Police launch #OpDarwen as figures reveal 263 bikers killed or seriously injured on regions roads in last 3 years
North Wales Police have launched a campaign aimed at reducing the risk of motorcycle-related deaths and serious injuries on the roads of North Wales.
Operation Darwin will begin this weekend – Good Friday, March 25th, it will run from Easter through until early autumn.
Motorcyclists 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.
Shocking new figures released by North Wales police show 84 riders and pillions passengers who were killed or seriously injured (KSI) on the regions roads during 2015 – 25% of all road user KSI casualties in the region, with the majority of collisions on weekends between midday and 5pm.
· 2015: 5 fatalities and 79 seriously injured
· 2014: 7 fatalities and 101 seriously injured
· 2013: 5 fatalities and 66 seriously injured
Officers from the Roads Policing Unit will target popular meeting spots for enthusiasts and will also patrol certain routes as part of Operation Darwen.
North Wales accident investigators found riding around bends, near junctions, overtaking and loss of control were the majority of factors in serious collisions.
In two of the collisions alcohol was also a contributory factor.
Superintendent Rob Kirman, said:
“Nobody likes to have their skills challenged, but some riders do overrate their abilities on a bike with the mindset ‘nothing will ever happen to me.’ We have seen this on numerous occasions, particularly on bends and when overtaking.
“Historically high numbers of motorcyclists come to North Wales due to the challenging nature of the roads. It is a fantastic area for riders, and as a passionate biker myself I want riders to be able to enjoy our beautiful region safely.
Majority of casualites are males in their 40’s and 50’s
The majority of the riders were male with 77% of them aged 26 years and over and the majority of the riders were considered blameworthy for the collision the police say.
Statistics show the majority of the riders were male with 77% of them aged 26 years, many are aged in their 40’s and 50’s with the bulk of collisions happening at weekends or on a Wednesday between midday and 5pm, police say fatigue has shown to be a contributing factor particulalty on a right-hand or left-hand bend.
Supt Kirman added: “Whilst the vast majority of motorcyclists ride appropriately, some riders choose to use the roads as a racetrack, committing serious breaches of road safety legislation, such as speeding and riding dangerously thereby putting themselves and other road users at risk of death or life changing injury. Some of the speeds we have clocked previously have been triple figures.
“We are committed to keeping people safe on the roads of north Wales – we want them to enjoy the roads but most of all we want them to ride safely and responsibly.”
Officers from GoSafe, will also be deployed on Operation Darwen routes, looking at all motorists, they include:
A494 between Dolgellau and Bala, the A525 from Ruthin to Bwlchgwyn.
A525 / A539 Ruabon, Overton and Redbrook, the A5 between Betws-y-Coed and Corwen
A543 between Denbigh and Pentrefoela
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 also 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.
Social media users can also follow the campaign via the #OpDarwen and #RideSafely hashtags.
To book a space on the free BikeSafe workshops please visit their website bikesafe.co.uk
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