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