Speeding Bikers Targeted

On Friday 25th May the UTV news programme and website covered a story entitled “Police target speeding bikers” with the PSNI featuring their BikeSafe coordinator.

In the UTV news report the presenter  commented that, “The summer sun is finally here and the good weather traditionally brings many more bikers out onto the roads.” with his co presenter adding, “While most are responsible, the police say they will be cracking down on the minority who take risks.”

UTV states that it is the minority of motorcyclists that are a problem.

Generally this is the case for all road users – i.e. it is always the minority.

However we at Right To Ride know from experience that it is the minority of riders which are perceived by the public as the typical motorcyclist.

While the majority of motorcyclists are not and should not be identified as “the problem” it can be so easy for a motorcyclist to be, as the report suggests, a potential target of the PSNI, who comment that they will focus on those who continue to “Flout the law”.

Motorcycle Safety Aspects

We recognise that the police have a job to do and that includes enforcement, such as the use of marked and unmarked Police bikes and the use of the police helicopter for particular pursuits or a particular area, which could be for example, the Antrim Coast Road.

However the Police also have a role in road safety through advice and engagement.

The UTV report has some good advice from BikeSafe coordinator Bill Holden especially at this time of the year.  For example, there are many tractors out on the road moving into or out of fields, Bill’s advice is for riders to give themselves more time to brake within the distance they can see.

Right To Ride recently published a comprehensive in depth study of motorcycle fatalities in Northern Ireland between 2004 and 2010 in collaboration with the FSNI (Collision Investigation Team).

In this report, we were able to identify the primary and secondary causes of motorcycle fatalities. 43.6% of these fatalities were due to other vehicle drivers pulling out in front of the motorcyclist or doing a U turn in front of the motorcyclist.

This and other important factors, i.e. riding in groups, emergency braking etc, are important and the message in our opinion, needs to cover all aspects of attitude and hazard awareness.

The DOE Road Safety Actions mentioned in the Government Road Safety Strategy 2010,  considers the provision of specific route treatments for popular motorcycle ‘runs’ such as motorcycle ‘friendly’ barriers; additional signing or investigation of the  development of additional signing systems to warn road users of the possible presence of motorcyclists ahead there.

This year,  a Motorcycle Safety Forum was set up which includes a variety of stakeholders from ourselves to Government Agencies,  PSNI Bikesafe, PSNI Road Traffic Policing, representatives from Motorcycle Training, NI Ambulance Service, Motorcycle Insurance representatives and NABD (National Association of Disabled Bikers), BMF ( British Motorcyclists Federation) and MAG UK (the Motorcycle Action Group).

The aim of this Forum is to promote and improve road safety for motorcyclists in Northern Ireland:

  • to establish an advisory resource to assist in policy development;
  • to facilitate better communication between motorcycling stakeholders in Northern Ireland and the Department;
  • to enable the early identification of motorcycling-related issues and to assist in the development of appropriate solutions;

However the forum has only met once this year in February and will not met again until September.

This means that the opportunity of engaging with riders and other stakeholders this season to improve road safety has been lost.

As we mentioned the PSNI have a job to do through enforcement and with their BikeSafe scheme they engage with riders by offering a one hour free assessed ride. This is an excellent example of engaging with riders to reduce road casualties.

However, in reality the delivery of motorcycle safety initiatives is disjointed, the various initiatives by organisations such as the PSNI BikeSafe, Right It Right etc have no “single point of contact” (SPOC).

We had hoped that the Motorcycle Safety Forum would provide this Single Point Of Contact (SPOC), but without meeting and with no communication, its aims are meaningless.

In spite of promises to update and upgrade the DOE road safety website, it is still out of date and out of touch.

It is reasonable to expect that the PSNI targets bikers (or indeed any road user) that flout the law, but this should not be the only message.

Our message is, enjoy the ride, enjoy the sun, but above all, take care out there.

Links

NI Motorcycle Fatality Report 2012 – Click Here

PSNI BikeSafe – Click Here

Police target speeding bikers

Published Friday, 25 May 2012

As bikers take advantage of the good weather, police revealed their latest measures to crack down on reckless driving.

On Friday, Bikesafe coordinator Constable Bill Holden said although fewer people have died on Northern Ireland’s roads this year than in 2011, the numbers must come further down.

“The good weather is bringing a noticeable amount more motorcyclists out onto the roads. We want to appeal to those motorcyclists to slow down, give themselves more time.

“Anyone tempted to break the rules of the road can at best, expect the full rigour of the law. At worst, because of their own stupidity, they risk becoming another statistic,” he added.

On Wednesday, a motorcyclist died in Newtownabbey after a collision with a tractor, and Constable Holden said motorists must be aware of agricultural vehicles on the roads.

“Farmers are also out on the roads at this time of year. You could drive or ride round a corner and there could be a tractor and trailer sitting across the road. Drivers and riders must be able to stop in the distance they can see to be clear ahead,” said Constable Holden.

He explained that marked PSNI bikes do have an effect on drivers in the areas in which they are used, but the unmarked motorbikes will also be used to record bad driving.

“That’s recorded onto a hard drive on the motorcycle and when we take it back to the station that can be downloaded. If we deem there’s enough evidence for a prosecution then the owner or rider will be notified by post.”

Police say they will also be on the lookout for drivers who do not look out for bikes when overtaking, at junctions, when turning right and when emerging onto main roads.

© UTV News

Original Source – Click Here

Police target speeding bikers

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