001; Csikszentmihayli, 1988: 30)."
Natalier, 2001 also insists that the phenomenology of…