Motorcycle safety campaign launched

Police motorcyclists in front of one of the campaign's safety posters. (S)
Police motorcyclists in front of one of the campaign's safety posters. (S)

North Yorkshire Police and the ‘95 Alive’ York and North Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership are joining forces with colleagues across Yorkshire and Humberside to support one of the largest motorcycle safety campaigns ever undertaken in the region.

The show of force is in response to the number of bikers who continue to be killed or injured on the region’s roads despite widespread publicity about the tragic consequences of irresponsible riding.

Last year, 18 motorcyclists and two pillion passengers died on the roads of North Yorkshire – approximately three quarters of those deaths were due to rider error.

This year’s campaign will also be underpinned by tough law enforcement on popular biker routes throughout the biking season.

Research shows that North Yorkshire’s casualties come to the county from all over the North East region, from the Tyne to the Humber. Throughout the campaign, officers from all the region’s police forces will join together to support numerous enforcement operations both in North Yorkshire and neighbouring counties.

Insp Dave Brown, head of Strategic Roads Policing for North Yorkshire Police, said: “We are determined to prevent a repeat of last year’s tragic death toll. The small number of riders who think that our road network provides an alternative ‘track day’ where anything goes should think again.”

During busy periods, such as bank holidays when scores of bikers take to the county’s roads, extra patrols will be deployed on popular biker routes to enforce road safety laws and ensure that riders are behaving responsibly.

Police teams will make full use of unmarked police motorcycles which will be deployed to gather evidence of dangerous and anti-social riding.

“There will be no escape for those who choose to break the law,” added Insp Brown. “We are not out to persecute all bikers, far from it. Many police officers are recreational riders and fully understand why North Yorkshire is a magnet for bikers.

“However, we will not tolerate the dangerous minority who risk their own and others’ lives. Together with our partners in North Yorkshire and across the region, we all share the same aim of saving lives and preventing injuries.

“Anyone who is putting their own or other road users’ lives at risk can expect to be stopped by police and dealt with robustly.”

The 95 Alive partnership will support the campaign with regular education and awareness road-shows to encourage bikers to improve their skills. This will be reinforced with a DVD featuring riding clinics which will be handed out to bikers free of charge.