A biker safety workshop flyer

Back to Basics Motorcycle Safety Mission team rolls into the Western parish of Hanover, at 9 a.m. sharp on Sunday, September 15. The outreach mission will be coming with new strategies to motivate motorcyclists, fueled by a new partner on board – the Jamaica Gasoline Retailers Association (JGRA). As in the past, the all-day safety training event is totally free to motorcyclists. Workshops include both classroom and practical training, as well as free breakfast and lunch, with riders receiving certificates at the end of the day of training. This is all at no cost to the rider…except the time to be there.

September 15 will be the movement’s first visit to Western parishes in almost two years. Their last trip out West was in November 2017. Since then, fatalities have skyrocketed and are now at epidemic proportions.

Q: Why did you take a pause? And why are you coming back now?

Simply put, our outreach work needed that break. That was a very difficult year. While the safety training has consistently proven to be effective, we faced several bureaucratic and strategic challenges in 2017 that stretched our outreach momentum thin. We also lost a founder and teammate to a tragic crime. Everything warranted a pause to refresh, recoup and regroup.

During the outreach program’s hiatus, national motorcycle fatality rates have resurged.

“When BTB outreach is active, fatalities go down. This is a pattern that we’ve seen for years,” said Orville Johnson, General Manager at Insurance Association of Jamaica. “There is an urgent call for BTB Mission to get back in the field. Do what they do best.”

Q: What’s new and in store for BTB participants in Hanover?

“What’s major? Free gas incentives. We have a brand new JGRA-backed component designed to encourage motorcyclists in Hanover sign-up and participate. We want motorcyclists to get trained. Get safer. And we will reward the best participants for investing in their own safety. The first twenty motorcyclists who register for our Hanover workshops and come on time – 9am sharp – and participate in the entire day, will be rewarded with absolutely free gas courtesy of JGRA! Be warned though, we have space for 30 motorcyclists to participate in training. However, only the top 20 participants will get gas vouchers. Those who don’t win gas may have opportunities to earn other prizes.”

“It’s going to be fun to see who earns the free gas. Winning starts with signing up online and coming to the event on time.” The BTB team expects a really good turn out and an exciting day of training. Rain or shine.

Q: Is this a one-time sponsorship from JGRA or will this be a new approach going forward

We’ll definitely be doing more of this. The new role of JGRA is a powerful strategic addition to the support already received from Insurance Association of Jamaica and Sandals Resorts International since 2016. As a matter of fact, there is more in store than we are letting out. Lucea is the test run. It should be fun and educational.

Q: How do motorcyclists register to attend?

The quickest way to sign up is through BTB’s website – You can also WhatsApp us at 876-793-BTBW. Sign up early, as space is VERY limited. You will get a call or text to confirm your space. We also have local police and community reps who can help bikers to sign up. Especially those with reading challenges.

Q: Are you sure BTB’s new strategies will work?

Yes. Absolutely. BTB has always been serious about finding the right ways to get through to motorcyclists…and help them be safer. On the private commercial training side of our business, we have seen up to 75% reductions in injuries amongst motorcyclists we’ve trained. In terms of independently verifiable numbers, our training really works. The impact is almost on par with the best motorcycle safety training organizations in the world.

The local challenge now is engagement. BTB has at least two Hanover dates planned. With more incentives and fun ways to earn those incentives, motorcyclists may anticipate some interesting times ahead.