Police operation launched aimed at reducing motorcycle-related deaths & injuries on the roads of North Wales
An operation aimed at reducing the risk of motorcycle-related deaths and serious injuries on the roads of North Wales begins today.
Operation Darwen is an all Wales campaign which runs from early Spring through until the autumn and is aimed at motorcycle safety and reducing casualties on the roads.
Over the coming months, officers from the Roads Policing Unit will engage with riders popular meeting spots for enthusiasts as well as certain routes as part of the operation.
Armed Alliance Unit’s will also be deployed on Operation Darwen routes, looking at all motorists to provide a highly visible police presence at the main locations. Go Safe vans will also be deployed as part of the operation.
Police are also encouraging bikers to ensure their machines are ready for the months ahead.
As part of the operation, officers will also be checking bikes are roadworthy, paying particular attention to tyres.
Worn or under inflated tyres on motorcycles have been one of the most common themes during collisions, and yet is easily prevented by riders doing basic checks.
The campaign launched at Rhug Farm in Corwen as part of a continuing programme to improve road safety for all through engagement, education and enforcement where necessary.
Superintendent Rob Kirman, Head of Specialist Operations at North Wales Police and a keen motorcyclist said:
Sadly, in 2016, seven motorcyclists died on the roads of North Wales.
We know that bikers are more at risk of being killed or seriously injured in a road traffic collision than any other road user, representing 1% of road traffic but accounting for 18% of all fatalities.
Reducing casualties on our roads remains one of our top priorities. We want people to enjoy coming to North Wales and riding on some great roads, but most of all we want them to ride safely and responsibly.
Although Operation Darwen is aimed at motorcyclists, we do look at all motorists as part of the campaign. We will continue to target, with a view to prosecution, all those that ride or drive dangerously, at excess speed, overtake on solid white lines or commit any other road traffic offences.
During 2016 86 motorcyclists/pillion passengers were killed or seriously injured on the roads of North Wales – a slight increase from 84 in 2015.
Riding around bends, near junctions, overtaking and loss of control were the majority of the causation factors. In some cases drugs and alcohol have been a contributory factor.
Supt Kirman added:
The message we’d like to get across is please enjoy the freedom of the roads. It is a fantastic area for motorcyclists, and as a passionate biker myself, I want riders to be able to enjoy our beautiful region safely.
Our officers – as well as partners from other emergency services see far too many tragedies, many preventable on the roads. Staying safe on the road applies to every single one of us, whether we have two or four wheels on our vehicle. I would urge riders and drivers to think about their behaviour and what changes they could make to improve their own safety and that of other road users.
Amongst the routes that will be routinely patrolled will be the A494 between Dolgellau and Bala, the A525 from Ruthin to Bwlchgwyn, the A525 / A539 Ruabon, Overton and Redbrook, the A5 between Betws-y-Coed and Corwen, the A543 between Denbigh and Pentrefoelas and the A5104/A494 Bryneglwys to Corwen.
The route known as the ‘EVO Triangle’ will also be patrolled which incorporates the A483, A5 and the B4501.
Throughout the campaign BikeSafe representatives will be out and about speaking to riders and promoting the initiative which offer *free workshops in North Wales.
A number of BikeSafe engagement days have been organised for the summer months including visits to the Ponderosa, Betws-y-Coed, Corwen and Llangollen. Further details will be publicised locally and workshops can be booked via the BikeSafe website
Social media users can also follow the campaign via the #OpDarwen and #RideSafely hashtags.
Riders are also encouraged to visit the Wales by Bike website for information and guidance regarding courses, routes and safety advice.
*subject to booking fee
Collisions involving motorcyclists in North Wales:
- 2016: 7 fatalities and 79 seriously injured
- 2015: 5 fatalities and 79 seriously injured
- 2014: 7 fatalities and 101 seriously injured
- 2013: 5 fatalities and 66 seriously injured
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