Police forces team up in battle to cut grim death toll of bikers

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ROAD safety education schemes will again target motorcycle and scooter riders across Yorkshire in a bid to reduce the annual toll of deaths and injuries.

Campaigners say the number killed and injured has been coming down but that the toll remains too high.

Provisional casualty figures for 2011 show that 26 motorcyclists were killed and 462 seriously injured in the Yorkshire and Humberside Police areas.

Road safety partnership organisations and police forces across Yorkshire are again teaming up this summer to continue a regional road safety campaign aimed at keeping motorcyclists safe.

Bringing the figures down further will require a reduction in the number of bikers who treat the roads like a race track, according to police.

Humberside Police Deputy Chief Constable David Griffin, who is also police national lead for motorcycling, said: “We urge riders in our region to help by riding in a safe and legal manner. We have some great riding routes to share and would like you to ride home safely to your family each and every time.

“We will not tolerate anti-social riding and the region’s police are working together with road safety partnerships to eradicate this problem. This small minority will be caught and may be diverted to education courses where possible. However, extreme riding is unacceptable; we will prosecute and dangerous riders will be targeted by officers from all forces across all borders.”

Roadside education and enforcement operations will continue to underpin this year’s campaign with the aim of reducing rider casualties and improving road-user behaviour.

This will be complemented with BikeSafe workshop sessions being run across the region along with rider information and engagement sessions throughout the summer season.

The 95 Alive Partnership has launched a new on-line film to complement the routes booklet it produced last year to help riders plan their riding routes in North Yorkshire.

The partnership will continue to target drivers through their Someone’s Son campaign. This campaign aims to raise awareness with drivers and asks them to look out for riders and acknowledge that the majority of crashes involve more than one vehicle.

The majority of activities encourage the biking fraternity to help themselves and ensure they do not become yet another tragic statistic.

A spokesman for the road safety campaign said there were a “very small number of riders” who dismissed the “bike safe” message “and think that our road network provides an alternative ‘track day’, where anything goes.”

He added: “Motorcyclists are a very vulnerable road user group and represent 20 per cent of the region’s killed or seriously injured casualties, although motorcycles only make up about one per cent of vehicles on the nation’s roads.

“In-depth analysis of casualty and collision data show that the majority of riders killed or injured in the Yorkshire and Humber region actually live within the area.

“However, it is found that riders of larger bikes (over 125cc) are often involved in collisions in other part of the region, away from their home address.

“A similar pattern of anti-social riding is seen, where riders caught offending live in neighbouring force areas.”

There were 488 motorcyclists or their passengers killed or seriously injured in Yorkshire and the Humberside Police area in 2011.

In 2010 the figure was 475. In 2007 it was as high as 660. Dave Glanville, of Safer Roads West Yorkshire, said the reduction in deaths and injuries was a success story but that more needed to be done.

He said junctions were a particular danger spot for bikers and more care had to be taken by all road users. Last year’s fatal toll – eight – was the lowest in West Yorkshire since 1997, he said.