Police Launch New ‘Think Bike’ Campaign
Fresh campaigns have been launched to improve motorcyclists’ safety, aimed at drivers and riders alike. The initiatives have been deployed in England and Wales as the weather improves, and the conditions become more favourable for motorcycling. They aim to reduce the risk of motorcycle-related deaths and serious injuries by increasing general awareness and offering additional training. Both campaigns are urging infrequent riders to check that their bike is mechanically sound before getting back out on the roads.
One scheme is being rolled out in the midlands, while a second, entitled Operation Darwen, will run throughout Wales from early Spring until the autumn.
The Safer Roads Partnership in Warwickshire and West Mercia is targeting motorcyclists and car drivers across Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, Worcestershire and Warwickshire. Roadside posters will warn motorists of ‘danger spots’, where collisions have taken place over the past three years (2014-2016). During this period, a total of 528 people were either killed or seriously injured following collisions involving motorcycles.
Vicki Bristow, Communications Manager for the Safer Roads Partnership said: “Both Warwickshire and West Mercia are popular with bikers and many riders are attracted to the area, particularly at weekends and when the weather is good. “We’re aiming to make motorcyclists and other road users more aware of the risks that are present when they are out on the roads and to help us reduce the amount of collisions that take place.”
The second campaign was launched last week and sees Roads Policing Unit officers engaging with riders at popular meeting spots across Wales.
Head of Specialist Operations at North Wales Police and keen motorcyclist Superintendent Rob Kirman said: “We know that bikers are more at risk of being killed or seriously injured in a road traffic collision than any other road user, representing one per cent of road traffic but accounting for 18 per cent of all fatalities. Reducing casualties on our roads remains one of our top priorities. We want people to enjoy coming to Wales and riding on some great roads, but most of all we want them to ride safely and responsibly.
“Although Operation Darwen is aimed at motorcyclists, we do look at all motorists as part of the campaign. We will continue to target, with a view to prosecution, all those that ride or drive dangerously, at excess speed, overtake on solid white lines or commit any other road traffic offences. The message we’d like to get across is please enjoy the freedom of the roads. It is a fantastic area for motorcyclists, and as a passionate biker myself, I want riders to be able to enjoy our beautiful region safely.”