Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You! It’s a phrase commonly heard by motorcyclists who have come to a rapid halt when a vehicle pulls out in front of them.

These “SMIDSY” incidents are one of the leading causes of motorcycle collisions and the focus of a new campaign led by Surrey and Sussex Police as covers come off motorbikes ahead of the spring bank holidays. 

Last year five riders died on the roads in Surrey and Sussex, including on busy Bank Holiday weekends, so the new campaign aims to equip motorcyclists to enjoy their holiday rides and get back to their garage safely. 

The most recent combined data from the DFT and National Road Traffic Census from 2021 reveals that 310 motorcyclists lost their lives and 5264 were seriously injured on Britain’s roads.

Five-year data from 2016 to 2021 on reported road casualties cites failing to look properly on the part of a rider or driver as the most common contributing factor in fatal or serious collisions.

The data also reveals that T, Y or staggered junctions are the most common locations of motorcyclist casualties, representing 34.7% of combined fatalities and injuries.

The campaign will help riders identify a SMIDSY situation and protect themselves against these collisions, as well as sharing other riding techniques provided by some of the nation’s best riders.

A new Ride Craft Hub website is launching that will curate tips and explainers from pro riders all aimed at helping motorcyclists be better on their bike, and to reduce harm to riders on the road. Motorcycle Officers will be sharing tip cards as they engage with riders over the Bank Holidays and beyond. 

Temporary Chief Inspector Matt Wightwick is leading motorcycle operations for the South East of England. He said: “This campaign will see us adopt a new and consistent approach across the South East region.

“Extensive research has been undertaken with motorcycle experts and riders themselves to create a campaign that we believe resonates with the motorcycling community and will provide them with tips from some of the nations top riders so that they can not only ride safely, but better.

“It is a sad fact that motorcyclists feature disproportionately in the amount of those that are killed or seriously injured in collisions each year. Despite the fact that motorcyclists make up approximately 2% of the overall traffic on our roads, they make up for 20% of all KSI collisions.

“SMIDSY situations are well known to riders, and ‘Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You’ is something no motorcyclist wants to hear and no vehicle driver wants to say. Sadly a number of SMIDSY incidents will lead to the injury or even death of a rider every year, so knowing how to spot them is the path to being a better rider.

“Sadly, our teams are familiar with the devastating consequences that are caused in such circumstances and officers from across the region will be working together in order to remind all road users to ride, and drive, responsibly.

“Whilst engagement will be key part of this campaign, we will use enforcement – wherever necessary – to prosecute those that drive or ride in manner that is dangerous, careless or places themselves, or others, at risk.

“The Ride Craft Hub has further tips from professional riders to help enjoy those bank holiday runs and we encourage riders to take a look the tips before the Bank Holidays this year, particularly if they’ve not ridden for a while.”

The Ride Craft Hub – – will become a home for sharing pro rider tips from the best riders in the country.

A guide to spotting a SMIDSY has been provided by charity DocBike, who work to eradicate motorcycle deaths.

Better cornering advice has come from Bikertek in collaboration with Motorcycle News.

And a masterclass on reading the road comes from PC Roger Peskett, a blue light rider from Thames Valley Police.