College for the Deaf
Motorcycle madness may set in at Doncaster College for the Deaf, in the safest possible way, after 50 of its 16-plus students spent half a day at a special motorbike safety training event run by Doncaster Council, commercial companies, the Driving Standards Agency and South Yorkshire Police.
All but one of the students had never been on a motorbike before, says the college's additional needs programme leader Stacey Betts. They began with a DSA talk, backed by sign language interpreters from the college, about how to pass the motorcycle driving qualification as well as particular tips for overcoming hearing impairment in traffic.
They tried on safety equipment, and took a turn on bikes loaned by Honda and local supplier Cusworth's Motorcycles, following a police rider around a course in Scarborough Barracks in Doncaster, if necessary with helpers walking alongside.
"Some of them initially were worried. The police were wonderful; they learned the signs for stop and hold on before we started," says Stacey.
"They got the students to experiment with revving the engine, because they couldn't hear it but they could feel it.
"Some went off on their own eventually. You could see their body language and confidence grow as they got on the bikes. They came back feeling on top of the world."