Racing bikers urged to put the brake on bank holiday speed after deaths

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Bikers are being urged to put the brakes on their speed in North Yorkshire this bank holiday weekend to combat a dramatic rise in deaths on the county’s rural roads.

Officers from North Yorkshire Police have had to deal with 11 fatalities on the county’s roads already this year, compared to just two deaths in the first seven-and-a-half months of 2012.

The county’s road network, which covers 5,000 miles and criss-crosses stunning countryside including the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors, is a huge draw for bikers from across the nation. Police have admitted one of the biggest problems is with bikers travelling to North Yorkshire from other areas including West Yorkshire and Teesside who are unfamiliar with the weaving country roads.

Officers said yesterday there had been no serious accidents involving motorcyclists over the last couple of weeks and they are hoping this can be maintained over the bank holiday weekend.

“We are really grateful to bikers for being more focused on safety over the last two weeks,” said Fiona Ancell, North Yorkshire County Council’s road safety officer who is a biker herself. “It’s made a massive difference and given huge relief from the tragic road deaths and serious collisions we’ve had to deal with.

“Of course we want bikers to go out there and enjoy the roads and make the most of the bank holiday, but we want them to keep safe as well.”

North Yorkshire Police deputy chief constable Tim Madgwick said: “We know the vast majority of motorcyclists are responsible and safe and the past two collision free weekends are testament to that. But we cannot be complacent, particularly ahead of the bank holiday weekend and must keep driving home the message to riders and drivers to take care. There is no getting away from the fact that three-quarters of motorcycle deaths in North Yorkshire are down to rider error.

“The same message goes out to all road users, please take care, drive according to the road conditions, observe the speed limits and don’t drink and drive.

“Once again our officers and mobile safety cameras will be out and about over the weekend to help keep all road users as safe as possible, but if a small minority flout the law and behave in a reckless and dangerous manner then we will be rigorous in our enforcement approach.”