‘High speed, high risk’ is the message from Dyfed-Powys Police as they launch a campaign aimed at reducing the number of motorcycle-related deaths and serious injuries on their roads.
In 2018, 67 motorcyclists were either killed or seriously injured on roads in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys, and figures held by the force show that men were eight times more likely to be affected than women.
Dyfed-Powys Police have now launched their annual campaign, called #OpDarwen, which aims to reduce those numbers (on March 24 2019). The force is warning that there will be an increased focus on roads until October.
As part of the operation they are urging motorcyclists to ride safely and reminding drivers to be vigilant to motorbikes and other powered two-wheelers.
Superintended Craig Templeton, Head of Specialist Operations at Dyfed-Powys Police, said:
“Motorcyclists have long been identified as particularly vulnerable road users and reducing the number of road deaths and casualties on our roads is a priority.
“Most fatal road collisions happen on country roads, and inappropriate speed is one of the main factors.
“The national speed limit on single carriage roads is 60mph but you may need to drive under that in order to drive correctly for the conditions.
“These roads often have sharp bends, blind bends and unexpected hazards - brake carefully and give yourself time to react and stay in control.
“As the weather improves we see more bikers on the roads taking advantage of the stunning routes through Dyfed-Powys. As well as locals, we are seeing more and more visitors coming here to enjoy the scenery.
“We have always welcomed motorcyclists from outside our borders to enjoy the landscape, but they must be aware that Dyfed-Powys Police is doing all it can to ensure our roads are used safely by all.”
The force is working with partners in Go Safe, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS), and Welsh Ambulance to educate motorcyclists and drivers about the risks of excess speed and improve outcomes when a collision occurs.
As bikers tend to ride in groups or pairs, it is usually the case that when one is involved in an accident the first person on the scene will be a fellow biker.
Biker Down! is delivered by firefighters and the Fire Bike Team from MAWWFRS and aims to reduce the number of motorcyclists killed and seriously injured in road accidents.
The free course is made up of three modules and will give participants a better understanding of what to do if they come across a road traffic collision and how to manage it safely. Search @MAWWFRS on Facebook to find an event.
Superintendent Templeton continued: “Everyone must take responsibility for their own and others safety on our roads and be aware of their riding and driving manner. Action will be taken against anyone choosing to ride or drive anti-socially, recklessly or illegally on our roads.
“Our officers see far too many tragedies, many preventable. Roads Policing Units will be out throughout Dyfed-Powys using a combination of education, engagement and enforcement to prevent further tragedies. ”
Note to Editor:
Find the most recent statistics about motorcycle user casualties from Welsh Government here: https://gov.wales/docs/statistics/2018/180118-motorcycle-user-casualties-2016-en.pdf