Dr Cris Burgess, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, University of Exeter

As director of education for psychology in the College of Life & Environmental Sciences at the University of Exeter, Cris is responsible for all psychology degree programmes. He is particularly interested in the application of technology in the learning environment. Cris has been a keen motorcyclist since passing the motorcycle test in 1984.

Amongst his research interests are the profiling of high-risk drivers and motorcyclists, the relationship between traffic offending and more ‘mainstream’ criminal activity, and the design of interventions as alternatives to prosecution, using various techniques drawn from clinical, health and cognitive psychology.

His motorcycle offender intervention, the Rider Risk Reduction course, was adopted in 2008 as the National RIDE Scheme model by ACPO Roads Policing Committee and his work was highly commended in the 2006 Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards. A national evaluation of the scheme was completed in January 2011, revealing significant beneficial effects of attendance by offenders.

Cris is the motorcycling lead for the National Driving Offender Retraining Schemes (NDORS), which was itself recognised with the honour of a Prince Michael Award in 2012.

Presentation: Why do motorcyclists crash (and how can we stop them)?
Homo sapiens has been on the planet for over 50,000 years, but that is a brief moment in evolutionary terms, which means that we are poorly-adapted to our modern environment. Engaging in a complex and relatively high-risk activity such as riding a powered two-wheeler (PTW) exposes some of the ways in which our inability to adapt has become a threat to our survival.

In this presentation, Cris will briefly describe some of the principle deficiencies in human performance which help to explain why riders of PTWs are so vulnerable and how these limitations may be highlighted in order to manage young riders’ confidence in their ability to meet the demands of the riding environment.

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