Monday, 3 August 2015

Motorcycle safety campaign launched in Essex after 64 fatal and serious injuries crashes in five months . . .


Motorcycle safety campaign launched in Essex after 64 fatal and serious injuries crashes in five months

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There has been 64 serious motorcycle crashes in Essex

A major campaign is being launched to educate motorcyclists as the number of serious crashes involving riders on Essex roads continues to rise.

There have been 64 fatal and serious injury collisions on Essex roads in the first five months of this year involving motorbikes, scooters and mopeds, with a further 147 involving slight injuries.

Braintree district has seen the highest number of serious incidents with 11, followed by Colchester with seven.

Although police investigations are continuing, speed and careless riding and through to have been factors in the most of the serious crashes.

Many of the crashes involve commuters using bikes to ride to work, but there has also been a rise in enthusiasts riding high-performance bikes for pleasure.

Adam Pipe, casualty reduction manager for Essex Police, said: “In recent years we have had considerable successes in reducing fatal and serious injury motorcycle crashes.

“But the significant increases in fatal and serious injury collisions so far this year are extremely worrying and disappointing.

“There are a small number of riders who use these roads to ride at high speed, copying their heroes who race at speed, but on tracks built for racing.

“We have also had problems this year with riders who have joined in with car cruisers carrying out reckless racing or stunts in places like shopping centre car parks.

“In response to the number of crashes and to the concerns of worried residents we are increasing activities in the affected areas, especially during evenings and weekends when groups of riders gather to show off and ride dangerously.”

To combat the issue the force motorcycle unit will be using marked and undercover bikes to carry out speed checks, and mingle with groups of riders to gather evidence from video cameras fitted on the bikes.

Motorbike officers will also be extending their PitStop initiative to chat with Sunday morning riders across more areas.

Other events will also be staged by the Safer Essex Roads Partnership, which is also launching a major advertising campaign to encourage all road users to be more aware of motorbike riders.

Mr Pipe added: “We would prefer to educate riders and show them the consequences of riding too fast and taking too many risks.

“But we will definitely prosecute cases of high end offending, speed or careless or dangerous riding and put offenders before the courts as quickly as possible.”

Figures released by Essex Police reveal that in May one-third of fatal or serious crashes in the county involved motorbikes, compared to just 14% in January.

Fifty of the crashes were in daylight, with 37 on 30 or 40mph single carriageway roads.

In March this year a Harlow motorcyclist who weaved in and out of traffic at speeds up to 148mph on the M11 with a pillion passenger on board was fined £400 and banned from driving for 15 months.

His top speed is believed to be the highest ever recorded in the UK by a rider carrying a pillion passenger.

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