Bluelite help Sussex Police campaign for Safer Roads
Bluelite Graphics produce highly visible markings that make emergency service vehicles stand out on the road. They supply both Sussex Police and the local Fire and Rescue Services, as well as the South East Coast Ambulance service and many other emergency services both in the UK and abroad.
In 2004 Bluelite Graphics were approached by Sergeant Paul Masterson from the Casualty Reduction Team for Sussex Police with regard to the Safer Roads Campaign and how he would like Bluelite to be involved in the campaign.
In 2003 Sussex Police realised there was a huge problem with the number of bikers being killed at an alarming rate on the roads. The police unit got together to discuss what could be done to reduce the number of deaths and Sergeant Materson was keen to voice his own ideas about what may or may not work. The idea was to go out and meet the bikers in popular bike stops along the main routes however the group soon realised that if they turned up on a standard response bike in full police livery then the bikers were likely to disperse very quickly. Instead Paul came up with the idea of arriving on a high performance bike to grab their attention and encourage the bikers to approach the police and enable them to then introduce the road safety message. Paul spoke to his superior and convinced him that if he could get hold of a high performance bike at no cost to the police force that this campaign would work. Paul was given the green light by his superiors and approached a gentleman called Trevor Gedge who owns JS Gedge based in St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex. Trevor was extremely enthusiastic about the campaign and kindly offered to donate the Suzuki GSXR 1000 to Paul’s team for this purpose. Paul then realised he needed to add high conspicuity livery to the bike and got in touch with Bluelite Graphics, he had a meeting with Steve and Lorraine Avery in 2004, Bluelite were also delighted to be involved in the campaign and kindly offered to add the livery to the bike at no cost.
Paul recalls “The response from the bikers towards the new Suzuki was amazing, it immediately gave us a way to communicate on a friendly level with the local bikers and discuss the road safety campaign”
In 2005/2006 Pauls department acquired several more bikes to continue with their campaign and again JS Gedge kindly donated Sussex Police an R1 motorbike in 2006 and a Triumph 675 in 2007. Bluelite Graphics once again supported the campaign kindly adding the livery to the bikes again at no cost.
In 2007 Paul’s team at Sussex Police had achieved the success they were hoping as statistics proved that the Safer Roads campaign had contributed to a considerable drop in deaths of bikers on the local roads. This early success meant Paul could now concentrate on setting up a dedicated team aimed at all road users. Later that year Sussex Police were fortunate enough to have access to a Lotus Exige sports car, again Bluelite Graphics added the livery and the campaign was soon attracting a lot of media attention featuring in national newspapers. Around the same time other car and bike dealers realised the Safer Roads Campaign was starting to get a lot of good press and began contacting Paul’s team offering their services, due to this they were able to introduce a Harley Davidson custom police bike and two Silver Fire Blades, one of which was offered to the East Sussex Fire & Rescue and used to promote safety within the fire service. Bluelite Graphics once again worked closely with Sussex Police and added the livery to each of the Fire Blades.
In 2008 the campaign continued its fantastic success with a Fiat 500 police car being added to their fleet of campaign vehicles and showcases at the 999 event which Bluelite again supported and continue to in recent years.
Since 2009 West Sussex Fire & Rescue have also been involved in the Safer Roads Campaign after Paul arranged for them to be supplied with two Sprint ST bikes, since 2009 they have also introduced a couple of three wheeler trikes which again proved to be the perfect vehicles for engaging road users with the Police to discuss road safety. Later that year a gentleman called Chris Atfield who is a local paramedic also became involved and was supplied with a GTR 1400, Bluelite Graphics designed the livery for that particular bike and that has now become the official service livery.
There is no question that Paul and his team’s hard work and dedication to the Safer Roads campaign has helped keep the roads around Sussex safer over the years and this has been recognised now by a number of other forces across the country that are now setting up similar schemes.
Paul commented “We will continue to make it our priority to advise road users on how to stay safer and are extremely grateful to our supporters such as Bluelite and Trevor Gedge, without them the Safer Roads campaign simply would not be possible”