Police crack down on motorbike crashes

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Latest news from the Lancashire Evening Post
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A campaign to cut the number of motorcyclists killed or seriously injured has seen good results across the county.

A large number of bikers are attracted to the scenic roads around Lancaster, Morecambe and Wyre, but there has been a high number of collisions.

In 2009, four motorcyclists riding on over 500cc motorcycles were killed and 12 seriously injured on the roads between April to September – the most popular months for bikers to go riding.

A dual education and enforcement campaign has been launched by the road policing team to cut injuries and deaths.

Sgt Nigel Ralphson, road policing, said: “New shifts were introduced so that officers would be on patrol at the peak times when motorcyclists would be on the roads.

“We analysed the accident black spots and had high visibility patrols in these areas. We did not want riders to feel that they were being targeted unnecessarily, so it was important that officers interacted with them and explained the actions that were being taken.

“Initially we were met with some opposition to our tactics but, as the collision figures began to fall, the respectable biker community came to support us and shared our road safety messages with other riders.”

As a result, the number of motorcyclists killed or seriously injured dropped by 50 per cent in 2010. The success of the campaign led to northern division’s bike safety strategy being adopted across the force. In 2012 there was a 37 per cent reduction in serious collisions in the north of the county and a 22 per cent reduction across Lancashire as a whole.

Sgt Ralphson said: “Motorcyclists, by the nature of their vehicles, tend to be more vulnerable than motorists or passengers in cars. It is good to see that our operational activity and education work has helped to make the county’s roads a safer place for them, but there is still more work to be done. Both motorcyclists and other road users – who need to be mindful of those on motorbikes – can help us with this by riding and driving responsibly so that everyone reaches there destination unharmed.”