Police campaign for biker safety

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A POLICE operation to encourage bikers to get out on the highway safely was launched over Easter.

With warmer weather approaching, Suffolk Police’s Casualty Reduction team launched Operation Ryde, a campaign to try to reduce motorcycle deaths on the county’s challenging roads.

Of the 30 road deaths in Suffolk in 2011, eight were motorcyclists, which at 26.6 per cent is slightly above the national figure of a quarter of all road deaths.

Members of the Casualty Reduction Team will be out on the county’s roads, visiting events and bike dealerships to educate motorcyclists about road safety and ways of reducing the number of fatal and serious crashes.

Sergeant Paul Ward, who heads the team, hopes that the campaign will not only raise motorcyclists’ awareness of the dangers, but also other road users awareness too.

He said: “The intention of the campaign is to make everyone aware of the dangers they could face and realise the potential consequences of, for example, speeding or careless/dangerous riding.”

A video called John’s Story shows the real life story of a biker whose helmet camera recorded his own crash after he hit 104mph on a rural road at Cockfield and sustained life changing injuries. A sequence of photos shows him in hospital and recovering at home in a wheelchair. He talks of how his life has changed since the crash. It can been seen at http://bit.ly/HPFN9O (the last digit is the letter O).

The campaign runs until September and will promote safety training by organisations such as the Institute of Advanced Motorists (www.iam.org.uk/motorcyclist), Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (www.rospa.com) and Suffolk County Council’s two rider schemes (www.suffolkride.net).

The police’s own Bike Safe workshops are being held on April 20 and 21, May 4 and 5, June 15 and 16 and July 13 and 14 at £55 a person. Details are available from Hayley Batterham or PC Kevin Stark on 01473 613730, bikesafe@suffolk.pnn.police.uk or at www.bikesafe.co.uk