Traffic officer to IAM RoadSmart Examiner

Blog post posted on 14/06/23 |

By Marcus McCormick from BikeSafe  

Marcus is a retired police officer and has been an IAM RoadSmart Examiner for more than 30 years. He was instrumental in setting up BikeSafe, a national police-run motorcycle scheme that raises awareness of key risks and provides safer riding techniques for motorcyclists. He is also an IAM RoadSmart skills day instructor and a National Observer Assessor.  

Marcus’ love affair with the motorbike began at the age of 5 years old on Lancashire’s Morecambe beach, when his father gave him a Monkey Bike, a small bike made by Honda, and since then he has never been without a motorcycle.  

Marcus started riding on the roads at 16 years old with a FS1-E Yamaha. Over the years, he has owned many machines including a Honda 400/4, a Kawasaki z1000, several Yamaha R1s and for the last 10 years a succession of BMW S1000 and a VFR 800 for conducting advanced tests and training on.  

He joined West Midlands Police in 1982 and, in 1985, achieved his dream of qualifying as a police rider. He progressed through the ranks before moving to the traffic division in 1987 where he added to his skills set by qualifying as a traffic car officer. VIP escort training followed, as did many royal escorts, including the Pope’s visit to Birmingham in 2010.  

Marcus first became aware of IAM RoadSmart while working in the traffic division of West Midland Police. Despite there being a popular local car group in the area, there was not one for motorbike fans. Along with two friends, Marcus set up the Birmingham Advanced Motorcycle Group. He says the response, locally, was amazing.   

20 years ago, Marcus helped to set up BikeSafe, a national police-run motorcycle initiative aimed at working with riders to raise awareness of the importance of progressing on to accredited post-test training. Initially, this was with his home force of West Midlands Police but, when they stopped supplying those courses, he switched to supplying them for West Mercia Force, which he still does to this current day.    

During his training, Marcus realised that the best job in the police force lay as a motorcycle instructor at the force’s driving school, and this led him to also qualify as an instructor on off-road bikes.    

Marcus admits his riding habits have changed very little over the years, he believes riding has become a much more pleasurable experience thanks to the quality of today’s riding gear and the latest tech now available on bikes.  

Marcus said:

“It’s over 30 years since I began examining for IAM RoadSmart and I have put many riders through the test. I still love it as much as the first year and I’m still impressed by the standards of most of the candidates and the commitment of all of them.”  

If you're passionate about road safety and want to play an active role in reducing accidents and promoting responsible driving, volunteering with IAM RoadSmart is for you.