Motorcycle Safety Campaign Launches
An operation aimed at reducing the risk of motorcycle-related deaths and serious injuries on the roads of North Wales was launched on 27 March.
Darwen is an all Wales campaign which runs from early Spring through until the autumn and is aimed at motorcycle safety and reducing casualties on the roads.
Over the coming months, officers from Roads Policing Units will engage with riders at popular meeting spots for enthusiasts as well as certain routes as part of the operation. Go Safe vans will also be deployed as part of the operation.
Police are also encouraging bikers to ensure their machines are ready for the months ahead. For many it is a leisure activity which can see their bikes put away throughout the winter months and then brought out and used straight on the roads. As part of the operation, officers will also be checking bikes are roadworthy, paying particular attention to tyres. Worn or under inflated tyres on motorcycles have been one of the most common themes during collisions, and yet is easily prevented by riders doing basic checks.
The campaign launched at Rhug Farm in Corwen today with support from Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure Ken Skates AM, and is part of a continuing programme to improve road safety for all through engagement, education and enforcement where necessary.
Superintendent Rob Kirman, Head of Specialist Operations at North Wales Police and a keen motorcyclist 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 1% of road traffic but accounting for 18% 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.”
Riding around bends, near junctions, overtaking and loss of control are the majority of the causation factors. In some cases drugs and alcohol have been a contributory factor.
Supt Kirman added: “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.
“Our officers – as well as partners from other emergency services see far too many tragedies, many preventable, on the roads. Staying safe on the road applies to every single one of us, whether we have two or four wheels on our vehicle. I would urge riders and drivers to think about their behaviour and what changes they could make to improve their own safety and that of other road users.”
Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure Ken Skates AM gave his support to the campaign. He said: “Our roads continue to be amongst the safest in the world but for motorcyclists in particular, the numbers being killed or seriously injured are still too high.
“Campaigns like this, raising awareness and getting to the heart of the issue, are a key part of a wider range of measures aimed at making our roads safer and preventing future motorcycling casualties. This holistic approach includes ensuring motorcyclists are prioritised in our road safety funding, supporting Go Safe’s operation of speed cameras, funding local authorities to deliver Bikesafe and other motorcyclist training and introducing innovation projects aimed specifically at reducing serious injuries amongst motorcyclists.
“We continue to work with the police, fire and rescue services, local authorities and the third sector to improve the safety of our roads and this campaign is an excellent example of the hard work which is taking place up and down the country.”
Throughout the campaign BikeSafe representatives will be out and about speaking to riders and promoting the initiative. Workshops can be booked via the BikeSafe website
Social media users can also follow the campaign via the #OpDarwen and #RideSafely hashtags.
Riders are also encouraged to visit the Wales by Bike website for information and guidance regarding courses, routes and safety advice.