North Wales Police operation targets motorcycle-related deaths

12.00 | 29 March 2017 | | 4 comments

Police in North Wales have launched a new operation aimed at reducing motorcycle-related deaths and serious injuries on the region’s roads.

Officially launched on Monday (27 March), Operation Darwen is an all Wales campaign which runs until the autumn. It is part of ‘a continuing programme’ to improve road safety through engagement, education and where necessary, enforcement.

Statistics show that during 2016, seven motorcyclists were killed on the roads of North Wales, while there were 86 motorcyclist/pillion passenger KSIs – a slight increase from 84 in 2015.

Over the coming months, officers from the force’s Roads Policing Unit will engage with riders at popular meeting spots for enthusiasts as well as certain routes.

Speed camera vans will also be deployed on Operation Darwen routes, to provide a highly visible police presence for all road users.

As part of the operation, officers will also be checking bikes are roadworthy, paying particular attention to tyres. North Wales Police say worn or under inflated tyres on motorcycles have been one of the most common themes during collisions.

Superintendent Rob Kirman, head of specialist operations at North Wales Police, said: “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.

“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.”

Want to know more about motorcycling and road safety?
Online library of research and reports etc – visit the Road Safety Knowledge Centre
Key facts and summaries of research reports – visit the Road Safety Observatory


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    Thanks for that link Michelle but it gives me no more information than I knew before. As regards to having global recognition all it is is a series of articles in a number of Welsh publications. Hardly rates as global. So as yet of the two items that I mentioned they are still out on trials and nothing concrete has been substantiated as yet. I await further developments.

    gill craven
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    Hi Gill
    Here’s a link to a recent update from the Welsh Government’s Skills and Science Minister, Julie James

    Michelle, Cardiff
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    A welcome initiative that no doubt has been tried and tested before. I wondered what happened to the three initiatives that the Welsh were investigating last year or was it the year before. For example helmets that would reduce the risk of head injuries or a junction signage system warning of bikes. Has anything come of them?

    What Wales has in abundance is plenty of great biking roads with lovely scenery if only some bikers would slow a bit and look to see just how beautiful it is. The problem that they have is that whilst the roads from east to west are wider and faster the north/south roads are older, narrower and with lower speed limits. This for some is further frustrated by even more slower car drivers who will drive slower particularly when towing caravans and horse boxes etc. With so many bends and narrow roads there are very few safe places to pass and so some bikers disregard the white lines etc. Something they shouldn’t do.

    Environment comes into play. With so many hills comes further problems and many riders are not used to the basic differences in bike, speed and handling control that are required when travelling downhill as opposed to uphill. Many accidents are caused by excessive speed on approach to bends, bends that in the main follow a down hill section.

    gill craven
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    Well done Wales for creating an initiative that covers the whole country. It sounds like a mix of engagement, education, and enforcement. I hope that Operation Darwen is successful in its object of reducing PTW casualties.

    David, Suffolk
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