Surrey and Sussex step up patrols and engagement with motorcyclists over bank holiday weekend
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Surrey Police and Sussex Police will join forces across the country as part of a nationwide campaign to reduce the risk and improve the riding experience of motorcycle riders.
The action which will run across the August Bank Holiday weekend, with officers on marked and unmarked motorcycles conducting patrols and visiting meeting premises.
Officers from the Roads Policing Unit (RPU) in Sussex and Surrey will be speaking to riders about their riding behaviour and how this might change in the presence of a marked police vehicle.
They will be speaking with riders to further understand what needs to be achieved to improve road safety and to encourage bikers to know their riding limits when it comes to picking their machines.
Patrols will be done working along key partners from the BikeSafe team and National Highways, who are all working to promote the key message which is: Reducing the risk, improving the ride.
Sadly, motorcyclists represent almost a quarter of fatal or serious injury collisions in the UK, despite making up just three per cent of vehicles on the roads.
It shows just how risky motorcycling can be, so reducing the number of people who are killed or seriously injured on the roads continues to be the priority.
Superintendent Rachel Glenton, Head of Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “Over the three-days (August 26-28), police motorcyclists will be travelling along many of the popular routes and meeting spots for bikers and speaking to them to find out what forces and other road users can do to help keep them safe on the roads.
“Motorcycle riders are some of the most vulnerable road users and they are affected disproportionately by collisions.
“This operation provides the opportunity to remind all road users on how to behave and act responsibly on our roads through engagement and enforcement.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Lisa Townsend, who also serves as the national lead for roads policing for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, said: “Every death and serious injury on our roads has a devastating impact, and motorcyclists are more likely to be killed or seriously hurt in collisions than almost any other vulnerable road user.
“Every vehicle user has a responsibility to keep others safe by using the road with their full attention and care.
“Distracted and dangerous motoring – by any road user – can have appalling consequences, and we must all look out for each other.
“Across the UK, motorcyclists represent almost a quarter of fatal or serious injury collisions – but they make up just three per cent of the vehicles on the roads.
“This cannot continue.”
The National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for motorcycling and BikeSafe, Northamptonshire Chief Constable Nick Adderley, said: “This bank holiday weekend is traditionally the last one for motorcycling and as a keen biker myself, I know that many fellow motorcyclists will be taking the opportunity to get out and about across the country on a ride-out.
“Sadly, motorcyclists continue to be one of the most vulnerable road users to be killed or seriously injured on the roads and as the national lead for motorcycling, it remains my priority to reduce the risk and improve the ride for bikers on our roads.
“We all have a responsibility to use our roads legally and responsibly to ensure everyone gets home safely to their loved ones, and I would encourage those who will be out on the roads over the bank holiday weekend to help us, help them by supporting our campaign.
“One way to do this is through education and reinforcing the message on the importance of being considerate and courteous, particularly taking extra care around the more vulnerable road users.
“While engagement is also key for us to understand riders’ behaviour when it comes to riding on our roads and I would like to encourage fellow motorcyclists of all ages and riding ability, to help us to understand how we can work together to improve road safety.”
Some of the key messages of the campaign that officers will look to provide to bikers include:
Gear up – the right riding gear is not jeans and trainers! The right protective clothing can reduce the risk of injury if you are in a collision. Buy clothing that suits your ride. You might need protection for your elbows, knees back, chest and shoulders. Riders should wear boots to protect their ankles and gloves to protect hands #MotorcycleSafety
Comfort zone – know your limits and ride in your comfort zone and with a suitable bike you can manage. If you are riding with others, do not push yourself to keep up. If you’re the experienced rider remember to look out for those that haven’t been riding as long.
Going round the bend – all bikers have been there at some point, getting it wrong in a bend. Remember slow in, smooth out, and for the bends you can’t see round, be prepared to stop, you don’t know what’s round the corner.
Bike inspection – take park in skill test refresher courses and make sure your motorcycle is maintained and road legal
Use your head – while mirrors are important, you also need to be aware of your surroundings and use your head. Always keep your head and eyes up especially when rounding corners. The safest way to change lanes is to turn and look over your shoulder to make sure you are clear
Know the weather – The dangers of wet or icy roads multiply when you are on a motorbike. Stability is significantly reduced with greater exposure to the body of the elements and risk.