Bikers urged to take extra care

POLICE are calling on motorcyclists to take care on the roads of Sussex.

As the days get longer and the weather stays fine, police are anticipating an increase in the number of bikes on the road - and fearing an increase in collisions.

In 2010 25 per cent of all collisions where someone was killed or seriously injured were people riding motorcycles and 40 per cent of all fatal collisions involved people riding motorcycles.

In an effort to reduce the number of collisions where someone is killed or seriously injured Sussex Police, together with the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, are carrying out a number of activities.

r BikeSafe assessment days are being held on the run up to the summer months. The purpose of BikeSafe is to provide guidance from emergency service riders with a view to improving skills and a focus on safe riding techniques. For information see www.bikesafe.co.uk.

r Increased high-visibility and plain vehicle patrols will be conducted at locations where collisions have been occurring. The purpose of the patrols is to target those road users who insist on contravening the Road Traffic Act, thereby putting people at risk, and deter people from committing offences.

r Officers from the Roads Policing Unit, fire and rescue service, ambulance and local authority will be found at a number of events across Sussex throughout the summer and will happily discuss any aspect of road safety or answer any concerns that people may have.

Sergeant Carl Knapp, of the Sussex Police Roads Policing Unit (RPU), said, “It is important that all road users respect each other’s right to use the roads and take that extra effort to look out for each other.

“If you are a driver of a four-wheeled vehicle, remember that a bike is smaller and harder to see.

“Before you manoeuvre, make sure that you look and then look again.

“If you are the rider of a powered two-wheeler a key question to ask yourself is ‘Have they seen me?’.

“We are working closely with the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership to make sure each and every road user is able to safely enjoy their journeys through Sussex this year.”

Ken Seymour, manager of the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, said, “Despite motorcyclists being a small proportion of road users, they make up an unwelcome large number of casualties across Sussex.

“We at the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership are committed to reducing all types of collision on our road network and rasing the profile of motorcyclists, as intelligence-led data infers that this is the time to start to remind motorcyclists of their vulnerability.”

Over the weekend of April 9-10 in East Sussex five motorcyclists were reported for riding in excess of 100 mile per hour, three people were dealt with for driving with no insurance and 35 other offences were dealt with by way of fixed penalty, including some who were offered speed awareness courses as an alternative to prosecution.

Inspector Steve Grace of the RPU based at Polegate said, “Anti-social driving is dangerous so we utilise unmarked cars, unmarked motorcycles and many other tactics to combat it.

“Just because you don’t see us does not mean we are not there. Officers from the Road Policing Unit all work to the same target, to reduce death and injury on the roads, and make Sussex roads safer for everybody.”

Anyone who wishes to report anti-social driving/riding can visit the Op Crackdown website www.OperationCrackdown.org .

For more road safety information visit www.SussexSaferRoads.gov.uk