Police and BMF disagree over bikers’ safety policy

10.56 | 14 September 2009 | | 1 comment

The British Motorcyclists’ Federation  (BMF) has accused North Wales Police of ‘using a sledgehammer to crack a peanut’ – but the police say its actions have saved lives, according to a BBC News report.

The comments came as motorcyclists were riding in north east and north west Wales on Sunday in a Reclaim North Wales protest, organised by the magazine Motorcycle News.

The BMF  likened the policy to stopping football fans just because they like football, but North Wales Police said Operation Focus has brought the number of road deaths down.

Jeff Stone, from the BMF, said: "Ordinary, everyday motorcyclists just going for rides on the beautiful roads of north Wales find themselves harassed by police.

"We fully accept there are problems, some people who are going too fast, in the wrong places and causing accidents. But that’s not the majority."

Chief inspector Gary Ashton from North Wales Police, told BBC Radio Wales: "In 2007, 12 motorcyclists died on the roads of north Wales, in 2008 eight more than that died, so that’s 20 in two years.

"But this year we’ve seen a reduction and while it’s unfortunate for any loss of life it’s only two compared to the large figures we’ve seen before."

Click here to read the full BBC News report.



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    Oh dear! Will we ever get out of this threadbare dialogue. Look at the details. It is estimated that 3,000 motorcyclists gathered to protest. Any demonstration by anyone about anything has to be policed. The BBC reported that in 2007, 43 motorcyclists, or their pillion passengers, were killed in this area. What does the BMF want the police to do? Has Jeff Stone got a solution? I doubt it. I rode through North Wales for a whole week whilst on holiday in August. I saw the “Watch Out for Bikers” signs everywhere. I was not stopped by the police once, in fact, in 46 years of motorcycling I have never been stopped by the police, either in the UK or abroad. I wonder why? If I were stopped and given advice and guidance, I would receive it kindly. After all, it is well intended. Yes, the roads are of the type that provoke those with dreams to pretend they are racing. But these are regulated public highways, policed by the police, not grand prix circuits policed by the FIM. I ask again, what do motorcyclists expect if they misbehave? I am sure Jeff Stone is fully aware that the trouble is not caused by “ordinary everyday motorcyclists” but by a strain of rider within the motorcycle community that, quite frankly, we can do without. Therefore, this comment is invalid. I refer to Chief Inspector Ashton’s remarks. In the light of what he says, surely it can be anticipated that motorcyclists will be targeted? Motorcyclists must stop trying to blame others for the results of their own stupidity and ineptitude. Failure to do so will inevitably attract the attention of the police. That is what the police are there for. Why is this so obvious to others yet so incompatible to motorcyclists?

    Roy Buchanan, Principal Road Safety Officer, Sutton
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

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