Significant Increase in Weekend Bikers
Police in Wales are using live data to track the busiest areas across Wales as six times more bikers take to the roads over summer weekends.
Technology under trunk roads across Wales is feeding police with patterns of vehicle movements as they happen, allowing officers to be strategically placed at traffic hotspots.
Figures issued by Dyfed-Powys Police show that over the past two weekends, there have been six times more bikers on the roads compared with weekdays.
With a concern that increased traffic could result in higher numbers of collisions, police have adopted a combination of technology-led and traditional enforcement tactics to reduce this risk.
Chief Inspector Tom Sharville said, “With the recent easing of lockdown restrictions on travel in Wales, we have seen a significant but not surprising increase of bikers using our roads over the past two weekends.
“If you compare the numbers we’ve seen on the roads over the past two weekends – around 22,000 on the first Saturday, rising to nearly 27,000 on the Sunday – with an average weekday of about 4,500 bikes in a day, we’re looking at six times as many bikers on the road.
“The number of collisions involving bikes during the first weekend saw a demand on resources that had not been there in previous weekends during lockdown. To combat this, we’ve been looking at different ways of working to ensure the safety of bikers, who are our most vulnerable group of road users.”
Live time data from loop sensors beneath trunk roads is broken down to the location of motorcycles and fed to Roads Policing Unit supervisors. This allows them to swiftly deploy high visibility resources to areas with the highest concentration of bikers.
CI Sharville said: “Operation Darwen is not about targeting bikers, or trying to catch them out – rather it focusses on ensuring the safety of riders in Wales.
“Using a combination of technology and traditional enforcement tactics, we are able to ensure a high visibility presence in the area it’s most needed to increase the safety of bikers and drivers."