A TEENAGER has released photographs of the shocking injuries he sustained when he fell from an off-road motorbike in a bid to warn others of the dangers of not wearing protective gear.

The 15-year-old boy from Darlington said he wanted to make people think twice and choose proper kit which could save their life should an accident happen.

The teenager lost control of his bike on North Road, Darlington, earlier this year and skidded across the pavement before he hit the ground. He suffered severe skin grazes and was taken to hospital.

He said: “I got distracted by someone shouting at me. I was not wearing any protective clothing and was riding too fast. It absolutely killed when I came off. My clothes ripped and stuck to my wounds.

“I didn’t go to A&E straight away and my leg got infected, meaning I’ve had to go five times since. I couldn’t shower or go up and down stairs for weeks.

“Wearing proper gear could have saved me. Choosing to go without, is really not worth it.”

The Northern Echo:

INJURY: The teenager has released the images to warn others of the dangers of driving without protective gear

Since the incident, the 15-year-old has taken part in a seven-week Back on Track programme, which uses motorbikes to re-engage disaffected youngsters and teaches them about motorcycle safety, maintenance and first aid.

Steve Teasdale, a motorcycle sergeant at the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, said: “He is the latest young person to be injured on our roads. At 15 he should not have been riding a motorbike, but he did so and has paid for the consequences.

“He sustained some nasty injuries to his leg and thigh. Some youngsters might think that wearing a helmet or protective gear is uncool but this boy has found out the hard way.

“They could save your life. He knows that he was lucky.”

Sgt Teasdale, who is involved in Op Endurance, an operation aimed at tackling off-road bike nuisance, added: “While young people think it’s fun to ride motorbikes, the dangers are very real.

“Not only are they causing anti-social behaviour to the local community but they are facing being prosecuted for various road traffic offences – often facing driving bans before they are old enough to have a licence.

“In this case, our message is clear. It can take one time riding a bike without a helmet and protective gear which can change a life. Wear it every time.”